Can employers select on ability to 'work flexibly' ie out of hours?

(3 Posts)
BlueJayBear Wed 04-May-16 13:27:17

There's a restructure going on at work, which is expanding the team in numbers and in terms of scope and payment bandings.

The job that I'm currently doing on secondment, has been rebanded and has had additional responsibility added (manager of up to 9 people). I can't match to it, as my substantive role is two bands below it, so that's fine.

It's a big step up to take on the additional management duties, but absolutely something I believe I can develop well into, and as the rest of the role is essentially what I'm already doing, I have no concerns about my ability to deliver and do a really good job.

The issue I have is that in my 121 with HR yesterday, I was told that anyone applying for that level of job is expected to be super-flexible and to work in the evenings and on weekends - seemingly at the drop of a hat.

This follows a heads-up from my line manager that the director is 'unimpressed' at people in our team leaving on time - especially those who want to be promoted. Ie, me.

The plot twist is that I need to leave by 5.30pm in order to pick up my toddler from nursery - if I don't get there by 5.45pm I get fined. When I returned from maternity leave two years ago, I requested that I be allowed to leave at 5.15pm in order to achieve this. This was agreed, and has been honoured into my seconded position. I come in early, take short lunches, and work 45 minutes later than our indicated finish time on Friday to make up for any time lost.

I also frequently work on weekends for events, and have even brought my son into the office or returned to the office late into the evening in order to hit specific deadlines. So, I am flexible. I am just not able to not pick up my son at a moment's notice.

My question is - does this sound like a discriminatory attitude to you? This issue clearly only affects people with specific family commitments.

Are they able to make their selection based on who they think can be 'super flexible'? I've been trying to look online for similar issues but I'm just getting flexible work requests back, which this is the complete opposite of.

TomTomKitten Wed 04-May-16 13:45:44

Yes completely

What happens if you don't apply/get that job? Is there something else that's suitable?

I've got to the age now where I do what suits me while nodding and pretending I am doing what suits my employer. Good luck to the person who will be working evenings and weekends. Are they going to be renumerated for all that extra work or is the director expecting them to do it for the love of it?

BlueJayBear Wed 04-May-16 15:10:17

There's a different role that I could retrain for and would probably get at a slightly lower level.

But this role is literally what I already do, plus a bigger team. What's getting to me is that there is nothing mentioned in the JD, person spec or competencies about any level of flexibility - whereas the JDs of the people who would be in my team talks explicitly about evening and weekend working, as well as national travel.

If it's not in the JD can they use it as a basis for refusal?

Don't get me wrong, the pay is excellent, as is the job title. But judging on current patterns of need, the likelihood of being needed to drop everything and work extra would happen perhaps once a year. There would be occasions where travelling out of town would happen, and also where, on planned occasions, there may be a need to stay late to polish off a specific deadline.

In my mind, good management minimises the need for 'drop everything and work late' requests.

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