Employer dragging heels after flexible work request

(5 Posts)
Justabitcheesedoff Tue 09-Apr-19 17:59:32

Will try my best not to out myself so sorry if I seem a bit vague. Really hoping there's someone out there with some knowledge on this as starting to feel really down about it...

Have worked full time in the private sector until my I had my first child. I'm still on maternity leave - took the full year and am due to return at the start of May this year. I told my manager in November last year that I was hoping to return to work after mat leave part time in formal meeting, in an attempt to be as helpful as I could be (maybe naïve in hindsight...). She said I need to put it into writing, no problem. I do that and send it back in December.

Then a month later I get told I actually also need to fill in a form with a formal request for flexible working and am sent said form. No problem, I do that and send it back at the end of January.

Another month goes by, I get a request for a conference call. Think I'll get a final answer to my request. Conference call is basically my manager asking "are you sure you don't want to come back full time?" to which I respond (trying not to be irritated) that I would ideally want to arrange part time hours. She says my role can't possibly be a part time one and she'll see if she can put a case forward to something part time for me. I've chased since and no final answer, just promises to get back to me.

This has been over the course of 5 months now. My flexible working request form was sent back over two months ago. I now have 4 weeks until I'm supposed to be returning to work from mat leave and I have absolutely no idea what's going on and if I'm going to be able to come back part time.

Can anyone tell me from experience or knowledge of the subject whether there is a time limit to them making a decision on this that I can call them up on? I'm really starting to get quite upset about this and get the feeling that they're deliberately running the clock down. I have less than 4 weeks to go before I'm supposed to go back and I do need to know what's going on so I can confirm childcare arrangements etc

Sorry if this is a bit long-winded sad

OP’s posts: |
MynameisJune Tue 09-Apr-19 18:06:34

I think they have 3 months from the formal request, which would have been your form rather than your original email or whatever.

www.gov.uk/flexible-working/after-the-application

daisychain01 Tue 09-Apr-19 20:07:36

I would send your manager an email with a summary of the dates and duration involved so far over that 5 months.

Then state that, on x date, your manager committed to revert to you with their decision about your FW request, however you have not received that communication having waited for 2 months.

Highlight that your ability to arrange childcare is contingent on your employer making their decision known to you.

You trust that, given the timescales involved, and not having heard to the contrary, they support your request and once they have confirmed agreement you will make the necessary arrangements so you can return to work on xxx date following Mat Leave, as you are very much looking forward to continuing to contribute towards the team's and the organisation's ongoing success.

In other words, act as if approval has been granted, as this paints them into a corner after such a long delay (5 months in total is excessive), and don't mention what your manager said about your role being impossible to be part time. Get them to state that again, as it means they must put their cards on the table rather than obfuscating.

Can you express a provisional interest with your childcare provider, to at least get something organised awaiting their response?

ChicCroissant Tue 09-Apr-19 20:16:54

They have rejected the request informally though, the OP has been told that her job cannot be part-time.

I would ask them to confirm that in writing, as it may focus their minds a bit more and they should respond in writing. Do you know the business reasons behind the decision? Not every job can be done on a part-time basis so it's not always possible.

www.gov.uk/flexible-working/applying-for-flexible-working

www.gov.uk/flexible-working/after-the-application

daisychain01 Tue 09-Apr-19 21:51:35

OP stated "She says my role can't possibly be a part time one and she'll see if she can put a case forward to something part time for me

The manager said she would try to find an alternative as a part time role, but has failed to revert with an update. As it was 2 months ago, and they have not formalised their decision to the OPs written FW Request, it's still in-play and it's worth pushing the point, in case something is possible or the situation has changed (eg a job share is possible).

I don't think all is lost - yes it's possible the role doesn't lend itself to pt hours, but they are remiss in not bothering to provide a timely response to the request.

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