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Flexible Working request amended/denied

(12 Posts)
PinkTransit Mon 30-Dec-19 12:58:39

Hi - I'm hoping that someone can help with wording on my response to a flexible working request issue.
I requested a new working arrangement to allow me to work from home quite a lot of the time. I put a lot of time and thought into the request, and, as I thought, covered the issues that were bound to be discussed when this was reviewed.
My main contacts in the company are not UK based, and I have no direct customer contact.
I mostly work with Excel, producing KPIs, checking SLAs, and other number crunching stuff that I can actually do anywhere.
Further to that, working from home would mean much more communication with my line manager on what I'm working on, what timescales are expected etc - currently this is not in place, and they frequently have no idea of what I'm actually working on, whether it benefits the company/team etc, so a more formal approach would be beneficial.
They have turned down my request of a fortnightly working rotation and suggested a weekly working rotation, that really doesn't work for me.
That's fine, they have the right to deny my request, and/or amend it.
However, the reason they have given is that 'it would have a detrimental impact to performing the duties required'.

Do they have to give the reasons why it's detrimental? Or can they just say no without specifics?

Ideally, I'd like to go back to management, and ask why it's detrimental, but without sounding petulant, and as if I'm just cross that I'm not getting my own way.

Any suggested wording that I could use?

According to the gov.uk website, which redirects me to Acas, the reasons for declining are:
the burden of additional costs
an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
an inability to recruit additional staff
a detrimental impact on quality
a detrimental impact on performance
a detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work
a planned structural change to your business

Thanks in advance
Pink

OP’s posts: |
CFlemingSmith Mon 30-Dec-19 13:00:13

Do you know anybody else working flexible hours like the ones you have requested?

Doyoumind Mon 30-Dec-19 13:01:41

Perhaps they feel a two week schedule would be too confusing and people would have trouble knowing where you were when. Can you not propose a weekly solution that does work for you?

confusedandemployed Mon 30-Dec-19 13:14:01

They do need to explain why they have denied your request and you have the right of appeal. Make sure you submit your appeal in time, think about your grounds and go from there.

cabbageking Mon 30-Dec-19 21:26:20

Ask them for the specifies. You can't overcome or come to a compromise without the specifics. It may be something simple that you can work around and it may be something you are unaware of. They may have plans in hand, restructuring or other changes that have some bearing on your job. You need the details.

newbingepisodes Mon 30-Dec-19 21:37:32

I fought and fought for a flexible working request within one department in a work place - it was denied over and over and over again. I moved to a different department in the same company (doing the same job just a different field), and it was approved straight away.

pinktransit Mon 30-Dec-19 21:51:14

Thank you for the responses

I'll have a read up on the appeal process, although I'd rather try for a compromise deal that leaves both sides happy. (Eternal optimist I guess...)

We are a small team, about to be 5 people - 2 of us have specific and different roles to the other 3, and the other specific role team member was asked recently if working from home would help her out as she's moved and getting to work, dropping children off is quite a trek.
I can't see why wfh would be detrimental to the performance of either myself or the team, and in my initial application gave several reasons why it would work better than the current situation does. This hasn't been addressed, just 'detrimental impact'.

Any suggestions as to how I can word my response? Everything I'm coming up with sounds a bit 'wah wah, let me have my way, you're wrong'......

Ylvamoon Mon 30-Dec-19 22:03:25

I think the 2 week Rota is an issue, can't you change it to weekly!

Also are there any performance issues? Because if anything, this statement seems off: " working from home would mean much more communication with my line manager on what I'm working on, what timescales are expected etc - currently this is not in place, and they frequently have no idea of what I'm actually working on, whether it benefits the company/team etc, so a more formal approach would be beneficial. "

daisychain01 Tue 31-Dec-19 20:45:18

It isn't clear why you feel your manager would have more visibility of your activities if you are remote working. That bit wouldn't make sense to me as a manager. Remote working wouldn't fix that problem.

daisychain01 Tue 31-Dec-19 20:46:55

How many days per fortnight are you proposing to be in the office?

misspiggy19 Sat 04-Jan-20 16:15:35

*working from home would mean much more communication with my line manager on what I'm working on, what timescales are expected etc - currently this is not in place, and they frequently have no idea of what I'm actually working on, whether it benefits the company/team etc, so a more formal approach would be beneficial. "*

^That just sounds like a load of tosh to be honest.

daisychain01 Sat 04-Jan-20 19:19:52

@PinkTransit I hope you can return to this thread with some further clarification as it seems you've tried to create a business case for your FW request, but unfortunately in its current form it isn't sufficiently compelling. That isn't to say it couldn't be made stronger, hence the need for more information from you.

Do they have to give the reasons why it's detrimental? Or can they just say no without specifics?

Yes to your first question, a good employer who doesn't want to completely disenfranchise their employee (namely, you!) will want to give their reasons as to why they cannot support a FW request. Legally according to the Employment right to request FW,mthey are meant to give that info. In reality some employers are not good at it, and try to obfuscate or minimise their response.

If they are a super employer they would try to suggest a compromise eg Regrettably we cannot support you being out of the office for 8 days every fortnight, as we need you to attend xyz team meeting/abc customer engagement session etc, however we would be willing to support 2 days per week wfh, on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Ideally, I'd like to go back to management, and ask why it's detrimental, but without sounding petulant, and as if I'm just cross that I'm not getting my own way.
Any suggested wording that I could use?

- - - - Suggested wording - - - - -

Dear Manager,

Thank you for considering my FW request.

I would appreciate any insights you can give as to why you are unable to support my FW request in its current form, in particular the reasons why you believe it will be detrimental to my ability to do my job. These insights will enable me to provide you with reassurance in terms of specific actions and steps I commit to putting in place to mitigate against said concerns.

If your concern relates to the number of days per fortnight I have proposed as remote working days, I would be keen to explore whether you would be willing to consider an alternative number of days per fortnight.

I would be happy to set up a formal meeting to discuss this, which is often more effective than email.

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