I've been on maternity leave for 10 months now and am due to go back in a month's time. I asked for a 3-day block working week in mid April, then 6 weeks later I was told that I would have a 48-hour response time to queries from the business so I may have to do some work on the other two days (perhaps 30 minutes was suggested). I offered 3 1/2 days. Then I didn't get a response for one month. I've since been offered four days, and a change to my job description. I appealed four days in the office and said that I would like one to be working from home as the company has a working from home policy. I even have a password key to access all files and emails online through Citrix, and it's always been acceptable in the past. I'v been told that this is no longer acceptable and I will have to work in the office as we are a customer-facing organisation. However, most of my stakeholders are at different locations so all contact would be by email and phone. I suppose my question is is this indirect sex discrimination? They have a working from home policy, but are now saying it's not allowed.
I need some advice around the following issue. I work for a local authority. I applied for homeworking under the permitted policy some 4 years ago. This was agreed that I could work from home 2 days a week, normally fixed but flexible both ways around meeting requests and other work commitments. They set me up with connections at home so I can access all the systems, have email and my office extension diverts home so just like being in the office.
I had a baby in 2009 and returned to my post early in 2010 where this agreement continued. I have either worked one day at home and taken a days leave so I can spend time with my child or worked 2 days at home if work loads have required me to do so.
Although I followed the correct procedure at the time, the then boss failed to follow this up in writing and did not issue me with a homeworking contract which does say is required under the Policy.
As far as I’m aware there have never been any issues with my homeworking and I have two different line managers and there has changes of staff in my immediate team.
However, a few months a go the overall boss warned me and a couple of others that they were looking to review homeworking. At the time I got very upset and told the boss that I rely on my working arrangement to juggle childcare and working full time. The boss was quite caring and said they’d try to help me out.
We heard nothing and then and few weeks ago we were told in a meeting that they are stopping homeworking and removing the facilities we currently have.
Their reasons being that it no longer fits business needs following a wider team restructure. There are now less staff (although actually more in my immediate office with 2 people on higher grades), that it is preventing sharing common working practices, supervision of newer member of the team (I do not have any direct supervision responsibilities), and that it is not fair that we have the facilities when other people are asking for it.
They are saying we can still do home working ad hoc dependant on business needs or if we have any meetings go and work in the nearest area office but they do not want people have a fixed number of days at home.
This is no good for me as I have set up my child care around my current working arrangements and there are no local offices I attend where I could work instead.
I did argue my case but they were unwilling to listen. They were not very caring and said my reasons are no more special than anyone else who might want this arrangement.
They have not yet followed anything up in writing but again the policy states 30 days notice in writing is required. Nor have they had every team member in the office in who has the facility to work from home. This is supposed to come into effect in the next few weeks.
Please can you advise what can I do?
I am currently in a home-based role with 3/4 days per week working from my home/office. My request was to "work 5 days" per week as per normal but with Monday & Friday afternoon's unpaid so I can spend time with my child. I also indicated that on Monday & Friday mornings there is a chance my child will be in the home, but I will still be working (e-mails / phone calls etc). They have rejected the application on 3 major points: 1.) Role Capacity: They have confirmed that the current role "demands a high degree of flexibility and often additonal hours over and above the norm". they therefore have concerns about my ability to continue in this role on signifanctly reduced hours (4.5 hours over a week!). Are they correct to admit that this role involves so many extra working hours as effectively I am only requesting to drop 4.5 hours per week?2.) Customer Demands: They stated that the role demands I respond to customer requests immediately (telephone /e-mail) & my reduced hours will affect this ability. The only issue here is that I have committed to keep my phone with me & answer calls (even in my unpaid period) & thus I will be available to answer/return calls as & when required and I cannot see how this would differ to any other employee who works full time hours & maybe commutes in London. 3.) They are not happy about me admitting that my child will be at my home/office for some of the time I am working at home. I know of a few colleagues who have these arrangements already in place (be it formally or informally). Do I mention these examples? Although I know little about legal rights in employment, I feel there may be some holes in my employer's response as per above & Do you think I have much grounds for appeal?
I'm due to go back to work in two weeks for an online business. Before I left on maternity leave, I had an agreement in place with my boss and HR on the hours of my return which included afternoons working from home. I now have a new boss who wants to revoke this agreement, stating that the needs of the business has changed and I need to be in the office full time. I have met and discussed with him what this change is, but I'm not convinced it's enough to warrant this change. I'm at a senior level and always displayed high work ethic, so I'm concerned that he is trying to change this for other reasons and stating change of business needs as the excuse. Do I have any legal rights to stick to the agreed hours?
I returned from my second spell of maternity leave in July 2009 to a completely different role (and location) to the one prior to my maternity leave. Reluctantly I agreed to this and we agreed a flexible working arrangement. In November 2009 we changed the flexible working hours at my request as I did not feel the original one was working. My agreed hours are 17.5 hours over two days in the office. Additionally for the last six months I have been working half a day from home (I have it in writing that we have agreed this is only for six months). I'm now being asked (informally) to change my contract such that I work two standard days in the office plus a third day, the location of which is to be agreed with the manager. I am unwilling to agree to this because I want to continue as is, that is 2.5 days in two days in the office. I'd be worried that at some point they could insist that my third day is worked in an office somewhere rather than from home. I have registered my initial dislike of the proposal. Separately, whilst the above is being resolved, I am being asked to extend the half day from home for another few months and whilst I don't mind doing this, I don't need too and I definitely do not want to do it if it will give my employers any increased chance of being able to change my contracted hours to three days. Please can you advise.