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Flexible working agreed but with a very big BUT...

(13 Posts)
ipodtherforipoor Fri 03-Jul-09 18:55:38

Boss has agreed annualised hours which will allow me to work shorter days in termtime to do pick up and drop off, and then do full time in holidays when I have holiday club to cover.

SHe sent me the offer to agree to but it includes a restriction on me taking annual leave in school holiday time. - ie I am not allowed to take any then! This was not mentioned in the preliminary discussions so has come as quite a shock!

I already have limited annual leave because I needed to use some of my hours annual leave to cover the reduced hours I work in term time.

I know she doesn't want all the mums disapearing off for the summer - but can she restrict me to when I can take my holiday?

I'm not going to be able to spend any of the holiday times with DS - and I automatically will have to work Christmas and new year!

Tinker Fri 03-Jul-09 19:02:29

Where do you work - what size organisation? Are any others restricted in this way? What about fathers? Don't know about legally but I guess the "needs of the business" argument comes first but when else would parents need to take their leave? hmm

ipodtherforipoor Fri 03-Jul-09 19:14:29

I work in a city council department.

No one else is restricted. There are a number of mothers of teenagers who only work termtime only which has a massive impact on workload management - but thats why I asked to do annualised hours because I knew there is no way I would get approval for term-time only - plus the drop in pay is not attractive!

There is a married male with no children whose wife teaches and he can only take holiday in theschool holidays!

humph - I wouldnt mind if she said i can only have 1 week in the summer - but an outright ban has got my back up!

flowerybeanbag Fri 03-Jul-09 19:17:20

In theory an employer can dictate when all holidays are taken, and/or impose all sorts of rules about when they are taken.

However if they are doing this just for you, that doesn't sound fair. It's not even as if it's directly related to the hours you are doing. What I mean is it would almost be more understandable to say you can't take it during term time because you are already in work less then anyway.

During holiday time, you are already working more hours than during term time, so restricting you from taking holiday will mean you are there even less during the times you are already working shorter hours.

What restrictions are in place more generally and on other people individually if any?

Tinker Fri 03-Jul-09 19:18:44

Oh, I think you need to discuss this further with her/HR/union. I work term-time only in a govt dept and I do know that some applicants are now being turned down for it But to have an outright ban on term-time leave seems unreasonable. Presume you only get 6 weeks anyway so not as if you can cover the lot?

wonderingwondering Fri 03-Jul-09 19:20:40

A blanket ban appears to be unreasonable to me. Holiday has to be agreed, but agreement can't be unreasonably withheld. So it should be a case-by-case decision. On that basis I would say it is unfair.

To focus on school holidays would appear to me to be targeted at parents (or to have a disproportionately significant impact on them). So it may be discriminatory.

I understand you don't want to go in all guns blazing, but I'd suggest you explain that her suggestion is simply unworkable, and while you understand the need for business cover, you would like a case-by-case approach to your leave requests. And it is difficult for you to return to work on that basis. If she has any nouse she'll see the 'constructive dismissal/sex discrimination' implications and be more reasonable.

If not - do you have a union? Are you in the public or private sector? You may be able to get some back-up - even a chat with the CAB might help, or a local law centre may be able to help, free of charge, with employment law issues.

flowerybeanbag Fri 03-Jul-09 19:21:05

x-posts. Well I guess if there are already lots of people absent during school holidays because of term time working then there is a sort of logic, but there is no logic that I can see in imposing this ban on you, and no logic in doing it as you are adjusting your own hours, as by doing so you are not further reducing capacity during school holidays time.

Sounds as though she struggles a bit during school holiday time and is seeing this flexible working request as a chance to reduce that by 'bargaining'.

When you say the male 'can only' take holiday in the school holidays, do you mean that's the only time he wants to take holiday, or he is only allowed to take it then?

Doesn't sound either fair or reasonable to me.

choufleur Fri 03-Jul-09 19:23:27

Are you in a union? if not i'd join one and request another meeting with your manager and take the rep with you.

wonderingwondering Fri 03-Jul-09 19:24:30

Just seen you are in local gov't. You should have a union, might be worth investing in the subs for a few months!! They are usually pretty clued up on employment/discrimination issues.

choufleur Fri 03-Jul-09 19:24:39

have you tried speaking to your HR officer about this?

ipodtherforipoor Fri 03-Jul-09 19:30:26

will be seeing union rep monday.

The male I mentioned prefers to take leave in school holidays as his wife teaches.

At best I'd only want a week in the long holiday anyway - its he blanket ban which is getting to me more than being restricted - its already a first come first served thing anyway so if there isn't enough cover in the week you want off, then you cant take that week as leave.

Arghh, Its a nightmare as a single mum to sort starting school anyway what will all the half day weeks they do - most of my leave is already gone anyway!

flowerybeanbag Fri 03-Jul-09 19:32:51

If it wasn't discussed in the meeting I reckon your manager has just chucked it in as an afterthought thinking 'ooh actually, this could be a handy opportunity to solve my school holiday cover problems in one fell swoop'. I don't think she's either checked it with anyone or thought it through properly.

As she is trying to impose something that has not yet been discussed, I would suggest you say you are not comfortable with the new terms she is adding and would like an additional meeting to discuss it, bringing your union rep if you have one or a colleague, as per the flexible working policy I expect you have.

ipodtherforipoor Fri 03-Jul-09 19:49:56

you over estimate my council and its HR department! - not very active to say the least!

I couldnt get them to gove me any assistance in actually working out the annualised hours proposal in the first place - and a collegue was told to work out her own Mat leave entitlement!

I'm an OT so I have unison cover as part of professional registration.

Thabks for all the advice! Will update next week!

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