My original request for flexible hours was refused; I am contracted 15 hours over two days, which always worked out as a Saturday plus a late shift during the week 2-10, or two lates during a weekday if I didn't work the weekend. I asked to split my weekday shift into 6-10 twice a week plus my Saturday, or three weekday shifts 5-10 if I didn't work a Saturday. They refused due to costs and because they said that, with the exception of Sundays, it is not possible for them to assign set days/shifts due to the nature of the business. I appealed, for two reasons; my colleague works a Sunday shift, and though she doesn't have set days she works apart from this, she attends uni on a Tuesday and Thursday so cannot work these days. The other reason was that they had gotten something wrong on the refusal letter as I hadn't asked to split my shift on a Saturday, but they had taken this into consideration and used this as a reason to refuse. During my appeal meeting, I was then told that no day of the week was allowed to be assigned as a 'set day' and that, though my colleague may be working a Sunday, she should not have it as ''her' shift. I offered them alternatives to account for the reason of costs; they had assumed I was asking for set weekdays, but I told them any weekday is fine, it was just the time I was asking to change. They said that if they were unable to cover the shift 9-6, me not being in until 6pm would affect the business, so I offered that if this did happen (historically it never has, as everyone prefers to work the day shifts, it has always been the late shifts which have been a problem to cover), I would pull some strings and make one-off arrangements to enable me to work 2-10 instead. I also assured them that I wasn't asking to split my Saturday shift, I would work any shift as assigned on this day. I then also offered that I might be able to continue to work 2-10 on a Thursday or Friday (my eldest son does not have preschool on these days) in order that this would provide more options for flexibility on my part. I also assured that during school holidays, I would be free to work any shift required (as I wouldn't need to pick my daughter up from school, or son from preschool). I promised that I would still make myself available for overtime, as I always have done, and to cover staff holiday.
My appeal was refused, for the same 'repeated' reasons as on my previous letter. They said that my colleague does not have set shifts - which she does; every Sunday and though she may not work a set day during the week as part of her other hours, she cannot work Tuesday or Thursday as she is at uni! She stated that as my rota was worked out 4-6 weeks in advance, this should give me plenty of time to arrange childcare... I am quite annoyed about this comment, as my problem is not finding someone to look after them, it is getting my daughter picked up from school.
(She attends school 5 miles from where I live, which is the same area my son attends preschool Mon-Weds. My mother-in-law will have my kids, but she lives 25 miles from us, so is happy to have the kids at our house, but does not want to go back and forth to school with my other son - a baby, having to squeeze three kids into her two-door car, plus lug a pushchair around) I literally have no one that can collect her from school. I can get her into after school club, but that is going to mean my husband will have to catch a train from work straight to her school, then take her home on the train as I will need the car for work, and she is likely to end up going to bed later to accommodate this option. It would also mean that if I am rota'd to work a shift Mon-Weds, I would have to collect my son from preschool early, as he attends 9-3, in order to get him home to my MIL before I started work at 2. I realise I can no longer appeal any further as my 'appeal has been exhausted' but I still feel that they are being a bit one-sided in relation to the flexibility, as I have made every effort to resolve each of their reasons against with a viable solution. Plus they are not forcing my colleague to work a Tuesday or Thursday when she is at uni - it seems a little stilted!
What can I do now? I have to return to work as it could financially cripple us if not. Do I return 'under protest' or just go back as normal? I am also concerned that they are now going to insist that I have to work day times, even though I have always worked Saturdays or late shifts, as my contract only states 2 days/15 hours- can they do this when they verbally agreed my shift pattern on recruitment and I have been working that pattern since I started?
Discussion: 0 comments