Changes to working pattern

(8 Posts)
Loopzy Mon 10-Feb-20 22:05:27

I work 18.5 hours per week over 5 days. Originally, I did 2.5 days when my children were at nursery, but when they started school, my manager was ok with me working the hours over 5 days, so I could drop them off and pick up. The plan was always to go back to 2.5 days, but while my children were still school age, I was diagnosed with MS. I have continued to do my hours over 5 days, as I find the long days very tiring. The problem is my manager left recently and my new manager wants me to go back to 2.5 days, but not the days on my contract. Is there anything I can do, as this was an informal arrangement? Can I be asked to work different days to my contract and what happens if I don’t agree to it? Do they need to give me notice? Can I ask to do my hours over 5 days as a reasonable adjustment? I’m not sure if I have any rights and very upset about it all and worried I will have to leave. Any advice would be welcome, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Tue 11-Feb-20 07:30:37

How long have you been doing the 5 days? Is there any documentation anywhere confirming that it is a temporary variation and your hours will revert to 2.5 days?

Loopzy Tue 11-Feb-20 07:44:49

I have been doing the hours for nearly 9 years, but I don't have any documentation.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Tue 11-Feb-20 19:31:30

Ok in that case those are now your permanent terms and conditions, as established by what is called “custom and practice”- if something has consistently been the case for a significant period of time it ‘becomes’ contractual even if the written contract says something else.

Loopzy Tue 11-Feb-20 22:16:45

Thanks @flowery.

As this working pattern has become contractual, do I have any rights regarding my MS, if my manager is insistent that I change to 2.5 days? I don't think she is going to give in so easily and has been quite intimidating in meetings, but I have tried to stand my ground so far. However, I have noticed the stress is already affecting my health, so I'm keen to get this resolved.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Wed 12-Feb-20 14:28:30

Yes, the fact you have MS does put you in a stronger position.

The starting point is that in order to change your terms and conditions of employment, your employer needs your consent. If you do not consent, there are ways of forcing it through but they would need to consult with you properly about the change, including the impact on your disability, and would need excellent business reasons to force it through.

At the moment just hold the line that your consent is needed to change your terms and conditions and you cannot agree to the proposed change, as your disability means you could not work the proposed hours.

They would have to be very very sure that it was absolutely business critical to change your hours in order to feel confident enough to dismiss someone who can't change to those hours because of a disability.

Loopzy Thu 13-Feb-20 13:12:05

Thank you so much for replying @flowery, I feel better knowing that. I have contacted HR today and they are going to refer me to OH, but I'm not sure why. I should have asked really! Just hope I can get this resolved soon. Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Fri 14-Feb-20 18:04:09

OH will be able to advise them to what extent your current working hours are necessary to enable you to manage your condition, so I would see that as a positive.

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