Urgently need some advice!
The background: I have worked for a not for profit organisation for a number of years. They only employ me part time, so when my second employer closed down and due to some other financial issues, the work I do for this student organisation is only enough to either pay my living expenses OR my debt repayments, not both. To make matters worse, I broke my hand earlier this year, and the medical profession in Canberra only noticed and treated one out of my two fractures, splinted me incorrectly, causing further injury… Long story short, I wanted to go to a city that has a hand clinic so my injury could be treated properly.
So earlier this year I got permission from the president and committee at my work to work remotely from another city, where I can live for free with family until my debts are repaid and I can afford to rent again. Working remotely does not affect me performing my duties because I’m basically a computer nerd who in the years of working for the organisation never gets seen by anyone anyway, except at social events, which I help organise, and hence we agreed that I would return to Canberra monthly to help run the events.
After a new AGM our new President started his term with a normal staff review. So this new Prez, whom I have never met, called me up on Monday out of the blue. He told me the new committee (only 3 of whom I have met) has done a staff review and decided that they want to have social events coming out of their ears this semester. Much more frequently than once a month. So they no longer like my remote working arrangement and want me based in Canberra. I said that would be great for me as well, however I would really need more hours to be able to do that. He very politely told me that this is not going to happen, and that he is going to be “extremely generous” (he described himself thusly 4 times in our 10 minute conversation) and give me until the end of the month to move back to Canberra. He was also “extremely generous” to give me until Friday to provide him a written response stating that I will be back in Canberra by the end of the month.
So Friday I got a notification on my mobile phone after 10pm that I had a missed call. I’m in a very unstable reception area here, so this does happen from time to time. This morning I received an email from him “directing” me to resume employment in Canberra and stating that my telecommuting has not been effective (first I’ve ever heard of this, since he originally said he wanted me onsite to help with additional events). He says that my employment will be terminated if I do not comply and that I am required to confirm in writing by the end of the week whether I will be returning to Canberra.
Isn’t there some laws governing how employees may be fired?