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Can 'they' dictate the hours after mat leave

(13 Posts)
alkar Mon 27-Oct-08 15:53:25

I'm posting on behalf of a friend.

She wants to work mon and wed 8-4 as these are the only free days the nursery have. Her boss has said today that she can't do these days and all he is willing to offer her are full time hours 7-4 mon-fri or 7-4 thursday and friday one week then 7-4 sat and sun the week after.

Her DP works 7-7 monday to saturday so she has to get her DD to nursery herself. The nursery only opens at 7.30 so starting work at 7 is impossible. Also no nursery is going to accept a child every other week are they.

My question is can her boss do this???

madamy Mon 27-Oct-08 15:57:08

Unfortunately, yes he can. She is entitled to put a request in for flexible working, but it is only a request. If he can prove that the hours she wants would not work in her job, then it's up to him whether she can work those days.
Does her DH have any flexibility in his job? Hs she thought about alternative childcare eg childminder or a different nursery?

dinny Mon 27-Oct-08 15:59:59

Yes, they are within their rights to refuse this request if they provide a valid business reason for doing so

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 27-Oct-08 16:01:02

She only has the right to return to her old job and hours, not the right to pick her own hours to suit her needs.

She can request flexible working but they can trun it down if it doesnt meet business needs - can see why in this case as its a later start plus days apart she is after.

They are being flexible by offering her alternative part time hours.

alkar Mon 27-Oct-08 16:02:01

I thought there would be some flexibility in working hours if no childcare was available. Eg starting work at 7. I will mention childminders, I hadn't thought of that. The nusery her DD will be in is the same as my DS and its a good one so I dont think she'll want to change it.

dinny Mon 27-Oct-08 16:40:36

Alkar - childcare availability is not her employer's problem, it's whether or not it suits the needs of the business

flowerybeanbag Mon 27-Oct-08 18:58:05

It does sound as if her boss is being quite good by offering two different options. What childcare is/isn't available is not her employer's concern. He has an obligation to consider a request for flexible working and has to give decent business reasons to refuse it, but no more. By offering compromises/alternatives for her to consider he's actually being more than fair.

alkar Tue 28-Oct-08 07:23:52

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I have been really lucky in getting the hours I want. I thought companies had to be family friendly, there are some benefits to working for the NHS smile

RibenaBerry Tue 28-Oct-08 19:48:41

Companies do have to be family friendly - sort of. As others have said, they have to consider the request and they have to have decent business reasons to turn it down. What they don't have to do is agree a request if it doesn't meet their business needs. TBH, I think that that's fair enough. If an employee could totally dictate their hours, it could put an employer in a really difficult situation. As you said, sounds like you've been lucky (or been lucky enough to want something that your employer can accomadate- big employers like the NHS do generally have more scope for this kind of thing).

RuthT Tue 28-Oct-08 20:15:01

Just a thought.

If she is stuggling to get the nursery place at the moment can't she negotiate a phased return and explain that she will get the pattern he requests as soon as possible? Try talking to the nursery and seeing when she may be able to get extra days?

Could she do 7.30 to 4.30?

Just a quick clarification - Has she requested 2 days per week and his response is either full time or 2 days one week and 2 days another?

alkar Wed 29-Oct-08 09:39:37

At the moment the nursery is full on the other days and her boss has said she absolutely has to start at 7. Can't find any other childcare in the area that starts before 7.30. She asked for 2 days per week and was given either full time or thurs fri one week sat sun the next. I think she'll be lookig for another job. Does anyone know how long you have to work then you don't have to pay back SMP? Or are all companies different?

flowerybeanbag Wed 29-Oct-08 09:42:08

You never have to pay back SMP alkar, once you've qualified for it it's yours, even if you leave employment before or while you are receiving it.

If your friend's employer has paid her anything over and above SMP she might have to pay that back, or work for a period of time to avoid paying it back, often 3 months.

But if that's the case, her employer must have notified her beforehand.

RuthT Wed 29-Oct-08 19:42:07

Why does she need to start at 7am? Has he given her a good reason?

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