Prior to my maternity leave I was in a full-time permanent role, typically working 9 to 5.30 with an half hour for lunch, Monday to Friday. I have requested to return to work four days per week for nine hours, from 8.30 to 18.00 representing 90% of my previous working hours and pay. My employer has denied my request, they have approved a return to work for four days. However, they state that as I am on an ‘hours as required contract’ this will represent 80% of my time and pay, regardless of how many hours I am there. From the ACAS guideline it is unclear whether this is correct. I am also aware they approved a similar request about four years ago, but perhaps this is to long ago to set a precedent?
From what you have said, it is unclear whether you have submitted a formal request for flexible working. If you have not done so, I recommend that you follow this link and that you follow the application procedure in that link.
From the link, you will see that you employer has an obligation to consider your application and if your application is rejected, your employer should provide one of the statutory reasons set out.
As regards the variation to your working hours and the impact this appears to have on your salary, it is difficult to provide definitive advice on this issue without having sight of your Contract of Employment and confirmation of whether you have already been working the revised hours and if so, for how long? If you require further advice on this aspect of your submission, you should seek advice from a specialist Employment Solicitor.
As regards your question about appealing, the legislation does not provide an express right to appeal against an unfavourable decision made by your employer. However, the ACAS Code suggests that an employer should permit an employee to appeal. If you do wish to appeal I suggest that you advise your employer of this recommendation made by ACAS about appeals.