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I am coming to the end of my maternity leave and put in a request to my employer for flexible working. It was nothing out of the ordinary - 4 days a week (instead of 5) and I stated that I must leave on time every evening (5pm) to be able to get to nursery on time. My request was declined by my employer because they felt that given the seniority of the role, it could not be done in 4 days and they would require me to work late on a lot of occasions. Although disappointed, I had no choice to accept this and resign. The job was then immediately given to my maternity cover, who works far away from the office and leaves every day at 5pm, which slightly conflicts with one of the reasons they gave me. My main question is - are they entitled to immediately 'give' the role to the maternity cover without advertising it (internally or externally)? I know of other people who wanted to go for the role, but were not given the option? View full answer >

Answered by: Tracey Guest

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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? View full answer >

Answered by: Louise Taft

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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? View full answer >

Answered by: Rebecca Harmer

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