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Flexible working request turned down

(6 Posts)
SeemsSoUnfairDoesntIt Tue 12-Jul-16 13:37:18

A friend is due to return to work shortly after having her first baby, she has requested to reduce her hours from 5 days a week to 3. They have turned down her request. I appreciate they dont have to reduce her hours, but I thought they had to have good reasons not to accommodate her request. Within her team there are two other employees who have returned to work after having children and reduced their hours from 5 to 3 days, they do exactly the same role as her. The company has recently taken on two new employees who do the equivalent of 5 days a week in 4 days, she offered to start earlier and finish later. There have been no issues with her work/conduct to date. They have given textbook reasons such as; it will have a detrimental impact on quality and it will create unacceptable difficulties as the business would be unable to recruit additional staff to cover the 2 days she's not in. They haven't had a problem covering whilst she's been off.

They treated her differently after she informed them of her pregnancy. After she was not put forward for some training that had been previously agreed she spoke to one of the management team about it, their response was to indicate towards her bump and say 'you've made your career choice'. My feeling is they think she will have another baby in the not too distant future.

Can they just simply get away with saying no? Can she do anything? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

CookieDoughKid Sat 16-Jul-16 22:21:34

Have friend call the Acas helpline (0300 123 1100) immediately. They will be able to provide next steps forward as well as appraise her situation from a qualified point of view.

YWurri Mon 18-Jul-16 12:51:40

I worked in the public sector when I had my first child. Asked to go p/t after my 12 months mat leave, and they rejected the application saying it was a full-time role.

I told them that I only wanted to work 3 days a week, so I'd hand in my resignation instead (this was true, as I didn't "need" the job per se) and they changed their minds! I worked 3 days a week for two years before going off on my second mat leave. I must admit my evil boss did tut, sigh and roll her eyes when I told her was pregnant 2nd time around angry.

Best of luck to your friend.

YWurri Mon 18-Jul-16 12:52:35

Oh, forgot to ask if she's in a union? If so, maybe she could contact them? Unison were fab with my during my subsequent bullying and mistreatment.

Figgygal Mon 18-Jul-16 12:58:09

In terms of what she can do she can appeal but she needs to look into whether they have policies in place which give a deadline for doing so. They can refuse as long as it is due to one of reasons they gave above looks crap to not make it more specific than just reel off the reasons from ACAS guidelines but they can do it. Unfortunately she can then only raise 1 request in 12 months so she should definitely look at the appeal option.

Dontyoulovecalpol Mon 18-Jul-16 13:01:11

She can appeal but they probably can't accommodate more people working part time and still get the work done- that's the reason I have turned down part time requests even though some people have been granted them. There is, sadly a bit of an element of first come first served

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