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Lost - Flexible working withdrawn

(14 Posts)
Heidipiedy Tue 07-Jun-16 22:11:04

I dont really know whay Im posting, Mostly to rant, I need to vent and perhaps someone could give me some advice. Im just lost at the moment.

I have been with my company ten years, working my current role for two years after returning from maternity leave, reduced hours (job share) and also compressed hours. We have had a restructure which seemed to go on forever, where I was at risk of redundancy -I was so stressed I was having anxiety attacks as I cant afford not to have my job, we wouldntbe ableto affordour rent and we would have to move, but also there are no other jobs out there on my hours on my pay scale. Finally we got news that one girl had taken Volountary Redundancy so the rest of us where safe. The new structure means a new boss, and today I have been advised that I can no longer work compressed hours because they dont need someone in early or late (even though the work is there to do, I have been doing this 2 years and the job is not chaging significantly!!). Instead of working two long days and a short day, they want me to work three normal days - which means they will also be cutting my hours at a loss of £2000 a year for me plus I will need additional childcare for the extra half day. To top it off they have asked my job sharer to take the hours I will be cut!! I kinda said hang on I dont want my hours cut and now they have come back and siad its that or i can work a rota of a 3 day week/4 day week, thats even less possible as nursery wont allow this rota, so I will have to pay 4 full days of childcare every week. I just dont understand why they will not letme work an extra half hour before and after the propsoed office times as I have always done as the business is open during these times anyway. Im quite happy to lose an hour so my job share is in a full day, the other day they close early so the office will always be covered, plus there is another team member in there also!

I just feel lost,I have always been so accomidating swapping my days when needed, working from home to make sure work is complete and now I feel like a kick in face - I just dont know what to do, Im back to square one. I hate businesses - being a working mum is so hard sad

flowery Wed 08-Jun-16 09:48:31

Don't think of it as withdrawal of flexible working. Those are your permanent terms and conditions and they are trying to change them. It's no more acceptable than it would be if you worked full time in the office and they tried to cut your hours and pay. Just because your current terms and conditions resulted from a flexible working request doesn't mean they aren't just as permanent as everyone else's.

Write to your manager saying further to recent discussions regarding his/her proposal to change your terms and conditions by reducing your hours, changing your working times and cutting your pay, you have taken advice and understand that your consent is required for such a change. Unfortunately you are unable to agree to the proposed change so will be remaining on your current terms and conditions.

noeuf Wed 08-Jun-16 09:57:06

Could they then make op's position redundant? And recruit the new position (offering to op first?)

Bear2014 Wed 08-Jun-16 10:00:38

Are you in a union? If so, they might be able to help you negotiate this. It would definitely help to lay out your points in a letter and appeal their decision. This is my worst nightmare too, flexible working is so important as a working mum and the smallest changes can throw everything into disarray.

flowery Wed 08-Jun-16 10:54:18

"Could they then make op's position redundant? And recruit the new position (offering to op first?)"

If they could demonstrate a diminished requirement for the work the OP does, potentially, yes, as long as they could show how they would identify which position would be redundant in terms of selection criteria and justification for redundancy.

But they aren't doing that. They are reducing her hours and offering them to someone else. That's not a redundancy situation.

There seems to be a tendency, I've noticed, for managers and employees to view terms and conditions which have been arrived at as the result of a flexible working request as being less 'proper' and less fixed than (say) full time staff. It's as if flexible working was granted as some kind of favour but can be revoked at any time, and that's simply not the case. Terms and conditions that happen to have come about as a result of a flexible working request aren't any less fixed or permanent (unless a trial period has been agreed) than anyone else's terms and conditions.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 08-Jun-16 13:00:54

Do you have a customer facing role? Have your performance reviews been positive? I think as well as defending your t&c's you should try to argue that you are productive in your current work pattern. Maybe ask for a six month trial to convince new boss.

prh47bridge Wed 08-Jun-16 13:32:17

Maybe ask for a six month trial to convince new boss

Disagree. If the OP agrees to a trial it opens up the way for her employer to change her working hours without her consent on the basis that the trial isn't working. She needs to stick to defending her terms and conditions. The employer simply can't do what they are proposing without the OP's consent.

Heidipiedy Wed 08-Jun-16 13:53:13

Thanks for all your Kind Replies. I was verging on thinking that they cant just do that, especially as the hours were offered to my Job share before they had even discussed with me as they held the meeting on my day off.

I think what I am confused about is although the role is part of a restructure, and we had 5 positions go to 3, I ended up not having to apply as we lost one through not replacing when they left and one through voluntary redundancy. Now does that mean I have a new job and a new contract for it - if so, does that mean they can change the terms. I havent applied for a new role, and the new Job description is basically identical, with a few minor adjustments, the role itself remains virtually the same but with different line management. I havent had a new contract but maybe that is what this meeting was about and that is due to be sent and thus they are trying to get my days and hours???

Unfortunatley I am not part of the union as I just couldt afford the fee every month, thats how tight our finances are - sigh. I am also unsure that my current flexible working terms were written into my contract as I was offered the job share (this was also not set up correctly and we are both on a p/t contract, this came up during the restructing meetings) which I recieved contract stating hours per week, but the discussion about compressed hours and what days came after. It was verbally agreed, but I have a feeling my line manager did not inform HR, although they were aware of my working days/hours - so does that meanI dont have a leg to stand on?

Thanks guys, you make me feel better smile

amroc18 Thu 09-Jun-16 08:32:09

I know finances are tight but it's not too late to join the union and could save you in the long run in help with this. Good luck!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 09-Jun-16 09:01:05

I would never disagree with you prh47 smile. I just wondered if this was a knee jerk reaction from a new boss and the OP could buy some time while convincing them they were equally productive in their current working pattern.

Heidipiedy Thu 09-Jun-16 11:28:26

italics: ^amroc18 Thu 09-Jun-16 08:32:09

I know finances are tight but it's not too late to join the union and could save you in the long run in help with this. Good luck!^

Ive been told that the union is paid by my company so they are not that great - I am going to ring ACAS to see what they advise.

.....apparently HR do not have any documentation of my Fexible working request. I have contacted my Line manager and asked if he had let HR know, when it was agreed by him. Not sure where I stand if its not 'officially' a flexible working request - although as far as I am concerned it was, but does this leave the company in a position to say it isnt and there fore my contact only states I work 26 hours a week?

OliviaBenson Thu 09-Jun-16 13:31:29

If you'd been doing it for 2 years I think it becomes established, even if there is non paperwork. I stand to be corrected though. Good luck OP. Acts should help you.

OliviaBenson Thu 09-Jun-16 13:32:07

ACAS. Blumming autocorrect!

lizzywig Sun 12-Jun-16 09:47:29

Look up custom and practice, if you have been working set hours over a long period of time then they are contractual whether they are in your contract or not.

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