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Does my new manager have to honour my flexible working agreement?

(13 Posts)
KitKat1985 Fri 13-Nov-15 08:39:48

Hi. I'm an NHS nurse. My ward is going to merge with another ward next month (basically both wards currently manage the same sort of patients, it's just that they've decided they just want one ward for the county now and not two). It's a cost cutting exercise This is causing lots of changes, not least my current manager is being effectively demoted and my new manager will be the manager of what is currently the other ward. I had agreed with my previous manager a flexible working agreement which basically involves me working set days and compacted hours so I can plan (and afford!) childcare. Does my new manager have to honour this, or could she review this and alter this if she so wishes? I know I could ask my current manager, but it feels a bit churlish to ask her about this whilst she's having her job role taken away from her and watching someone else come in and re-arrange her office (literally).

Northumberlandlass Fri 13-Nov-15 08:42:49

Are your compacted hours / set days contracted or is it just an informal arrangement?

PolterGoose Fri 13-Nov-15 08:45:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KitKat1985 Fri 13-Nov-15 08:46:55

We formalised it and I have it in writing. But it does say in what my manager has written up that the arrangement may need to be reviewed if it no longer meets the needs of the service. In reality my current boss works flexible hours herself for childcare reasons and is very 'flexible hours' friendly, so I think would happily let me work as agreed indefinitely. But I guess the wording does leave open the possibility of change doesn't it? Obviously this may not happen at all, but I'm mindful that it could if my new manager doesn't like the arrangement.

PolterGoose Fri 13-Nov-15 08:53:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PavlovtheCat Fri 13-Nov-15 08:56:32

My understanding is that once it is formally approved by the flexible working process it becomes a permanent change to your contract. So, imo, no your new manager cannot change it without you requesting a further flexible working agreement yourself. That was definitely the case with me, and I had a letter to confirm the change. When we changed from local authority to civil service, it was just ported across.

But, hopefully someone with legal advice can guide you properly with actual evidence of this being correct.

PavlovtheCat Fri 13-Nov-15 08:58:23

I just saw your second post, sorry, too hasty. But, if the needs of the role remain the same, then she would need to formally justify why she is reviewing it, what has changed that requires your arrangements to change, what changes need to be made, and why your old arrangement can no longer meet the needs of the role. She can't just change it because she doesn't find it convenient or that it doesn't fit well with organising shifts etc. There needs to be a business need which she has to demonstrate.

PavlovtheCat Fri 13-Nov-15 08:59:06

She can't just change it because she doesn't like it, basically.

SirChenjin Fri 13-Nov-15 09:09:26

They can argue it (if they so choose) under organisational change - I'd speak to HR and your union. You have to agree to it though, but if you don't they will point you in the direction of redeployment or the door (that's what happens here, but it all depends on whether or not your manager pushes for it or not).

DespicableMeh Fri 13-Nov-15 09:14:30

Sorry to be the voice of doom, but I had a FWA in place for 5 years with no issues - excellent appraisals etc. New manager at the start of this year decided he didn't like it and together with HR effectively bullied me into changing it to a different pattern.

Ive been with the company for 15 years in a fairly senior role and was told that the needs of the business had changed since the original FWA was agreed and I basically had to suck it up. I held out f five months before conceding and my DH had to arrange a FWA with his work to try and offset the problems with school pickups etc (3 kids and 3 different settings).

I had a similar clause to yours in my contract too. I contacted ACAS an a solicitor to see what my options were. Basically to raise a grievance, resign and try to claim I was effectively forced to quit. Not an option a I need my job to pay the mortgage and its a relatively small industry and I didn't want to be black-listed.

Good luck and hope you fare better than me.

KitKat1985 Fri 13-Nov-15 10:46:07

Okay. Sounds like I might have to cross my fingers. My feedback has been good re: my work but my concern I guess is that because we are merging with another ward's staff team it may be more expected by my new manager to start working rotational days / nights etc as I think this is what she does with her current staffing team, so she may want everyone in to go along with this. Will see I guess....

flowery Fri 13-Nov-15 16:17:40

Just because someone's contractual hours were initially agreed as a result of a flexible working request doesn't mean they are any easier to change than anyone else's.

Unless there is an agreed trial period or something, your contractual hours are your contractual hours, and cannot be changed any easier than any full time member of staff.

SirChenjin Fri 13-Nov-15 16:40:22

Doesn't it depend on whether or not the agreement was an informal one, or one which was set out in a formal contract? I'm not at work so can't read the policy, but there is something there about organisational change - which seems to over-ride informal agreements.

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