Flexi working request rejected, anything I can do?

(48 Posts)
MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 17:09:22

Basically, I already have a flexi working agreement in place from when I went back to work after having DD. However, this now no longer works for me due to childcare arrangements falling through for one reason or another, and I am no longer able to fulfill my agreed hours at (very very) short notice.

I submitted a request which has been immediately refused on the basis that it’s too busy during the periods that I currently work and they can’t let me change, even though it would be to an equally busy period. For full disclosure, I work in a 24/7/365 organisation that is never not busy. I also fail to see how 1 person would have a detrimental effect on the ability of the department to meet demand. We don’t meet demand as it is.

It might also be worth noting that I’m asking to do a shift pattern that someone else has already had approved within the last 6 months.

There is also ongoing recruitment in my department until the end of the year.

I just don’t see why I should be penalised because they don’t have enough staff during the busiest times of the day, and don’t know where to go from here other than appeal and obviously that’s not guaranteed to be approved then either.

If they know that their refusal would lead to be having to resign (because I literally have no other option due to childcare) and they still refused my request and didn’t even try to negotiate/offer an alternative, could this be considered constructive dismissal? I’ve tried to research this but haven’t found anything current on this.

Any advice would me much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
BritInUS1 Wed 27-Jun-18 17:21:56

I think you are being unreasonable. You already have a flexible working arrangement and you are asking to change this at short notice.

Your child care arrangements are not your employers problem. You need to be available for the hours you agreed to work.

You say you don't see why your should be penalised because they don't have enough staff at the busiest times of day ! You are not being penalised, you have asked to change shifts and they have explained no, this doesn't work for them.

Also, what someone else has had approved has nothing to do with your request - each request will be looked at as it comes up and things may have changed since this was approved.

No you wouldn't have any grounds for constructive dismissal.

DragonMamma Wed 27-Jun-18 17:22:46

If they have considered and refused your request/didn’t offer you an alternative then of course you can’t claim constructive dismissal! They only have a duty to consider the request, subject to eligibility criteria.

The fact that they are recruiting will likely go against your case - it’s easy to say they are unable to meet customer demand in that case. Your argument that you currently don’t meet demand is a bit silly, I’m sure they are aware of that but don’t want to land themselves further backwards as a result of you changing your pattern.

Also, if somebody else has had their pattern approved, doesn’t automatically mean yours has to be. I’ve had plenty of scenarios whereby we have agreed that many flex working requests that it becomes neigh on impossible to agree anymore as 60% of the department is part time/on non standard patterns.

The best you can do is appeal and hopefully reach a compromise with them.

DragonMamma Wed 27-Jun-18 17:23:49

Cross post with Brit but it’s pretty much exactly the same advice!

AmIAWeed Wed 27-Jun-18 17:26:21

A flexible working arrangement needs to be mutually beneficial to both organisation and to staff member so they are well within their rights to refuse if they already have a shortage of staff.
The other bit to consider, you didn't mention when you last applied for your flexible working arrangement. We used to have a 12 month clause that you couldn't apply for a change within 12 months of having one accepted.
Read the policy, as long as they have complied i'm afraid your change in circumstances is not enough of a reason for you to claim constructive dismissal

WhoKnowsWhereTheW1neGoes Wed 27-Jun-18 17:28:05

Yes, your childcare is completely irrelevant as far as they are concerned. If they already have one person on that shift pattern they probably want you on a different one to even things out. Each case has to be looked at individually on business grounds but if they have followed the law and have a good business case for declining your request then they haven't done anything wrong. All you can hope for is that they really don't want to lose you and will compromise. Have you got any leeway at all?

MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 17:43:47

I know my childcare issues are not their problem, however if it means I have to leave my job, surely this will have a worse effect than if I just changed my shifts because they are losing an experienced employee full stop. I cannot be available for these hours anymore, obviously, which is the whole reason I’m requesting to change so I don’t see your point on that one??
My point was, that their explaination is a bit of a cop out and I don’t feel that they’re being reasonable or logical about it.
They’ve said it’s too busy at the times I currently work, when in fact we’re always horrendously busy no matter what time of the day it is. 1 person will not make a huge difference at any time of the day.
The business is very very unpredictable and they absolutely cannot forecast the demand as much as they like to suggest they can, past history proves they never get it right.
They’re also always asking for people to do overtime at the times I’m requesting to change to so they obviously need more staff at those times.
They’ve said they don’t have enough staff in the department but are actively recruiting so could easily fill my hours in no time (it’s actually quite desirable hours I work at the moment).
Things havent changed since the other staff members hours were approved either. She’s a bit of a teachers pet which is why I feel it was approved for her. This was also approved with the same amount of short notice as my application.
There are not many people who work flexi in my department so don’t feel that this effects my application.

OP’s posts: |
confusedandemployed Wed 27-Jun-18 17:46:29

When did you submit your first flexible working request?

NapQueen Wed 27-Jun-18 17:48:55

Instead of being professionally offended could you suggest to them that if they are able to successfully recruit someone who would work your shift pattern that they then revisit the request?

In the mean time what practically can you do about the childcare? Any option for using a babysitting service or a childminder? Is the kids dad around could he adjust his work?

MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 17:52:19

Over 12 months ago.

OP’s posts: |
MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 17:54:05

And I could work different day to the other member of staff, it would just be the same principle...like the shift pattern follows so many weeks, I could work opposite days but we’d work the same if you know what I mean?

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MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 17:56:37

I can not afford a childminder/nursery and my partner is changing his job which is the whole reason for this in the first place. He used to have 2-3 days off in the week. We have also been let down by family and my DM is only able to do 1 day a week. I have 1 day off in the week as it is so would need 3 days childcare.

OP’s posts: |
WhoKnowsWhereTheW1neGoes Wed 27-Jun-18 17:58:58

I still think all you can do is try and negotiate a compromise while you try and sort out alternative childcare. By all means make it clear that you will resign if they don't agree, but you have backed yourself into a corner if they still don't agree.

MoongazingMystic Wed 27-Jun-18 17:59:01

It really doesn’t matter what was approved for someon else. It may be a bit easier to look at if you try not to take this so personally. The business can not allow you to change one shift pattern for the other. Try and be grateful that you had the opportunity to work flexi to begin with and find a way to make it work now, if you want to.
Ultimately it’ll be a pain for them to recruit but they can get someone trained up who won’t be looking to work flexi (and then change because of whatever reason to a different pattern) and that will be much better for them in the long run so I wouldn’t press on that point too hard.

BaronessEllaSaturday Wed 27-Jun-18 17:59:28

Everything you have said about being busy and looking to recruit for your shift times but asking for overtime on the other supports the business position that it would be detrimental. You would be unlikely to win constructive dismissal unless you are leaving a lot of things out

ScienceIsTruth Wed 27-Jun-18 18:00:48

Did you explain why you wanted to change your hours?
It might help to let them know that due to circumstances beyond your control you're unable to get childcare for the hours you're currently working for the foreseeable future, hence the request to change.

Although as others have said your child care issues are not their concern, they're yours.

Foodylicious Wed 27-Jun-18 18:02:45

Hmm, when I was managing an area of 24hr/365 days etc if someone submitted a request and we could not meet or approve it there was an expectation that others flexi working requests be reviewed too.
Han you give HR a call and ask for a meeting (include your union rep) in which they will have to explain why they cannot specifically meet your request and what they could offer/accommodate.

I expect it varies from one area to another unfortunately.
Have you had chance to read your policy on flexible working requests?

MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 18:07:53

Of course I have explained why.

I don’t think it does support their side that it’s detrimental, I think it shows that no matter what hours I do the situation is going to be the same. Surely???

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MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 18:11:29

I’m not taking it personally or acting professionally offender, I just don’t think their explanation is based on anything other than computer says no. I don’t feel they have actually considered my application at all, just refused it instantly using any excuse they could.

OP’s posts: |
MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 18:12:54

They’re crying out for staff to do the shifts I am requesting to do, always, that’s why I am so frustrated!

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MommySharkDoDoDoDo Wed 27-Jun-18 18:15:12

And it won’t be a pain to recruit, they won’t have to go out of their way to fill my hours, they’re recruiting anyway, all they have to do is offer my hours to someone and they will bye their hand off I can 100% guarantee that!

Sorry for so many replies, easier that writing 1 big long reply!

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WhoKnowsWhereTheW1neGoes Wed 27-Jun-18 18:16:13

Does your DP have to change job? It seems a bit unfair that he changes job and therefore can't do childcare any more but you are the one going through all this and possibly having to give up yours.

Ginger1982 Wed 27-Jun-18 18:17:29

I take it that it's your family letting you down that has caused the issue rather than DH changing job? Might you be better cutting your losses and being a SAHM for awhile? Could you afford not to work?

confusedandemployed Wed 27-Jun-18 18:18:05

Ok if your original request was over 12 months ago you could appeal on the following grounds (I am making assumptions based on what you have written, you will need to refer to you FW policy to double check that my assumptions are correct:

- that they have failed to follow their own FW process.
- they have failed to provide, and justify, a legitimate business reason for refusing.

You will of course need to demonstrate either or both of these grounds and not having childcare is, as has already been stayed, not relevant. Your garments need to be business based.

Sorry on phone and I have to be brief.

confusedandemployed Wed 27-Jun-18 18:18:41

Arguments not garments 🙈

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