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Flexible working declined and cannot work the shifts. HELP!

(7 Posts)
BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 01-Nov-12 15:29:16


I applied for flexible when I returned to work from mat leave. This was to work a set pattern of shifts. Ie. Weds, Sat, Sun, So that I am working opposite my husband and it fitted us perfectly. In June after 5 months of working this pattern, I was told it was up for review. I applied for the same pattern again and was declined. I appealed and again was declined.

The thing is, full time workers work a set pattern of mon, tue, sat, sun, one week, then weds, thurs, fri the next. So in a sense they are fixed, but recently I have been used as a floater to cover any 3 shifts a week. Which is a nightmare to get care for my 18 month daughter.

On top of this, I fully addressed all of the reasons they gave as a reason not to allow me the request (for example, I have to work nights and I said I could do this, on the agreed days) etc etc. I had also spoken to a colleague who suggested she could opposite me. They did not even speak to her about the possibility of doing this and declined me again with the same reasons despite the fact I had addressed them.

This has left me feeling angry and upset, as I feel I have been not listened to. Furthermore, there are others who do have set pattern like the one I requested!!

Now I am on nights and they have put me down to work Weds, Thurs, Fri and I cannot find someone to look after my DD for 3 days running like that. If I could I would return full time! So I cannot do one of the shifts. This is because my friends and family all work too. My mum works funny hours as she is ill, so she helps out but cannot do it 2 or 3 days running. Can they make me do this despite no childcare?!

I'm sorry this is long winded and I hope I have explained it properly.

Any advice is welcome as the situation is really getting me down.

flowery Thu 01-Nov-12 16:52:33

Firstly if you apply for flexible working and it's agreed, it is a permanent change to your terms and conditions, unless a trial period is specifically mutually agreed. They don't get to just tell you they are 'reviewing' it.

If it was agreed for a trial period and they now want to decline the request, they have to give at least one of eight defined business reasons and explain how that/those reasons apply.

If this working pattern has been working well, it's much harder for them to justify a refusal.

Was a trial period agreed when you put in the request initially?

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 01-Nov-12 22:39:12

TBH I don't think it was specified, so I think they must of only given it me on a temporary basis. It was working fine (from my perspective anyway) and I didn't see any problems.

tiredemma Thu 01-Nov-12 22:43:11

I review my flexible working staff every six months and always make clear that its a temp change and can be withdrawn depending on service needs. Are you a nurse?

flowery Thu 01-Nov-12 22:45:20

No that's not how it works. Unless you specifically agree a temporary trial period, the change is permanent. Permanent is the default position.

If they imposed the 'review' and changed your hours back in June, what's been happening since then- why is it now an issue?

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 01-Nov-12 22:54:38

Yes I am a nurse.

Since the review, I was told I could have a reduction, but could not have the days I wanted. This has led to working any 3 days out 7 which suits them but it is difficult to arrange anything when my days change constantly. Regular full time staff have a set rota across a 2 week period.

I can basically manage 2 days mon-fri and 1 weekend day, which is difficult but we manage that. But now they are putting me on 3 days during the week and I am unable to get anyone for that 3rd day.

I am also annoyed with the fact that they did not appear to look at my request and give it full attention. Otherwise they would have spoken to the other member staff who said she may want to opposite to me (i.e. mon, tues, thurs, fri).

We work long days (07:30 - 19:50) and so it is hard when I am at work and my husband is also..

noblegiraffe Thu 01-Nov-12 23:03:24

Are you in a union? If so, you need to contact them.

The change to your working pattern should have been documented and permanent. That you didn't know about this potential review and change shouldn't have happened. That they haven't taken your application for an effective jobshare seriously isn't acceptable. That others are working the pattern you want to continue to work but are not being allowed to is potentially discrimination.

Lots of legal issues here, I believe.

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