Flexible working problems!

(26 Posts)
FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 07:41:33

I'm stuck and don't know how to proceed!

I started a new job in August. Before I started (but after signing my contract) I made a flexible working request, to have a fixed day off in the week. This was granted, and the day was mutually agreed as a Wednesday.

My supervisor was off sick when I started my job, however the acting supervisor was very good at ensuring I was not scheduled to work a Wednesday, until the December rota where I was rota'd to work a Wednesday.

I highlighted this to them immediately, reminding them I had flexible working. However I did not get a response.

The supervisor then came back from sick leave and yesterday emailed me saying she cannot give me that Wednesday off, but she has changed my shift to a late. This is not helpful as my partner works Monday to Friday 9-5. I have no friends or family that can help with childcare, I have no childcare booked for Wednesday's.

Where do I stand if they are ignoring the flexible working agreement? I have emailed my supervisor back and cc:d my manager in, but I have a feeling they are going to try and make me work that Wednesday confused

IzzyIsBusy Mon 24-Oct-16 07:48:38

Is the request signed and does it state that you don't work Wednesdays?
If so they cannot force you to work that day.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Mon 24-Oct-16 07:49:29

Slightly confused

Mrscog Mon 24-Oct-16 07:51:46

Is it just one Wednesday? If so I would assert yourself in terms of 'I've signed something to say I never do Wednesdays'

However you could see if your normal childcare could fit your DC in as a one off. Or maybeyour partner could take 1/2 days leave? All 3 nurseries I've used have been able to juggle one offs.

If it is just the one Wednesday, they will probably really appreciate it. However I'd make it clear it is was a one off goodwill gesture, flexibility works both ways sometimes.

LottieL Mon 24-Oct-16 07:54:56

Do you work in retail? Is it to cover someone's booked leave I wonder?
Are your flexible hours covered in your contract or is this a verbal agreement? My guess is you think you have flexible working hours not stipulated in your contract and your supervisor was just trying to accommodate you not wanting to work Wednesdays, but that with Christmas coming up / people taking leave they need to get someone to cover that particular shift and it has fallen to you.

underneaththeash Mon 24-Oct-16 07:55:00

Just stick to your guns. I think the problem if that if you do end up working that day, it will just happen again. Can you ask someone to swap with you?

Alternatively, could you offer to book a holiday that day as a compromise? Then at least it doesn't look as if someone has had to back down..

Keep re-irritating that you have an agreement not to work Wednesdays, that you are not just being difficult, but you have no childcare that day, so would need to bring your child in with you.

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 07:58:58

It's not in my contract as I am a nurse, my contract just states that I work 37.5 hours per week but I have an email that specifies that have agreed my flexible working request and they have granted a fixed day of Wednesdays off until September 2017.

My partner has no annual leave until January so that is not an option.

Notthisnotthat Mon 24-Oct-16 08:01:32

I would forward the email you have about no Wednesday's to be worked to your supervisor and let them work it out.

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 08:03:59

I did... 3 weeks ago. And it's still not been resolved.

purplemunkey Mon 24-Oct-16 08:06:41

I agree with underneath, if you make alternative arrangements to work this one Wednesday I'd fear this would happen again.

If this is a signed flexible working agreement you should be fine to stand your ground. If its more of a verbal agreement that one supervisor was happy to accomodate whilst this one isn't you might have a bigger problem.

I work part time, contracted for three set days at set hours. In my first few weeks I was asked if I could switch days and hours (two seperate requests) to fit around some pretty planned activities. I changed my hours one day but politely refused to switch days. I only have childcare on the three days I'm contracted to be there and I didn't want to set a precedent whereby it might appear that this was easy for me to do as I thought it would then be likely I'd get asked again.

purplemunkey Mon 24-Oct-16 08:09:53

Hmm, well I suppose it depends on who the email is from. Is the email confirming the agreement from someone more senior than the supervisor who has scheduled you for the Wednesday?

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 08:16:33

I don't have anything signed, but I do have an email that states

"X I will say yes to the wednesday as it is only until school begins so thats no problem at all. I will come in at some point and do youre rota for the next couple of months . I have been unable to do anything about trainint etc. that is something that X will be able to help you with, and as for youre log in, either contact X or speak with X , if i have not already done it by the time of your next shift."

I then emailed back to reiterate my child starts school September 2017, and they responded saying that was fine.

Before this was agreed I emailed a formal request as suggested by HR, I had a meeting with my band 7 to determine which day was most suitable, my band 7 then emailed my acting band 6 suggesting Wednesday's off. That is when I received the email above. So I basically have a paper trail of the request.

purplemunkey Mon 24-Oct-16 08:35:54

I'd be inclined to reply to that email chain again, including the last correspondance, and Cc in HR & band 7 saying something like 'Just to confirm that as per my flexibility agreement I am unable to work Wednesdays and will not be working the shift currently scheduled for me on x date and time. X (HR bod and/or your band 7) should be able to confirm details of the agreement.'

m0therofdragons Mon 24-Oct-16 08:41:59

I would organise childcare on that occasion on the basis they must be stuck but make it clear it's a one off. Flexible working can go well or badly ime. If you don't work it, they could review and say the arrangement isn't working for the business and therefore remove the arrangement. Dh had similar and had a very fine line to walk trying to keep them sweet. He is no longer with that employer but his new employer agreed to 9am starts but now changed to 8.30am with 2 weeks warning although they wanted immediate. Dh had been taking all 3dc to school every day 😩

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 08:47:33

I can't arrange childcare for that day. Nursery has no capacity, my partner has no annual leave, and I have no family or friends.

I have been flexible, I've attended 2 training days on Wednesdays because they only take place on a Wednesday. My partner took annual leave for them both.

Mrscog Mon 24-Oct-16 08:54:01

That's fair enough then fruit, stick to your guns - esp as you've already been in on Wednesdays.

Can you shift swap with anyone?

IzzyIsBusy Mon 24-Oct-16 08:55:37

I agree if you bend on this they will expect it again in future.

Send the email again stating you cannot work and attche the email that agrees you dont work Wednesdays until September 2017. If they fail to change your shift you have a clear path showing they were aware and did nothing about it.

NoahVale Mon 24-Oct-16 09:06:33

can someone take unpaid leave?
can you take annual leave on that wednesday?
Can you swop with someone ?

flowery Mon 24-Oct-16 12:23:36

"And it's still not been resolved"

But unless you are responsible for planning rotas, that's not something you need to concern yourself with. You have had a fixed day off agreed and have reminded them of that. The rest is up to them.

MistresssIggi Mon 24-Oct-16 12:28:05

You didn't need to attend the training days either.

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 13:10:50

I sent the email, had a call 2 hours later from my supervisor who recently returned.

"My understanding is you just made an informal request for Wednesday's off and we said we would try and facilitate that, unfortunately I need you to work that Wednesday".

"I cannot work the Wednesday as I have a formal flexible working agreement and do not have childcare for my 4 year old on that day. I'll forward you the agreement".

"Ahh, I see it. My mistake. I've taken you off it. But I can't approve your annual leave for x date".

"I requested it on 03/09. I will forward you the email. It's a bit short notice to tell me I cannot have it now, it's an inset day so I have no childcare".

"Sighs. Well being as you haven't had a response in line with our policy I need to authorise it now".

"Brilliant, whilst I have you on the phone, can we discuss my rota? As I'm rota'd 18 hours too many in a 4 week period, starting from last week".

And she sorted that out too.

Thanks for encouraging me to stand my ground, it's really intimidating as a NQN as I'm in probation until February and know they will throw me to the lions at any opportunity. I love my job, but I've been so stressed over this I wanted to quit! Thanks again smile

NoahVale Mon 24-Oct-16 13:14:22

good news smile

Gazelda Mon 24-Oct-16 13:15:05

That's a huge result OP. Well done on standing firm. It sounds as though your supervisor is a strong supporter of yours, which means she must have good vibes about you passing your probation.

FruitCider Mon 24-Oct-16 13:27:46

I hope so, i work very hard! I know there are a lot of things I don't know how do to yet, but I always seek advice if I'm uncertain and make it clear when a task is out of my competency zone. I guess I'm not very experienced, but I'm safe. Nursing is experiential learning, it will take a long time before I feel comfortable I think. I literally squeaked when I was told I had got this job, I wanted it so bad and I know I made the right choice. I just need to survive this first bit! Hopefully now I've stood firm I won't be in this situation again.

IzzyIsBusy Mon 24-Oct-16 17:05:42

Great news Fruit

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