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Can someone help me draft a calm response

(27 Posts)
Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 14:44:11

One that makes it clear that I know what the score is but that sounds calm and professional?

I'm having a little weep in the loo

My flexible working appeal has been rejected

I'll try to be succinct

My team is me and my boss below a director. My boss is a funny one but I've always handled her carefully and maintained a good working relationship. This relationship is swiftly deteriorating and I feel very isolated. It seems very unfair that my entire career is in her hands and at her whim

I want to say 'its a shame I've not been allowed to meet you in person to defend my corner but you (director) are too busy to concern yourself with this truffling issue so will go with whatever boss says and her being the only one with no other team members and a bit power crazed gets to make all the decisions and I've basically no comeback. Ok I'll accept your decision but I think you've not based it on sound principles

DuelingFanjo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:46:51

don't you have a right to appeal?

They have no oblilgation at all to offer you flexible working, only to consider it.

If you think their reasons are not sound then you need to demonstrate how.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 14:54:25

That was the appeal

I did demonstrate it. I did a bloody brilliant, well considered appeal (on paper)

My boss basically said 'no no it's not at all like that' which it is, I've been in my role for 6 years, I'm experienced and well qualified.

And the director went with it because he's only ever met me a handful of times, has no idea what I do and after discussing it with my boss and not me decided to go along with what she said completely.

I understand why, it's easier. This sort of issues isn't his kind of thing. He's very academic, not into the hr side of things. He just thinks 'well if (my boss) says its like that, that's the way it is' dismissed

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 06-Sep-13 14:55:41

HR person here...........I'm sorry that you are sad about your request being turned down.

Was the process followed correctly? EG did your manager hold a meeting with you to discuss your request and then communicate her decision to you in writing with her reasons for refusing the request?

Your boss has no obligation to accept your request and is perfectly entitled to turn it down on one or more of the 8 business reasons set out in legislation.

You are entitled to appeal so suggest you do that and for your appeal make sure that you can demonstrate why the 8 business reasons cannot apply in your case.

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 06-Sep-13 14:59:46

oops sorry crossed posts, didn't realise that was the appeal.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 15:02:13

Thanks spotted

I'm stuck in the loo with mascara all over my face. How bloody embarrassing. I've never cried at work before

I did appeal

No 'appeal hearing' was held which is what should've happened according to the process map. There was apparently a meeting between my boss and the director. I was not invited

Tbh the reasons were spurious, and I demonstrated that clearly in the response I put together but it's a bit her word against mine. She says I need to do x I say I can do x perfectly well from anywhere. She says no you can't. I know I can (and have done and still do)

I have to accept it. I just want to make it known that the decision wasn't fairly made and it'll have a very detrimental effect on my work / life balance

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 15:06:27

I've started my response

Dear x

Thank you for getting back to me with your decision. It's regrettable that I was not given the opportunity to explore the concerns raised by Y in person but thank you for letting me know your decision you vile cronies you've made my life 1000 times more difficult

I guess it's all I can say really

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 15:16:41

Too many thank yous

Could I say 'but clearly you have made your decision'

Or is that a bit rude?

handcream Fri 06-Sep-13 15:57:03

Could I ask your reason for flexible working. I work for a blue chip company who has encouraged flexible working over the years. I base myself from home with visits to clients as appropriate.

However I will be honest (not accusing you at all of doing this!) a number of mainly women took complete advantage of it and decided that it meant they didnt need childcare. You would have a conference call and children would be crying in the background and the women didnt seem to be that concerned. On one particular occasion the mother said she had to go because her child was crying!

Honestly I think some people do think that flexible working means that they will get nothing but trouble from the employee. Not right of course but it could be why they refused it.

hermioneweasley Fri 06-Sep-13 16:00:30

No need to say anything in response. If you don't like the job and your boss, is it an option to look elsewhere?

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:01:33

I currently do one day a week from home. This has worked well with no issues for 2 years. I had asked to increase this to two days

We've had a pay freeze for 3 years and a 1% increase for the next three. I currently spend 80% of my income on childcare and travel costs

Working from home means 4 hours less childcare per day to pay for (1 additional hour each end of the day for two children) that's £80 a month. That and the reduction in travel costs would represent a significant and important saving to me

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:04:26

The problem is hermione, I am half way through a post graduate qualification. Paid for by my employer. If I left I'd have to find £6k to repay them. That isn't going to happen no way no how. But yes, eventually that is the plan

handcream Fri 06-Sep-13 16:15:08

Yes, the travel costs do add up. When I was applying for a remortgage the bank was surprised that I didnt have any and started to try and put some in 'just in case'. Seeing as I have worked like this for 15 plus years and the mortgage is just for another 7 it seemed a bit pointless!

Hmm - one going up to two. Why would that be such an issue. If you were asking to do all of your role from home that would be different but I am wondering if they just dont trust 'homeworkers'. I work with a local authority as part of my job and they DONT trust their workers at all. Not surprising as we did a trawl of the highest web page usage within the LA and it came up as Facebook.....

I have also done projects with clients looking at allowing home working. They are scared tbh and have told me that their feeling is that without the person at their desk they cannot see what they are doing, and one even told me he thought some of his employees would just end up watching TV all day!

Sometimes with these sorts of things you need to consider what the other side is thinking (wrongly or rightly). You want more family time, less travelling time, less childcare as you will be able to pick up earlier. Honestly - why would your company care about any of these things.

So, as your appeal was turned down, what about coming straight out with the issues I mentioned previously. That you have childcare in place already (they might think you are planning to have your children there on your working at home days).

Perhaps suggest a trial and a review after say 3 months to measure your output (that I think is what they are really concerned about).

Although flexible working is out there it is not as common as one thinks. I know I have been extremely lucky to work the way I have. I could nip out and do the school pick up once the children were old enough to behave when they were at home.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:29:11

The company promoted flexible working. The issue is my boss. Who herself does one day a week from home

She is all about appearances. She wants to appear Very Busy and Important. Having her bitch me chained to my desk helps her maintain that facade

I'm pissed off because my defence of my position, my careful explanations of key responsibilities, processes, access requirements and assessment of possible impacts and mitigation of these have been entirely dismissed without me even being able to say one word in person

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 06-Sep-13 16:41:20

Right............The appeals manager has not followed the process as laid down in law (and in your company policy) because he has not held a meeting with you to discuss your appeal.

I would hold off sending any letter at present and think through your options. My advice would be to:

1) Seek advice from your trade union if you are in one

2) Write to your HR department and the appeals manager saying that the FW process has not been followed and that this has caused detriment to you in that you did not have an appeal meeting which would have been your chance to discuss your grounds for appeal and address any concerns put forward by the appeals manager. If HR are any good they will be onto this immediately as it could result in you raising a grievance and/or making a claim at employment tribunal.

Put in the letter what you want to happen next: Do you want an appeal meeting to take place? Do you want HR there (as it sounds like appeal manager does not know what he's doing)?

If you don't get anywhere with that, your options would be to raise a grievance that the process was not followed or to submit a claim to Employment Tribunal.

Start putting everything in writing and make it businesslike.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:45:18

Thanks spotted

Thing is its not going to be approved, doing what you suggest will just cause even more bad feeling

I just want to send a response that indicates I am pissed of but resigned to it

I've said (but not sent)

Thank you for your response

It is regrettable that I have not been given the chance of an appeal hearing to explain my position in person,but I can see your decision has been made

Is that a bad idea?

KnackeredCow Fri 06-Sep-13 16:50:58

I am assuming that you did have the right to make a statutory application? Assuming that you did, what about something along the lines of:

Dear x

Thank you for notifying me that my flexible working request has been declined.

As you know, I appealed against this decision. Under statutory process you should have held an appeal meeting with me within 14 days. I have a right to be accompanied by a union representative or colleague to that meeting.

You did not hold an appeal meeting to which I was invited. Therefore, I do not accept your decision to decline my appeal because none was held.

I would like to request an appeal meeting as is my right.

Yours sincerely

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 16:59:12

[wibble] knackered cow I'm too scared but it's good!

I'll sleep on it over the weekend and respond on Monday. I'm feeling a bit battered and swollen eyed to be combatative today sad

KnackeredCow Fri 06-Sep-13 17:09:48

It's horrible isn't it. I've just been forced to resign from my post. I'm on mat leave after having twins and have really struggled to find full-time childcare. I asked to reduce my hours by 11 but my employer has refused.

Long story but they've refused every flexible working request in my department. All posts must be full-time. And the facts they've used to apply the business grounds inaccurate.

I have a good solicitor who I instructed early. Sadly I'm making a tribunal claim for indirect sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. hmm. But I can completely understand how you're feeling.

Even if your employer rejects again, at least if you go through the appeal meeting properly it may make you feel better?

SpottedDickandCustard Fri 06-Sep-13 17:10:18

Have some wine wine wine and do consider Knackered's letter.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 06-Sep-13 17:42:07

Op have a wine and time to think over the weekend.

I really would think about challenging them over lack of process. You have a lot to gain - money, less commute, more time with DC as not commuting on the extra day. I wonder if you leave it will you always feel resentful that you didn't get your chance to discuss it in person...?

It sounds like your boss is hard work and you have invested time in making the relationship work. However, she has operated outside the law. You never know she might actually like you standing up for yourself as she sounds like that sort of woman.

Good luck. Do update us if you feel inclined.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Fri 06-Sep-13 17:49:42

You're right all of you, thank you so much for your support. It means a lot

I shall think on over the weekend and decide on a plan of action on Monday

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 06-Sep-13 18:06:19

You really shouldn't take this lying down, that will play right into her hands.

Gather some strength and send aomething along the lines of Knackered's response.

Stevie77 Fri 06-Sep-13 19:17:31

OP, I do hope you'll consider following what has been suggested above. You shouldn't have to just take it without putting your point across, that is just what they're hoping you'll do.

ElephantsEye Fri 06-Sep-13 20:47:47

About 19 years ago I requested to return to work part-time. I was told 'it's not viable for your role'. My role was the same as several other women working part-time except they were married to managers. I didn't challenge it and later regretted it.

I think the law is on your side - a legally-compliant appeal has NOT been held yet. Use the weekend to consider your next move. Hope you get what you want.

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