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help with flexi working appeal - flowery??

(12 Posts)
strawberryblondebint Wed 21-Dec-16 09:42:06

My friend and I work for local government - She has recently returned from maternity leave after baby no 2 and has had her request to reduce her hours and do 3 days as opposed to 5 refused. She is already using holidays to do these hours at the moment and this has had no noticeable effect. Her request was declined as her line manager felt there would be a detrimental effect to the quality and performance of the team and the ability to meet customer demand.
Our council has recently taken on board agile working and we are all moving to a hot desking environment which involves a commute. we have been encouraged to apply for flexible working. However no one has done it in her dept. I am attending her appeal as a employee representative. Can anyone (particularly you flowery smile) assist with some good reasons to help her win the appeal

Hellmouth Wed 21-Dec-16 15:30:47

Blatantly place marking as I just had my request to work from home 2 days a week rejected outright, with no alternatives offered, but I know of one person who does work from home one 1 day a week for the same reason (childcare).

SheldonCRules Wed 21-Dec-16 16:42:32

How is she proposing the other two days work is done? A job share may cost more and doesn't always work. Or is she expecting others to pick up the shortfall?

The right to ask for flexible working is law but employers have the right things refuse on business grounds. Sometimes the employee only sees what they want and not what suits the business etc.

strawberryblondebint Wed 21-Dec-16 19:08:36

She is already doing the reduced hours using holidays and so far no visible effect. She is also open to a jobshare. They haven't even tried. They have a temp whose contract ends in march and I think they are hoping she will leave and they can recruit him into full time hours.
I'm wondering specifically what questions she should ask.
Also they employed 2 temps when she was off however neither was advertised as maternity cover. They were just to cope with an additional workload that has now ended.

SheldonCRules Wed 21-Dec-16 19:21:14

They should have given her the business reasons it was declined. It's not about asking questions, the appeal is for her to show how it won't affect the business in the way they state.

Someone must be picking up the two days work otherwise she's saying her employer she doesn't have five days work to actually do.

A lot won't consider job shares as it can often cost more, be less effective, need extra hours for a handover etc which cost the business.

How did she propose the work was covered in her initial application?

strawberryblondebint Wed 21-Dec-16 21:57:29

The business reason was adverse effect on the customer however she is confident that with training (should have had but didn't give her it) that the workload can be covered. They coped when she was on maternity

maisiejones Thu 22-Dec-16 02:47:35

Hellmouth. Are you saying you wanted to work from home for reasons of childcare? If so, I'm not surprised your request was refused. You can't work from home and look after your children at the same time. Not many employers would stand for that! The clue is in the word work.

Heratnumber7 Thu 22-Dec-16 04:16:36

She needs to be careful. If she is already doing all the work in 3 days with no visible effect, they have been overpaying her for some time and may decide they don't need her at all.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 23-Dec-16 09:39:50

maisie some people WFH for childcare reasons. This doesn't mean they have a child at home with them, it may mean they can't get enough/afford in short term childcare to cover working hours AND a commute.

strawberry the work being done in the short term, currently using her holidays when they have temps is different from it being done sustainably without temps and without an impact to the customer. She will need to prove it is sustainable long term during the busiest of times, including covering colleagues holidays without impact to the customer and no temps.

flowery Fri 23-Dec-16 13:31:47

"her line manager felt there would be a detrimental effect to the quality and performance of the team and the ability to meet customer demand."

Did he/she just say that, or explain why/how her proposal would have that effect?

How long has she been working that pattern already?

Mehfruittea Sat 24-Dec-16 22:02:14

She is currently using annual leave to work these hours: is this preventing others from booking annual leave. Is there only a certain number of people allowed off on one day, and she is booking that? There is capacity planning to consider. Although the work is being done, who picks up the slack? If there is no slack, then she may be highlighting a problem of being over resourced. Local government budgets are being cut and so any temps cannot be considered as ongoing resource, especially this close to the end of the financial year. The dept head will probably already have a draft budget for next year, including headcount. If they agree to reduce hours now, they will lose the balance of those hours in the new FY. I.e. Dept has. 100 FTE, next years budget is 95 FTE. Flex agreement made to reduce 1 FTE to 0.6 FTE = new budget of 94.6 FTE. Now allow for maybe 5 others also requesting flex working at any one time (per 100) and that is a massive headcount reduction, on top of the loss of temps. I'm not sure your friend has much chance here.

Also, Agile working is about where you work, flex working is about the hours you work.

The best business case you could come up with is to find someone else in the dept who also wants to reduce hours, so that your 2 FTE come down to 1 or 1.1. Then the dept manager can agree with the proviso that they can recruit a backfill for the lost 1FTE. They could probably persuade HR to allow them to go over by 0.1.

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 28-Dec-16 20:05:54

You could argue that it's cheaper and more productive to retain an existing member of staff than to recruit a new one (who wouldn't be 100% productive until training is complete ).

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