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Flexible working agreement revoked

(10 Posts)
UndercoverWorker Wed 24-Aug-11 16:28:45

I returned to work in 2009 after maternity leave, going from 5 days to 3 days per week (at their request, I wanted 2.5 days). At the same time I asked that, on two of the days, my working day be shifted a little from 10-6 instad of 9-5. This is because of the logistics of getting dd to childcare and then getting to work for 9am. This was agreed and is what has been happening since with no problems.

I now have a place for DD at preschool on a Monday morning and 6 weeks ago I asked my (new) line manager if I could have the same arrangement on Mondays, enabling me to drop her off and PIL to collect her. I was told she'd have to bring it up at the staff side monthly meetings as she wasn't happy with an informal arrangement.

I've enquired today as to the progress and been told that she hasn't raised it yet, next meeting is end of Sept (there were also meetings in July and August) so I have to take annual leave to cover the Mondays in between, which I'm reasonably happy to do.

However, she has said that she is not happy with the informal arrangement for the other two days and I will have to apply for the same working arrangment for those as well. The crucial part is that she has pretty much told me that the three days won't be approved as most other requests recently have been turned down.

So where does that leave me? At the moment I drop off in the mornings and DH collects. I can't drop off and get to work for 9 or leave at 5 and collect before they shut. The other option is to take one hour's annual leave per day until I go on mat leave (at end of Nov). I have literally just enough to cover it but annual leave is, of course, subject to approval and I can't see her doing that either.

I really don't know where to go from here. I've been here donkey's years, all was great until she took over my line management last year and since then it's been nothing short of hell. But I was gritting my teeth till it was time to go. Now I've been thrown a curved ball.

Sorry, this is all very long and dull, I wrote it out to get it off my chest more than anything else. You don't have to read it all blush

hairylights Wed 24-Aug-11 17:48:43

The issue here is that it's an informal arrangement. If you want to exercise your right to request flexible working, you really need to do it formally. Your employer can refuse on sound business grounds.

Grevling Wed 24-Aug-11 18:54:04

Your unlikely to get a change agreed formally if you're going on mat leave in Nov.

Your current 2 days should be fine even informally as you could argue customs and practice on those.

Don't forget you could take some of the holiday you accrue before mat leave if that will help. You're also allowed "emergency" time off for dependants. An hour a day each monday for an "emergency" should cover it as its only a few weeks.

flowery Wed 24-Aug-11 19:50:46

You've been doing 3 days a week, two days 10-6 and the other 9-5, for two years. Is your boss now claiming some or all of this is an 'informal arrangement' rather than your actual terms and conditions? Your terms and conditions are what they are whether they are written down or not, and if those have been your hours for two years I can't see much of an argument that they are 'informal' and can be therefore changed at will.

hairylights Wed 24-Aug-11 19:54:55

flowery is of course quite right.

An "emergency" once a week wouldn't wash with me! But then I would be much more sympathetic to your childcare needs than your boss is being.

flowery Wed 24-Aug-11 19:59:00

Yes don't do the 'emergency' thing. It's clearly not an emergency, for a start, and your employer will know that, which means they are under no obligation to allow you to take that time off.

What do you currrently do on a Monday? Who has your dd so you can get to work by 9 and why can that not continue?

UndercoverWorker Wed 24-Aug-11 21:27:35

Thanks everyone. Sorry for the delay, I was persuaded out for a rare drink after work smile

Currently my MIL has DD on Mondays, collects her at the crack of dawn and takes her 10 miles home, brings her back for preschool at 12.30, hangs around for 2.5 hours and then takes her home to her house again till DH or I collect her. From September DD's preschool class changes to the morning which saves MIL shedloads of hassle and driving but obviously is causing me problems.

As I have a late start on two of the three days, I didn't think too much that changing the other day would be an issue. My mistake. The job isn't customer facing, no phones to answer etc. It has never been an issue.

My line manager loves her procedures, therefore no, the emergency thing wouldn't work anyway, I wouldn't try it unless it absolutely was.

Yes, she is claiming that the two days are an informal arrangement agreed by my previous line manager. However, when she took over and we had our introductory chat, I mentioned the situation and she did not have any issue with it. That's why it's come out of left field.

Dilligaf81 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:32:35

If you've been doing the 2 days late satrts for 2 years I dont really see how they could have a business case against this ? Are you a union member - I know someone who had something similar and the union stated she should continue those hours until her appeal was heard etc by that time you would be on Mat leave.
Hope you sort it out, if not you could go off sick with stress (pregnancy related wouldnt be marked on your record) depends if you plan on returning after the baby or not ?

ceebeegeebies Wed 24-Aug-11 21:37:56

Does this impact on any of your colleagues - i.e., by you starting at 10am, does this mean that someone else always has to be there by 9 therefore reducing the flexibility for other staff?

UndercoverWorker Wed 24-Aug-11 21:40:43

No, not at all. I work alone although ironically, when this was originally agreed in 2009, I worked more closely with others and had a very busy phone line. If ever there was a time to refuse my request it was then, not now.

I had a job share who left last month. My line manager has not said anything about what is happening with that half of the week, even if it's to tell me that they're not going to replace her.

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