Last year I agreed a 12, month career break with my employer. During this time I was abroad and it was agreed that I would contact my employer 2 months before returning to my position.

As I was in a remote area with very little phone signal I contacted my employer via email stating it was intention to return to my job as agreed. I also asked if my position was still available or if any other positions were vacant (this was discussed before I began my career break) as my employer had said that he would be recruiting someone to cover my role on a permanent basis. I did not receive a response. I also contacted HR and did not receive a response.

I then received in email in February asking what my intentions were and if I would be returning to the organisation. I was due to return to my role in January and I received this email 2 weeks after my return to work date. I then responded stating I was ready to return to work immediately. My employer still hasn't responded in over 3 weeks.

I have sent 2 more emails to the HR asking for clarify on the matter but have heard nothing. Obviously now I am concerned as I have no other source of income and feel that I am being ignored deliberately in the hope I will resign. I am going to contact the HR department on Monday to find out what is going on as it has been 3 weeks since I responded saying I was ready to return to work. I was just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how I would deal with this if I am dismissed.

  • Country? (or: How much of a contract do you have? What are the minimum notice periods etc. (if any)? ...?) ... how I would deal with this if I am dismissed Well, if they do, find another job? Maybe you should start with searching immediately; you can always stop if they take you back. – deviantfan Feb 25 '17 at 5:00
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    Sending an email a week doesn't sound to me like trying to keep that job very hard. Why have you not called HR, gone to visit your company, etc.? – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Feb 25 '17 at 5:15
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    What exactly is your question? – Masked Man Feb 25 '17 at 8:31
  • Thank you for your responses. I am a permanent employee with the organsition. It was agreed that if my position was non longer available I would be given another job or redundancy. I was in Australia and the company is in the UK so it was not easy to call with the time difference and I couldn't just pop into the office. I have discovered that I have been replaced so that is that. I will be sending my resignation and hopefully find a new job soon. – Jenkins13 Feb 25 '17 at 18:01
  • In the past three months, there was never a time when you could have stayed up late or woken up early one time to make a phone call to confirm if you are still employed? – Eric Feb 25 '17 at 21:52

Maybe there was/is a systematic problem with your emails? Did it not occur to you they might have ended as spam? They did send you one to ask, that doesn't sound like ignoring, but rather like they didn't get the emails.

Whatever you try now, if that was the case, your employer will probably be slightly annoyed that for 3 months all you tried was sending emails over and over again.

And to answer your question - approach them on Monday via phone or in person, be very humble and ask if they didn't get your emails.

Don't approach them thinking they screwed up or are ignoring you. Maybe they did, maybe they are, but if not, that would not end well for you. And if they did ignore you, and they actually admit that, sue them ...

  • The emails were definetly received. I was in Australia and the company is in the UK, we had agreed this was how we would communicate so I know that my emails have not ended up as spam. I have been replaced but just think I could of been notified as it was agreed in the policy that I would have a Job to return to or given an alternative position. – Jenkins13 Feb 25 '17 at 18:09
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    I see no reason to rule out technical difficulties just because the mails were expected. – DonQuiKong Feb 25 '17 at 21:09
  • Agreed, but I would usually get an email back saying my message had failed to send. I also managed my bosses mailbox and correspondences and know he is terrible at responding to emails. Unfortunately the HR department is the worst I have ever come across. So I believe that my email was read and ignored. I have also been replaced and they haven't told me this which I would of appreciated. – Jenkins13 Feb 26 '17 at 22:27
  • If the foreign origin made your mail go to spam you wouldn't know. I don't know how spam filters work, but .. And you were told that you were replaced: “as my employer had said that he would be recruiting someone to cover my role on a permanent basis“ quote from you. – DonQuiKong Feb 26 '17 at 23:05
  • All my other emails have been received without any issue. My employer recruited someone to cover my role until I returned which was for a 12 month period which is what was agreed. Not that I would be replaced without being told. My employer had asked if I was returning to the position but had someone in my post anyway. – Jenkins13 Feb 27 '17 at 20:25

You could hire a lawyer, but to be honest, not following up on simple emails and not showing up for work on the required date does not look good for you. You did not honor your side of whatever contract you had with your company and wherever you are, that will take a very costly lawyer to bring to a favorable end.

So if they do dismiss you, you deal with it by immediately updating your CV (a thing you could do today), looking for prospective new employers (you could also start this today) and applying there.

Learn you lesson and don't use a single communication channel only. You should have called and you should have showed up in person on the day that you were expected to do so.

  • Thanks :) I have replied to every email they have sent me. It was also agreed that we would communicate via email as I was on a career break, also working in a remote area. I updated my manager on what I was doing and my whereabouts etc. But hey, I have been replaced and that is that! Onwards and upwards. – Jenkins13 Feb 25 '17 at 18:16

Firstly it's not your employer, it's your ex-employer, you need to look at it like it's somewhere where you want to get a job, not somewhere you have a job.

Solution, ring them, no excuses about being out of town etc,. if you want something, go get it. You should have done this a while ago, but it's never to late to try, the worst that can happen is you waste a bit of time, but being unemployed, you have plenty of that.

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    I have discovered that I have been replaced by someone. I have been very polite in my correspondance with the organisation. I work in London and was in Australia for the 12 months so with the time different and my working schedule it was easier to email. I updated my manager on where I was and what I was doing via email and also kept in contact with the wider team. I am still employed by the organisation. I responded to all correspondence it was my manager and HR team who did not respond to me when I asked if my position was still available. – Jenkins13 Feb 25 '17 at 17:54
  • @Jenkins13 so they're been paying you all this time and still are? – Kilisi Feb 25 '17 at 21:07
  • No it was unpaid leave – Jenkins13 Feb 26 '17 at 21:56
  • @Jenkins13 then you're unemployed in practical terms, however else you want to rationalise still having a job and despite any legalities etc,.. So you need to be pragmatic on that count first, and focus on getting employed again. – Kilisi Feb 27 '17 at 3:59

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