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Worth appealing flexible working request decision? Already on job share contract

(13 Posts)
DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 20:08:35

Without going into masses of detail as it's a long story that might out me, is the fact that someone was taken on on a job share contract reason enough to turn down a request for flexible working? Employer is basically saying that they only want me on the hours I was originally employed for. Would I have grounds to appeal this reasoning on the basis of discrimination against a part time employee? (Note my request did not affect the days I would be in the office or the total number of hours worked, just a two hour difference in the way my hours were spread). I don't want to cause unnecessary stress if I have little chance in winning an appeal.

Thanks in advance to any words of wisdom or from anyone who's had a similar experience.

flowery Mon 06-Jul-15 20:53:25

I'm confused. Someone else was taken on as a job share and for that reason your employer is refusing your flexible working request? How are the two connected? Is this your job share partner you are referring to?

LibrariesGaveUsPower Mon 06-Jul-15 20:59:16

I'm confused too. Your title says that you're already on a job share contract?

Do you mean that they turned down your request because it would impact on your job share partner and they couldn't change his/her hours?

If so, if the job share partner has been asked and wasn't keen to change, that's a pretty legitimate reason (assuming that between you you and the job share need to cover a particular spread of hours)

nipplequestion Mon 06-Jul-15 21:11:12

I can't really comment on the specifics as you haven't given them but i would say, absolutely you should appeal. It doesn't sound like much of a change at all, unless it affects the other person?

DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 22:07:04

Sorry, I realise now how confusing my first post was! Basically, in a much of a nutshell as is possible, I am currently employed on a job share basis, all day Monday and Tuesday and half a day on Wednesday. My job share colleague picks up the role on a Wednesday afternoon and works all day Thursday and Friday. Due to childcare arrangements changing in September, I have requested that I finish slightly earlier on a Monday and work slightly longer on a Wednesday to off set that. The reason given against that change is there being fewer staff in the office at the end of the day on a Monday as a result of this proposed change, and there being limited desk space on a Wednesday for the couple of hours me and my job share colleague would cross over.

A couple of points worth mentioning:
- at various points in the previous few years I've worked there in this post with this colleague we have been asked to work full days on Wednesdays, for example to help cover another colleague's maternity leave. During this time we have never had a problem with finding a desk to work from
- During my recent maternity leave, my cover did not work Mondays. So for a year they coped with having one less person in the office on a Monday. My cover also worked all day on a Wednesday and has told me there was never an occasion when she did not have a desk to work from.

I guess my issue is - am I being unfairly treated due to the original contract I was employed on? Surely there's no point in offering the chance to apply for flexible working to someone who's never going to get it granted. And, do my two points above disprove their assertions as to why I can't have it in terms of the effect on the business?

Thanks if you've read this far!

LibrariesGaveUsPower Mon 06-Jul-15 22:10:58

What they managed to get by on during maternity leave isn't really relevant. Lots of departments struggle with arrangements that they couldn't sustain permanently.

The desk reason sounds a bit weak, and could do with appealing.

The issue of less cover on a Monday, you'd need to know a lot more about the business. Particularly whether the work you are covering is time critical - if something happens on a Monday afternoon during that period, does it place massive pressure on other team members, so does the work just pile up and even out across the week between you and your job share. Or something between the two.

DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 22:20:28

That's really helpful re the maternity leave cover, thank you, as I wasn't sure if it was something I could use or not. The resources question I know I can show isn't an issue as we have proved it ourselves over a long period prior to my own maternity leave.

Most of my work is project based - of ongoing projects, but some of what I do is responsive and expected to be dealt with that day. But it is the sort of office where we're expected to know a little bit about what each other does to pick things up in any absences. This will be the sticking point in any appeal I think. I'm in two minds about whether it's worth appealing and worth the stress it's going to cause, but on the other hand, nothing ventured nothing gained - maybe?

DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 22:21:43

nipple - the change wouldn't affect my colleague at all. In fact it has already been acknowledged that us having more of a cross over period would benefit the office

calilark Mon 06-Jul-15 22:25:36

I'd say the Monday thing sounds reasonable - they got by with that in the knowledge that it was a time limited situation.

Tbh the Wed could also be reasonable - fine to accommodate on the odd Wed if you really need someone there to do extra work, but perhaps difficult to accommodate on a permanent basis. They will be considering knock on effect on other staff - would you needing a desk on the Wed mean that someone else would have to hot desk?

I don't think either sound unreasonable tbh.

DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 22:30:54

What about them using the fact that I was employed on a set contract as a reason against it? Would I have any grounds with that?

LibrariesGaveUsPower Mon 06-Jul-15 22:31:54

If your changes mean other people having to pick up work that tends to be a massive sticking point in flexible working applications or appeals. It is one thing to do it 'turn and turn about' for holidays, sickness etc. But if an employer wants to use it to turn down flexible working , others having to cover your Mondays time could be a real hurdle. Is there any way to avoid that?

DuhNuh Mon 06-Jul-15 22:41:42

Not really, not without bringing others who've had requests met into it and that wouldn't be appropriate. Maybe I should just drop it and concentrate on finding a job with better hours to suit my childcare needs. Thanks all

flowery Tue 07-Jul-15 09:27:46

I think the job share thing is a red herring. They are not refusing you because you are already part time and happen to be on a job share as such. You said yourself:

"The reason given against that change is there being fewer staff in the office at the end of the day on a Monday as a result of this proposed change, and there being limited desk space on a Wednesday for the couple of hours me and my job share colleague would cross over."

Both of those are potentially reasonable, although not easy for anyone here to tell whether they are in your circumstances.

Have you discussed/offered a compromise? Reducing your hours so the Wednesday issue disappears, for example, and you just finish a bit earlier on Mondays? Have you asked for a trial period?

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