Advice & Support

Flexible working turned down: ask the expert

Flexible working turned down: ask the expert

I have been working for my company for over 6 years now and I was on maternity leave from June 2013-June 2014. When I did my back to work meeting with my line manager I told him that I would have to go back to university in October which he made not of. I went on to tell him that once I knew my timetable for university I would let the company know. I began work middle June 2014 and on last week July to first week August 2014 I was ill and was diagnosed with having vertigo, something I had never heard of before. I was advised by my doctor to take 2 weeks off in which she write me a sick note. I was told that I would not be paid sick pay even though I had carried out the necessary steps when calling in sick according to the company handbook. I was then told by my line manager that the branch I worked it no longer paid sick pay, that all they do pay is SSP, which I am not entitled to as my earnings for the week are not enough to receive SSP. I reminded them about my university course and filled out relevant documentation for flexible working, but they said they didn't receove it. I refiled it and they said it would take 28 days. I was extremely upset. I was then told I could only have shifts that do not work with childcare. I was advised to move branch or find a nanny to look after my daughter until 10pm or to reduce my hours to eight which I cannot financially afford. What can I do?

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Flexible working turned down due to restructure: ask the expert

Flexible working turned down due to restructure: ask the expert

I have just returned from maternity leave and my employer has rejected my flexible working application due to planned structural changes, stating that they are unable to agree any form of flexible working at this time due to the restructure. The restructure is currently very high level with new Directors being appointed and then other changes will filter down.  A major part of my role is to produce reports and while they are unable to tell me at the moment where my role will sit in the restructure it is imperative that these reports continue to be produced so I cannot see that my role can change a great deal. We have also been told that it is unlikely anybody's role will be changing and it was more likely that the only change we would see would be to our reporting Managers. They have said that we should have a better idea of the new structure for the team in the next few month. I have 14 days to appeal, but is there any way I am able to delay my appeal until I know categorically what is going to be happening with my role?  If not are they able to reject my appeal by saying they simply cannot consider any form of flexible working at this time?

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Told to do hours I cannot do for childcare reasons: ask the expert

Told to do hours I cannot do for childcare reasons: ask the expert

When I had my son in 2009 I had a flexible working agreement in place for when I returned back to work. Shortly after returning to work I was suspended. After six months off I returned to work although I had been demoted - even though what happened had nothing to do with me which was later proved and all charges were lifted and I was reinstated. However, since then I have never actually returned to my minuted post, but have been getting paid for it. I have had many other jobs within the company and also many roster changes which hasn't been good for my childcare. I have recently gone back after maternity leave with my daughter to be told I am to return to my minuted post which I haven't done for about four years and to hours which weren't in place when I left and I cannot do as they include 0400 starts and 2110 finishes which I can't get childcare for. I have been told as it is my minuted post it's that or nothing. They state they have no record of any flexible working and also it seems most of my files are missing from the HR department. I'm very upset as I have spent the past four years trying to get my job back with no luck the they give it me back knowing I can't do it. I have a letter to state I was to return to my post on those hours after being reinstated, but that never happened. I have been declined flexible working on the grounds that the needs of the business have changed since I last held that post. I have been told my job is not suitable for women with children and it's best if I find something else. I have worked there 12 years and I am not prepared to throw that away. This has caused me a great deal of stress and I am very confused and upset by the whole affair. I hope you can offer some adivce. 

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Flexible work request refused: ask the expert

Flexible work request refused: ask the expert

I have recently had my flexible work request rejected on the grounds of the inability to reorganise work amongst other staff, putting additional pressure on other members of staff and a detrimental impact on the business. I work in a managerial role, supporting a professional services company. Before I went on maternity leave, the team comprised two managers (of which I am one), a midweight and a junior role. In my absence, the midweight left and was replaced, in an office remote from me, with two very junior roles (only one of which is permanent). I was not informed or consulted. I have been given the right to appeal, but I strongly believe that the team changes have been made deliberately to put me in a position to fail. What shall I do? Do you have any advice? What should I do if it is again rejected?

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Can I suggest a trial period for flexible working?: ask the expert

Can I suggest a trial period for flexible working?: ask the expert

I am currently on maternity leave and I am appealing the decision to reject my flexible working application for the hours I want when I return to work. I now have two children. My eldest has special needs and we are going through the process of applying for DLA which I have been told we should get. I suggested different patterns of part-time hours (3- or 4-day week) or a couple of job share options.  All of which they say will not work. There is a responsive element of my role which they say needs someone there full time/real time, but this is covered by other team members when I am on leave/off sick. I also used my annual leave in the run up to maternity leave to have a 4-day week for nearly 3 months.  Nothing was said about any adverse impact this was having at the time. They say that for continuity reasons the job isn’t suited to part time or job share, but have provided no evidence just stated that continuity is an obvious and key principle of the role.  I suggested a trial period in my meeting, but this has not even been acknowledged in the rejection stating why it is not possible. Another reason for rejecting a job share is that there are elements to my role, the responsive part, which has a sporadic pattern and a development and support role which complements and fills up the rest of the time.  Their argument is it would be difficult to recruit and sustain a part-time member of staff.  There are two people from the team seconded to cover these parts of my role and one has expressed an interest in job share and would be able to develop skills for the support part of the role.  I learned that part of the role by doing it. I work for a University and staff in other departments seem to have no trouble working out flexible working arrangements. However, I work in a male-dominated department and as far as I'm aware no flexible working application has been approved in the last few years. Am I being unrealistic in asking for a trial period.  If they refuse again not to trial a working pattern do I have any further grounds after the appeal process?

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