when I went back to work after maternity leave I worked four days instead of five which was great. I then decided when ds was about 2 1/2 to go back full time - five days a week and have done so since. Ds now 5 1/2 has special educational needs. My employers recently reduced everyones hours so that everyone worked a four day week and I am loving it. It is only a temporary measure they say but I am enjoying my extra day away from work. Can they force me by law to go back to working five days?
It depends what the agreement was when everyone's hours were reduced in the first place.
But if it was a cost saving measure, which I assume it was, is there any reason to think they wouldn't be happy to make your personal arrangement permanent?
Alternatively you can put in a flexible working request to keep your temporary hours as a permanent change. You would be in a good position to do this as you would presumably be able to demonstrate how well the arrangement works.