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Do I Need To Formalise My Flexible Working

(2 Posts)
burlmouse403 Mon 25-Mar-19 10:00:58

Hi All, I wanted a bit of advice please. I have been in my current role for about 18 months and things are going well. I work full time Monday to Friday with occasional travel in the UK and the odd night away. When I was offered the role I said I wanted to work a day a week from home but would be flexible with which day that was around the needs of the job as I have client meetings at least once a week and meetings in the office I like to attend face to face. This was agreed to. After about 6 months in the role my boss offered to increase it to two days a week from home as he thought it was working well and knew I had a young family and a long commute (from the South
Coast to London). Anyway, my boss has recently been promoted and there is now someone in between us (who reports to my old boss). My new boss is nice but is quite ‘old school’ and I know isn’t the biggest fan of working from home. My question is should I ask to formalise this arrangement in writing as my flexible working has only ever been agreed verbally and there is nothing written in my contract. I believe it becomes an implied contract after a certain amount of time but just worried about what my rights are if he was to seek to change things. Worth mentioning that I am the exception to the rule with regards to working from home, it is quite rare in my office and amongst my colleagues. HR promised me there was a culture of working from home when I accepted the job but that turned out to be untrue!

Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
maxelly Mon 25-Mar-19 11:30:30

I think it would be best to get something agreed in writing if you can.

Ultimately you can never say that a particular working pattern is completely set in stone as things can always be changed even if you have it written into your contract. And technically a verbal agreement is just as binding as a written one so if the agreement with your old boss was always intended to be a permanent one then you're already protected. There isn't a set period of time where you have to wait for something to become an implied term, from the time when you started working in that way and he agreed/didn't object it was already an implied term.

However the difficulty with verbal agreements is that people can walk away from the same conversation with different interpretations of what was agreed, or people can forget/sub consciously change their memory of what was discussed over time. Plus of course it does leave the door open to dishonesty or dis-ingenuity as well if there's no record of the conversation and it comes down to one word/memory against the other.

In your case I think it would be helpful if you can get your old boss to confirm in writing (just in an email would be fine) that your working pattern was agreed to be xx as a permanent arrangement, providing of course that you think he'd be happy to do that for you. It is possible that by asking him to do this you'd be opening a can of worms (what if he says that he always thought it was a temporary arrangement or denies ever having agreed it for instance?) so in some ways providing your new boss isn't asking you to do anything different you could just let sleeping dogs lie, so really I guess it's your judgement knowing the people involved?

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