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.
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?
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.
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.
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).
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?
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?