If you handed your notice in would they just let you go?
I had this when I went back after adoption leave. I had been working 4 days a week before the leave and I wanted to go back 3 days a week but I was refused. I didn't bother appealing, I just went back 4 days a week while I was job hunting. Once I found another job (also 4 days a week but closer to home) I handed in my notice and suddenly they were perfectly happy for me to work 3 days a week, one of them from home.
I think it wouldn't have worked if I had handed my notice in before going back, by going back and taking on some complicated and long-term projects for a couple of months I made it more awkward for them to lose me.
best reason to appeal is if they haven't followed the procedure properly. That's all a tribunal could enforce anyway. They have to give at least one of 8 reasons and explain how that reason applies, but it sounds as though they may have done that?
Reasons are -
Burden of additional costs Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand Inability to reorganise work among existing staff Inability to recruit additional staff Detrimental impact on quality Detrimental impact on performance Insufficiency of work during periods the employee proposes to work Planned structural changes
They must specify which reason applies and explain why it applies.
Bottom line is, even if they didn't follow the procedure, by appealing you would only force them to consider again following the procedure this time.
But by appealing it would give you a chance to address their concerns. How about a compromise? Think about offering a compromise and/or a trial period to make it easier for them to say yes and easier for you to prove it will work. Think carefully about what your proposed solution/s would be to the problems they've raised.
Thank you flowerybeanbag, that really helps me think about appealling. They've followed the procedure to the letter and have mentioned several of those 8 criteria listed so I don't think I have a chance. TBH I was in 2 minds to go back anyway!