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Flexible working – can they change my hours back now my child is 6?

(5 Posts)
Frieda Mon 28-Feb-05 09:59:41

About 18 months ago (when ds started school) I negotiated a flexible working arrangement at work so that I would be able to drop ds off at school before going in to work. I work part time and this meant that I could do alternate long and short days to make up my hours. My new boss started about 6 months ago when I told her about my arrangement – she was a bit non-committal, but didn't ask me to to change my hours, so I continued to work this arrangement. She is now saying that she wants me to go back to working 9.30 to 5.30 – she hasn't explained why, but I'm assuming that it's because she doesn't trust me to make up my hours when she's not there. (I hasten to add, I'm very conscientious and I don't think she has any reason to suppose this). If I have to be in work for 9.30, it will mean rearranging my childcare, which will not only be more expensive, but much more hassle in the mornings and if I'm not able to pick ds up at the end of the school day, I like to at least be able to drop him off and have some contact with school.
She has given me the option of working through my lunch hour, which I don't feel is ideal. What I really want to find out is whether she has a right to take away my flexible working arrangement now ds is 6.

Empress Mon 28-Feb-05 21:36:20

Hi Frieda
DOn't know the answer, but guess it depends what kind of contract or agreement you had, was there anything in writing when you started your present arrangement? if so, the new manager can't override that, or at least not without HR involvement or general hassle. Why is the age 6 significant, btw? is the law different over that age? would be interested to hear more.

Frizbe Mon 28-Feb-05 21:40:07

The law isn't different over the age of 6, try this site link

Frieda Mon 28-Feb-05 22:40:22

Thanks for your replies. Actually, I rang maternity alliance helpline this afternoon, and I was told that even if I didn't have my new arrangement in writing, it still constituted a change to my contract and my new boss couldn't simply tell me to change back.
Empress – the new regulations about the right to request flexible working only apply to parents with a child under 6 (or a child of any age with a disability) at the moment. It seems that means although you don't have an automatic right to ask for a change to your working hours to fit in with your childcare, and for that request to be properly considered and only turned down if there is good reason if your child is over 6, but if you have already negotiated flexible working, they can't take it away from you once your child is over 6. Does that make sense? (I should add that I'm obviously not a lawyer, and this is just my understanding of it). There's lots of stuff about flexible working and your employment rights on the maternity alliance website.

nightowl Mon 28-Feb-05 23:06:11

i was told a similiar thing by acas frieda. (its been a long time now, before the flexible working thing). when i had ds (7 1/2 now) my employers wanted to me to come back from mat leave and start at 8am instead of 9am. longer hours that i just couldnt do. i got the impression that they were deliberatly trying to make things difficult for me and i was worried as i had no written contract at all. acas told me they couldnt change my hours like that without my agreement so i refused.

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