Flexible working - a Company or Department decision

(13 Posts)
angelpie23 Fri 22-Nov-13 10:52:22

Sorry for the rubbish title.

Whilst on Maternity Leave I had a request for flexible working refused which led to me handing in my notice as I could not make it work any other way.

I have just bumped in to our HR lady and she was very smug in telling me that my colleague (who works in another department, but the same Company) has been in for her KIT days (I was not allowed in to work any of these) and will more than likely be able to go back part time as her boss "really wants her back".

My question is when a business makes a decision to not allow flexible working, must this be a company decision or can it be evaluated for each case? I understand that the reasons my request was denied could be only for my Department, but surely a Company should have the same ethos for all departments?

I was the first person ever to apply for flexible working and my colleague will be the second.

Thanks

KnackeredCow Fri 22-Nov-13 19:51:42

Well, there must be good business grounds to refuse a flexible working request.

There are seven grounds of which one or more may be applied to be refused. Not wanting you back is not one of them: https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/after-the-application
Were you rejected on one of these?

Were you offered the right to appeal, and if so, did you appeal the refusal?

KnackeredCow Fri 22-Nov-13 19:52:36
angelpie23 Sat 23-Nov-13 14:11:09

Thanks for the reply.

They did follow the correct procedure with my request, but I was just wondering that as they have refused my request for the permitted "business reasons", will they have to do the same for my colleague or can they look at her role within the other department and maybe grant her the flexible working?

Rockchick1984 Sun 24-Nov-13 14:54:14

All flexible working requests will be looked at on an individual basis, just because one person has it accepted or declined doesn't mean the same will happen for everyone who applies.

KnackeredCow Sun 24-Nov-13 15:03:02

Well each request has to be considered properly, so that is on a case by case basis. If you do exactly same role and her request is accepted and yours wasn't, then that could look a bit suspect!

On what grounds did they object, and were the facts they used to apply those grounds accurate?

I was forced to resign from post following the refusal of my flexible working request. However, I've filed a claim with the ET for indirect sex discrimination and unfair constructive dismissal. However, in my case my employer did the following:
argued my role could only be done full-time over five days, but had not appointed any locum cover during my maternity leave;
relied on the fact that I used to work in excess of my contracted hours (it's unlawful to do this); stated that I must be physically present in the office every day (I worked from home one day a week before I went on maternity leave, or was even pregnant); refused all departmental requests for flexible working setting the criterion that all posts are full-time (one of my reports was forced to resign when I was off - I'd already informally agreed her FWR before she started mat leave but my boss reversed this decision), and stated that as my role had never been done on reduced hours on the past, it couldn't be done in this way in the future; refused to consider a trial period or any of my proposals on how the work could be reorganised (my solicitor tried to mediate and suggest they consult with my team / department, which both my boss and appeal panel refused to do. angry

If you think your FWR hasn't been properly considered and you have been unfairly, constructively dismissed (if there's a breach of the implied terms of trust and confidence), you've got three months less a day of the act that forced you to resign to lodge a claim with the Employment Tribunal.

KnackeredCow Sun 24-Nov-13 15:06:10

x-posts Rockchick

FadBook Sun 24-Nov-13 15:10:03

Did you win your ET knackeredcow ?

KnackeredCow Sun 24-Nov-13 15:40:40

Going through process at the moment <wibble>

The deadline for my employer to return the ET3 to the Tribunal was Friday (although they missed every other procedural deadline), so my solicitor says we should have it within a week maximum.

So far my employer has refused ACAS mediation, and when I gave notice that I wouldn't be returning after the end of my 52nd week of maternity leave, terminated my employment with immediate effect, which coincided with end of 39th week of mat leave. Guess they don't want me reinstated then! grin

They also refused to be served the questionnaire under the Equality Act by email, which is pointless as my solicitor simply served it recorded delivery the following day! I suspect they won't respond to that, although I understand the ET may infer discrimination from this.

It's all been very stressful, and we haven't even got to court....

But, for me, it's the principal of the matter.

And sorry for the thread hijack. I obviously needed to get that off my chest.

FadBook Sun 24-Nov-13 18:15:09

It's good you are seeing it through. It's unfair of Companies to behave in this way. And it is so stressful, I hope you are taking care of yourself?

All the best, PM me on how you get on.

KnackeredCow Sun 24-Nov-13 19:34:42

Fadbook - have you taken an employer to an ET?

FadBook Sun 24-Nov-13 23:16:11

No, I work in HR though. You'd be surprised what managers / businesses think they can do/say about employees on maternity leave. I end up resolving their mess and mediate between employee and management.

KnackeredCow Mon 25-Nov-13 09:51:22

Well my boss made the HR manager "redundant". He's Chief Executive. Decided an HR function was unnecessary hmm. It's more likely she was advising him and the trustees to act within the law.

One of the trustees said, in my appeal hearing, that "if I took it to ET it was my problem, and for the 'legal people' to sort out". I despair!

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