I currently work in the NHS on the wards and we self roster our shifts. Which works fine. However loads of NHS trusts are going to an electronic version of rostering where the computer randomly dishes out shifts.
We've been told its happenign with immediate affect - ie for Sept shifts.
So a lot of the single parents are very worried and have been to see the boss asking if they would be allowed a specific 2 weekends a month off, the weekends they see their kids as they have no childcare at weekends, etc. Boss sais no. Bad luck, if you can't do the job there's the door.
Now our contracts basicly say we can be made to work any shift, any shift pattern, etc, etc. But do we have some arguement by the fact a precedent has been set as in we've done it one way for years.
Or do we have any protection under Family Friendly laws?
Also we've been told that if we're going on holiday from sat-sat we'd need to book more than a week's annual leave. At the minute you'd book one week and make sure you didn't put yourself down for shifts the weekend you left on holiday. Now we've been told that we have to use a week plus 2 days annual leave. Otherwise you may get shifts on the Sat and Sun that you actually go away on. Even if you could happily work all your required shifts in the week.
Ditto if you want a weekend off for a family event - you have to book 2 days annual leave even if you could work all your shifts during the week.
what does the union say? re holiday not sure -but single parents could make a formal request for flexiable working - eg not working 2 weekends months which I would have thought they could struggle to refuse
I imagine the union have dealt with this being implemented previously elsewhere so they ought to be able to advise you well.
If it affects women disproportionately you could look into a claim that the introduction of the system is indirect discrimination. First step is check with union about how they've managed this in the past and talk it through with them, but in terms of protection indirect discrimination is probably the one.