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Flexitime withdrawal legal question

(18 Posts)
totalcontrol Fri 10-Aug-18 13:09:24

I have been working for my employer, a big national company employing 1000s, about a year. 6 months intoi my employment I requested and was granted flexitime. We went through the companiy procedure which included a 6 week trial period and review meeting and my contract was updated (20 hours core and 10 floating).
Now a new line manager does not like the idea of nthis and wants me to give 2 weeks notice of when i am gong to work my floating hours.This is not possible for me because I requested flexitime because i am a carer to father who is disabled and I also have dependant children so it is not always predictable. I have been threatened with disciplinary action if i do not immediately comply.
The change to 2 weeks notice massively reduces the flexibility.I have exhausted the grievance process.Even though i haven't been there 2 years do i have a claim of indirect sex discrimination or disability discrimination by association?

Isleepinahedgefund Fri 10-Aug-18 14:41:55

I think the two weeks’ notice entirely removes the flexibility, nevertheless mind making things difficult!

I think your problem is that your employer does not have to offer you flexible working. You have the right to request it, they do not have to give it to you. They should give you adequate notice of changes to it though.

You are not being discriminated against. Lots (most I’d say) of people with dependents don’t get flexitime or flexible working. It’s not sex discrimination if only for the reason that it’s not only women who have children!

flowery Fri 10-Aug-18 15:50:18

"I think your problem is that your employer does not have to offer you flexible working. You have the right to request it, they do not have to give it to you."

They have already given it to her. The working pattern she requested is now her permanent terms and conditions.

Indirect sex discrimination happens when a general policy or practice is applied to everyone but disproportionately affects women. A blanket ban on flexible working or something would be indirect discrimination because although clearly it's not only women who have children hmm women are more likely to have caring responsibilities for children.

You can't be treated less favourably for requesting flexible working, such as being disciplined for wanting to stick to the hours agreed and refusing to agree a proposed change to your terms and conditions. The problem is you still don't have two years' service, which means they could technically just give you notice to terminate your employment and then reengage you on the terms they want. You'd then be relying on claiming discrimination as a remedy.

I would suggest writing back to your line manager, acknowledging their request to vary your terms and conditions of employment, and saying that you are not able to consent to their proposal to change your terms and conditions at this time as you have caring responsibilities including for a disabled family member, and therefore will be retaining your current terms and conditions.

Remain very polite and helpful where at all possible, but be clear that you are not giving consent to their proposed change to your terms and conditions. If you force them to either terminate your employment or actually discipline you to try and get what they want, they are more likely to back down. Obviously say things like you are concerned this could be construed as less favourable treatment because of your responsibilities for a disabled family member and for requesting flexible working, neither of which are lawful.

BritInUS1 Fri 10-Aug-18 15:52:47

You need to get professional help, try calling ACAS or speak to an employment lawyer

coffee88 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:05:45

Flowery I don't really care about losing/ quittin my job there tbh. I want to et another job (which I think I have) and then try to claim for discrimination

coffee88 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:06:56

I have nc by the way

daisychain01 Sat 11-Aug-18 17:26:07

Coffee, you would find it very difficult and expensive in legal fees to quit for a job elsewhere and then take them to ET. You'd have to stick around and prove you've exhausted all avenues, plus put forward your arguments formally as to why you maintain they are discriminating against you. This theoretically is meant to give them the opportunity to put the situation right. Which they probably would have to, if they felt you could prove discrimination.

If you're not planning to stay there anyway, it's a costly way of coming away with very little at the end of it. And could smack of a vexatious claim, and wasting court time, if you've already landed yourself new employment.

flowery Sat 11-Aug-18 20:40:05

”I want to et another job (which I think I have) and then try to claim for discrimination”

For what purpose? You don’t have a rock solid clear cut case, and if you’ve got a new job and are leaving, what benefit would there be to spend time money and stress pursuing a discrimination claim which certainly isn’t a sure thing?

If your aim would be to get some money out of them I think that’s unlikely. As soon as they know you’ve got another job, they have very little reason to offer you money to settle really, as your financial losses are low (if any).

What would you be seeking?

coffee88 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:29:42

Injury to feelings.

flowery Sun 12-Aug-18 06:53:22

Really? I can’t imagine for one minute you’d get enough injury to feelings compensation to make bringing this as a discrimination claim worthwhile. It will take months, be extremely stressful, cost you in legal fees and is by no means a straightforward rock solid case at all, therefore it might all be for nothing anyway. Surely if you’re leaving anyway it would be more sensible to move on rather than spend months on this?

whiteroseredrose Sun 12-Aug-18 07:36:14

What flowery said with bells on. You're taking the mickey!

coffee88 Sun 12-Aug-18 14:00:32

I am taking the mickey??? *They arethe one who completely onored the law on flexible workin and highhandedly withdrew it with zero notice threatening me if I did not comply!! It makes a complete mockery of flexible working leislation

I think they will settle purely on a commercial basis anyway.If not I am not going to pay out more than the £1k to bring the case.

coffee88 Sun 12-Aug-18 14:02:18


whiteroseredrose Sun 12-Aug-18 16:30:53

I said that you are taking the mickey because you are moving on. It is no longer an issue. You obviously coped full time for the first 6 months so it's not impossible for you. Your flexi working may have made things difficult business wise so they need to switch back. Doesn't suit you so you've got a different job. So that should be that. Instead you want a cash payout for hurt feelings ffs! It looks grasping to me. I don't like this litigation culture. Look to your new job.

ICouldBeSomebodyYouKnow Sun 12-Aug-18 21:07:32

I once went down the road of taking a former employer to an ET following a dodgy redundancy. I was astonished when I was advised by an employment solicitor that when calculating any entitlement, the ET would take into account the level of earnings in a new job. It didn't seem fair, but that's the system. (As it happens, I didn't have a new job.)

The ET didn't go ahead, as the company paid up on the eve of the ET. It still cost me £4K in legal fees, and that was back in 2000. The redundancy marked the end of my career in a key sector, and it was the most stressful 3 months of my life at that time. Going to an ET is not something to be undertaken lightly.

If you have a new job, put this experience behind you and look at your bright new future.

FlipnTwist Mon 13-Aug-18 23:29:05

why did you lose your career in that industry? did you not negotiate a reference and confidentiality about the case?

FlipnTwist Mon 13-Aug-18 23:32:35

Just googled nd the median payout in a sex discrimination case in 2016 was £13500.About 50% of this is typically injury to feelings.

ICouldBeSomebodyYouKnow Tue 14-Aug-18 19:51:18

why did you lose your career in that industry? did you not negotiate a reference and confidentiality about the case?

Was that to me? If so, here's my response.

It was a bit more complicated than that, I was trying to simplify.

My original contract stated that if I worked on obsolescent project X, the company would retrain me afterwards (I was in IT). The retraining was essential to keep me marketable. They didn't honour that, which is why my career tanked. I had to start again and go in a different direction, and it took me 10 years to get back to the same salary (in absolute, not relative, terms).

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