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Need advice re flexi working hours – potentially being refused to shorten my lunch break with no business reason

(10 Posts)
flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 13-Dec-12 10:35:51

That doesn't make sense, it looks like I've said your consent is required to change anyone else's terms and conditions as well.

Basically what I'm getting at is making the point that they are no more entitled to vary your terms than they are anyone else's.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 13-Dec-12 10:34:48

I would write back thanking them for their letter, and saying you look forward to continuing to work well the the team blah blah.

I would then say that you are happy to have a review discussion with your manager and/or HR at any point regarding your work, however you understand that your consent is necessary if employer should wish to vary your terms and conditions (or those of any other employee) at some point in the future.

confusedperson Thu 13-Dec-12 09:13:22

Thank you for everyone who helped. I was prepared to fight hard, but now it seems I won’t have to. I got a letter from HR saying that following 6 months review, my working hours shall continue as requested”.

Another paragraph says though that the employer reserves the right to review this situation at any time and reserves the right to require to change my working hours where this isi necessary in order to best meet requirements of business”. Is this lawful for them to say? I have to confirm that I agree in writing and I have not done this yet. I thought the law does not allow to change working hours back unilaterally?

flowerytaleofNewYork Fri 07-Dec-12 11:35:29

Ok, so you agreed a trial period, but you now need a permanent variation.

I would suggest writing to your manager, copying in HR, as follows:

"I understand my request to vary my contractual hours was agreed on a trial period basis for 6 months on date, and that trial period has now been completed.

I am happy to meet with you in order to review how the arrangement is working, and am confident the trial has demonstrated that the new working pattern is working well. Following the review, I look forward to confirmation that the change is now permanent under the flexible working legislation, which provides for permanent variations unless trial periods are specifically agreed."

confusedperson Fri 07-Dec-12 10:08:26

It was a trial period but I don't want to be on trial every 6 months.

confusedperson Fri 07-Dec-12 10:07:15

Thanks! Six months ago I was given a letter saying my new working hours (i.e. 9am-4:30pm with 30 min lunch break) and "this arrangement will be reviewed in 6 months" and "given that this is a new working arrangement, we reserve a right to review it during the flexible working period. If employer finds that the arrangement is not successful, you may be required to revert back to your previous working pattern".

Now they are reviewing as the initial 6 months passed. Obviously the term "unfairness" does not work because I am working full hours and sacrificing my lunch break, and I am fully eligible as caring for 2 small children. I already mentioned this to HR. Then they also said "we will be reviewing this every 6 months in case business circumstances change" - do they really have a right to review? I thought after the initial 6 months period they should give me a letter saying this is a permanent change.

I am sure our HR knows it all but pretend like they don't.

starfishmummy Fri 07-Dec-12 10:00:57

Where I work flexible working hours can be reviewed annually (but rarely are).

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 07-Dec-12 09:53:49

When your flexi hours were "approved" did you get a new contract which set out the new arrangement? Did the agreement specify that the arrangment was subject to review in 6 months? They can't just change again without your consent if you have a new contract which doesn't provide for further review.

I'm surprised that the suggestion is being made that some people working flexi hours is unfair on others in circumstances where presumably anyone could apply for flexi if they wanted? I would think there is a good argument that automatically refusing flexi to everyone is unfair on women in particular (given childcare responsibilities traditionally falls to women) so in your circumstances I would definitely be thinking about challenging this.

flowerytaleofNewYork Fri 07-Dec-12 09:51:45

They don't have to give you a new contract, so the site is wrong there, but yes, a flexible working request is requesting a change to your terms and conditions, so a flexible working request being agreed results in a permanent change to your terms and conditions, unless a specific trial period was agreed at the time.

And they should have confirmed the change in writing, did they do that? That would constitute a variation to your contract, an employer doesn't have to issue a brand new contract every time something changes.

So unless it was a trial period, those are now your permanent hours, and it's no easier for them to change those than it would be for them to change anyone else's. The fact that your hours came about as a result of a flexible working request doesn't make it any easier to change them.

this might be helpful

page 3 of this

confusedperson Fri 07-Dec-12 09:29:06

Hello, I have started having issues with my employer about this. I got approved my flexi hours 6 months ago which is full time hours with 30 min lunch break so I can finish 30 mins earlier and collect my children from childcare.

Now after 6 months HR is reviewing some (but not all) employees with flexi hours and saying that this flexi arrangement is not fair on other employees. What a f**k? I checked government website and there is absolutely no business reasons why my request should be refused. By all means I thought the arrangement was working well and my manager is generally happy about my work, never any complaint or a problem because of early finish.

Another thing they say they have to review flexi hours every 6 months in case business circumstances change. I also think this is unlawful as the government website says they must give the employee a new contract.
Am I right? Do I have a case to fight further?

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