Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

Am I entitled to have my wish to drop my hours considered?

(21 Posts)
TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 10:42:40

I've never used this section before, so I don't know if there are many regulars here who might know, but it's worth a shot!

Basically, for various complicated exH-related issues, I would like to change my working hours so that I can be at home with the children a bit more. My children are 11 (just going into Y7) and 10 (just going into Y6).

I currently work full-time (37.5hrs) in a line-management position for a small company. My hours of work are the standard 9am - 5.30pm, 1 hour for lunch, Monday - Friday.

I would like to change my hours so that I work 9 - 5.30 on Mondays, then Tuesday to Friday 9 - 3.30. On the shorter days, I would not take a lunchbreak (I don't take one at present anyway), so would only be missing out on 4 hours' pay per week.

My boss can be a little... shall we say... 'difficult'. Sometimes she's perfectly amenable and flexible. Other times she's less so. It's hard to tell which she'll be from one day to the next.

So I'd like to go in to her armed with the facts.

Am I legally entitled to have my request seriously considered?
Will she have to give a reasonable explanation if she declines my request?

Thanks in advance!

Jacksterbear Thu 25-Aug-11 10:49:17

I think the short answer is yes you are entitled to have it considered under the flexible working regime and yes your boss would have to give a reason to turn you down but from what I understand it's pretty easy for employers to find business reasons saying it doesn't work for the business, if they are not willing to play ball.

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 10:56:37

Yes, that's what I thought. Thanks smile

Is that what it's called then? The flexible working regime?

What I really want is something I can google that will tell me exactly where I stand. Or better yet, someone who will explain it to me <bit thick> grin

Jacksterbear Thu 25-Aug-11 10:58:47

Does this help?

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 11:03:06

Very much, thank you.

SurprisEs Thu 25-Aug-11 11:03:27

Your employer has to consider your request by filling in forms and arranging a meeting.
Unfortunately all she has to say is that it doesn't suit business and/or that it will cause unrest with other staff.
Happened to me. Even though it was a load of bull

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 11:08:28

Yeah, that's what concerns me. I mean, I can't see it being a problem business-wise.

The company is trying to save money, so 16 hours/month of my salary will be saved.

I won't have to reallocate anyone to cover my work -- it will be easy to fit what I do into the hours I have left.

We don't have any part-time members of staff, but we have had in the past.

There is always the chance that she'll approve it immediately, of course, and I'm worrying unnecessarily.

Also, how do I go about it? Do I go in armed with forms and requests in writing, or do I go in informally and just request a bit of a chat?

We're not a company with a HR department. And usually things are fairly informally done.

SurprisEs Thu 25-Aug-11 11:32:28

I'd request it in writing because word of mouth is just that. But I would take a soft polite approach. Always make agreements in writing though.

kenobi Thu 25-Aug-11 11:35:16

By law she has to consider it, yes. But she does not have to say yes.

My boss considered by request for all of, oooh, 0.03 seconds. sad

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 11:38:21

It's delicate, isn't it?

Knowing her, I would say that putting something in writing and making it look like I was trying to formalise it from the outset might immediately put my boss in a negative frame of mind. Like I'm going to try and 'trap' her.

But I completely see your point about word of mouth, and it is particularly pertinent here, with the way my boss can be.

And yes, agreements in writing for sure!

Thanks, all. It's good to know that at least she has to legally consider it, and that she has to put her reasons for refusal in writing.

flowery Thu 25-Aug-11 11:44:48

Yes she has to consider it as everyone says.

However you won't be able to legally work 9 - 3.30 straight without a break of at least 20 minutes, so bear that in mind.

Also you say you will easily be able to fit your job into less hours. Unless you are literally sitting there twiddling your thumbs for an hour a day and your boss can see that, you need to explain that more fully. Also, unless you never get phone calls or emails between 3.30 and 5.30, you will need to address that as well.

woollyideas Thu 25-Aug-11 11:44:52

The company is trying to save money, so 16 hours/month of my salary will be saved.

I won't have to reallocate anyone to cover my work -- it will be easy to fit what I do into the hours I have left.

Perhaps you could stress these things when you make your request so the company feels like they are getting the same amount of work out of you for less money, which essentially they are!

I made a request for part time working when DD was younger and my line manager turned it down flat saying it 'didn't suit the operational requirements of the business'. However, I work for a big organisation so my immediate line manager couldn't care less if money was being saved. If you work for a small company without an HR department, I see no reason why they shouldn't agree, although sometimes people do the 'just because I can...' because they enjoy the power sad

Jacksterbear Thu 25-Aug-11 12:02:47

I'd be a bit careful how you phrase the "I could do the same amount of work in fewer hours" bit. Just thinking you don't want either a) your request to be refused and then your workload to be increased since you are "obviously sitting around doing nothing" for part of the day, or b) to give the impression that you are in any way surplus to requirements, from a redundancy point of view! This might not be relevant to your particular job but just a thought that struck me.

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 12:18:19

Yes, I thought that as I wrote it, Jacksterbear. The fact is, I could easily fit my work into a shorter time period. Obviously I don't want my boss to know this straight out, because I don't want her to know think that I'm occasionally making up jobs to do in order to be busy.

So I need to think very carefully about how to word that, and any ideas would be gratefully received.

I have recently given up smoking, so that would account for a good half hour a day in which I was not working. That is something I could use.

But yes, they are essentially getting the same amount of work from me for less money, so that might work!

My boss definitely cares if money is being saved, as I believe she gets some kind of quarterly bonus based on the company's bottom line and profitability. Although I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know that! But she did ask in the last company meeting for suggestions of how to save money, as sales are down.

Thanks for helping me brainstorm, btw.

Secondtimelucky Thu 25-Aug-11 12:25:56

Um, I wouldn't mention that you've been using half an hour or your working time for smoking until recently. It's similar to Jacksterbear's point. Unless it's specifically agreed that you can have that time off for smoking, I think you risk just making yourself look like you weren't working before, rather than supporting your application. I know that's not how you mean it, but I'd leave well alone.

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 12:27:17

She knows I never take a lunchbreak, so that half hour still means that the company would owe me an hour per day for the last 7 years (at present we are allowed 2 paid 15-min breaks per day, plus 1 hour unpaid for lunch).

TheBride Thu 25-Aug-11 12:31:54

Not really, because you say yourself that you're not that busy, so why don't you just take the lunch break?

I'm not having a go, but I think you need to think about what line you're going to take before you go to see her.

TheBride Thu 25-Aug-11 12:32:26

Also, are you on a salary or an hourly rate?

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 12:35:13

Because there is nowhere to go at lunchtime without taking the car, and I'd rather not have to drive somewhere for the sake of it.

I could do the work in an hour less per day. My job is sort of connected to sales, and sales are down, so currently I'm not particularly busy. I can always find something to do, but I think it would fit better into an hour less.


PDog Thu 25-Aug-11 12:52:17

As everyone else has said, she has to consider it. You can't work for more than 6 hours without a break though.

You need to think about how the impact on your work and how you would address that. Extra burden on other employees is a reason they can turn you down so you need to be careful about that.

Tricky one as you don't want it come across that you have skivving (sp?) or that your job is not needed. You also need to think about what would happen if sales picked up; could you still manage?

If you think that putting it in writing will put her off, I would ask tell her you are thinking of reducing your hours and would like to discuss it with her. You could have the discussion and put your side across and then say that you have jotted it down if she wants to take it away to consider.

There are certain grounds on which she can refuse but she is suppose to give the request proper consideration. I would ask for a trial period - it is harder to say no to.

You also have the right to appeal if she does say no.

Good luck

TobyLeWolef Thu 25-Aug-11 13:08:25

Brilliant idea re trial period. Thanks, PDog smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: