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?