Flexible working - Had my trial period and they have declined - help!(11 Posts)
I returned to work three and a half months ago working four days a week [one from home] I had my trial period meeting today with my boss and HR and while she has no problem with my work she has declined my flexible working hours, told me I cannot put another request in for 12 months, and said that I either work five days a week [which isn't finacially or emotionally viable] or I lose my job. Is there anything I can do?
as far as I recall, your employer has to give sound business reasons for turning down a flexible work request. What reasons have they given you?
They basically said the job is five days a week and because there are now only two in our department and she has tried to accomodate it for the business to operate I need to be there five days.
I asked if I could put in a request to do a job share three days a week and I got a prompt 'no' they only had to consider one request.
The reason that there are so few people in my department is they made the other two redundant and they won their unfair dismissal / bullying cases after proving their positions weren't redundant [and got massive pay offs] but we still have to do the work of four.
It seems legally she can get away with it, but feel I am being put in an impossible position.
I think you can appeal. Have you looked at these web pages:
It looks to me like your employer has not provided business grounds for refusing, have a look at this link:
Are there any other options you can consider like five short days, or working from home two days out of five? If they did not have a problem with you working from home on one day it may be difficult to refuse this.
Thank you so much for those links they're really helpful.
The problem I have is I was doing four days a week with one day from home. My boss thinks none of this is working, even though she didn't say that during the trial. I've asked if I could do a job share [an option I'm surprised she didn't suggest in the first place as she must have known then it was a five day a week job].
Now I am being told I cannot apply for a change of my working hours again [like ask for a job share] it's five days or nothing. It feels like she is trying to force me out and if I don't leave it will be hell, but I can't afford to quit.
Make a formal appeal, asking her to explain in what way the business is affected by your not being there (and asking for firm examples of what issues came up durign the trial period).
Do you agree that there are problems when you are not there, or that a reasonable person would say that problems are occurring? If you genuinely think she is talking rubbish and that the business can accommodate your flexi request then by all means pursue it with HR. They may have stood firm with the unfair dismissals because the fines in an ET are limited, but for sex discrimination (which is what it would be if an ET agreed that there were no business reasons for declining your flexi request), the stakes are higher for them so that might give them food for thought, especially as they already have 'previous' for not treating their staff well.
One thing that may count against you however is the fact that the dept now runs with much fewer people - that could give them support in their claim that they therefore need full time staff. I am not sure I understand the comment you made about the other two jobs not really being redundant though - if they haven't replaced the staff and don't intend to, then that is redundancy (perhaps your colleagues won their cases because proper process wasn't followed, or unfair selection occurred?)...
By the way, the job-share should form part of your appeal - you should state in the appeal that your boss hasn't considered alternative ways to accommodate your flexible working request, such as job-sharing.
I suggest you call Working Families, 0800 013 firstname.lastname@example.org as it sounds like you need detailed one to one advice.
In brief you can appeal, but you could also make a grievance complaining of indirect sex discrimination. But I suggest you talk your tactics through with an adviser.
and by the way before the right to request flexible working came in parents made flexible workign request. You CAN make another request before 12 months is up, but not under the procedure. What this means in practice is that your employer does not have to follow the decision making timetable etc... BUT, they would be very foolish not to consider your request properly as failure to do so/refusal of any such request could found a sex discrim claim.
Thank you all so much for both your advice and kind comments. My head is all over the place still, but I am in touch with my union and they seem to be being really helpful. Please feel free to give any more tips or advice you may have an I'll keep you updated with what is happening - I'm sure I'll have lots of more questions soon! Thank you. Kx
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