Having trouble with flexible work request: ask the expert

I currently work in the public sector and following the birth of my child I have taken Carer’s leave. I am due back in work in January and wish to change my hours when I return. I requested an early return and a change in hours via email in July and, after 5 weeks, I was told there was no job available, but I could return on my previous hours to a different job. The job I was offered involved a lot more work than my previous role and required me to be flexible in the days I would be required to work. As this was not possible due to nursery etc, I had to decline and revert to my original return date. On advice from ACAS, I submitted an official request to change my hours on my return under the statutory rights. After 29 days, I have still had no reply whatsoever other than the original acknowledgement. I feel like I am being totally ignored and am after some advice as to the next steps to take.

I assume by Carer’s leave you are referring to Maternity Leave and I will answer your question on this basis. By law, after 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave, you are entitled to return to the job you were employed in before you left, on the same terms and conditions as you have would have enjoyed had you not been absent.

Similarly, after additional maternity time (up to another 26 weeks), you are entitled to return to your previous role unless your employer has a very good reason for not being able to offer your previous job back, for example redundancy in which case they must offer you a suitable alternative job on similar terms and conditions which are no less favourable than you were on before. You are allowed, as you did, to change your mind and request an earlier start date, provided you gave your employer 8 weeks’ notice of this.

You have not said how much notice you gave your employer of wanting to return early, but in any event after 8 weeks you should have been able to return to your old job, or another job on the same or similar terms as discussed above. The fact that your employer offered you a significantly different role; more work and different hours would mean that (unless they could justify this decision) they were in breach of contract and you would have a claim for unfair dismissal, and possibly maternity discrimination as a result of being treated unfavourably on account of your maternity leave. If successful you would be able to recover compensation which should include lost earnings and injury to feelings. If you are able to establish maternity discrimination, the compensation is potentially uncapped.

If limited to unfair dismissal the compensatory award is £68,400. You explained that you then returned to your job at the original return date but wanted to change your hours. There is no automatic right to return after maternity leave on a part-time basis, or on terms preferable to you. However, as it appears you have done already, you can apply for flexible working to change the hours you work or the times that you work. Your employer is legally required to consider this request and must respond to you within 28 days. As you have not heard from your employer within this time, you have a claim against them under the flexible working legislation for compensation of up to 8 weeks pay. You may also have a claim for indirect sex discrimination.

If you are keen to keep your job, it may be an idea to alert your employer to the fact that you are contemplating issuing a claim unless they take some urgent action. Alternatively you may resign and claim constructive dismissal – this is, however, quite high risk since you need to establish that there was a fundamental breach, for example of trust and confidence between you and your employer, which forced you to resign. The resignation therefore operates like a dismissal. You will then need to submit your complaint to the Employment tribunal within 3 months of your leaving date. Alternatively, if you do not want to make a claim at this point you could initially raise a formal grievance regarding your concerns and see if this prompts a more favourable response. Having exhausted any internal process it would still be open to you to make a claim. If claiming constructive dismissal, however, you would need to resign promptly following any grievance not being upheld.

For more information on how to make a claim please look at the government website at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/ResolvingWorkplaceDisputes/Employmenttribunals/DG_176137

Comments [71]

  • Sophie says:

    Hi i just wondered if i could ask for some advice…. i have worked for a big company for 15 1/2 years and have recently had a baby! I left a full time assistant manager job and would like to return to the same role but part time, i have submitted a flexible working application requesting to job share with another member of staff! Apparently noone has come forward and therefore they have declined the application! However, digging a little deeper i have realised that the job hasn’t even been advertised on our internal job website, i am nit sure where i stand with this now? Does anyone have any advice please? Thank you!

  • anonymous says:

    Hi I submitted a flexible working application on the basis of what had been discussed and agreed previously in a meeting by my managers and a member of HR. Stating clearly that I didn’t want there to be any changes to my current terms and conditions, this was noted in the minutes of the meeting and agreed by all.

    I was told informally a few days later, quite simply “you’ll work more weekends, and at a flat rate (not on the overtime rate) and also the work during the week will be issued differently, and I’d be at the back of the queue if I continued with my application. I felt like I was being penalised for asking for flexible working.

    I believe my company should have followed their Flexible Working Request Policy by way of receiving a written reply outlining my managers intentions of how they would facilitate my application, and feel that my managers approach was unfair underhanded and somewhat threatening.

    I have raised a grievance and been told by my company that the application was handled correctly by my management and there is nothing to answer for. My question is are they able to do this, would I be able to pursue this further through an industrial tribunal successfully.

    Thanks for your help.

  • SJ says:


    I’m wondering if I could get some advice. I recently started a job thats fairly intense. When it’s busy, its busy and when its quiet there is nothing on at all. I was commuting to this job (1 hour and a half) and it was costing me £300 a month. It got to the point that when it was quiet I was going into work and doing absolutely nothing or being given really ridiculous jobs (one was to read the printer manual…) and coming home, which was making me feel extremely anxious (I already have anxiety and attend a private therapist because of this). As my role is completely computer based, and I have all the requirements to work from home, I approached my boss to suggest this on a freelance basis, I’m booked when I’m needed and otherwise I am free to partake in other work. He agreed he would trial working from home, but under my normal contract and he would speak to HR. This began and although my boss hadn’t asked, I tracked all my work and made all my own schedules, which he didn’t even sign off or respond to. It’s like he doesn’t even care. I continued working like this (4 months now) and overseeing the role myself, and just going in 2 days a week, of which I wasn’t given a lot of work and had to seek the work myself. I still send him my schedule every week and he doesn’t reply.’ However, using it to his advantage, my boss would email me out of hours requesting work, or asking ‘Wheres this?!?’ even though I hadn’t been assigned a task. Recently, he keeps asking me to come in to do a job that has nothing to do with my contract. He says ‘If your not busy you can do this!’ The past few weeks he keeps requesting I come in and do this role, despite it not being my job. I feel like I’m being blackmailed and I have no choice but to travel in, despite this. Also, I have been using my personal computer and equipment for this role, and I’m having to pay for personal licenses so I can connect to the office servers etc. All of which were out of my own pocket. If I bring it up to him, he simply says ‘well come in then…’ and it feels like it doesn’t offer a solution. I really don’t know what to do anymore, I feel like I’m managing my own role and it doesn’t help my anxiety not knowing where I stand.

    • Mandy Garner

      Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Sophie,
      You could put in a flexible working application to get your working from home pattern formally agreed. If you have been doing it with no problems up to now, it will be hard for them to object and as part of the negotiations you could ask about equipment or at least to be compensated for using your own. Also on the extra jobs, you could show him your job description and maybe try and negotiate over duties. You say you don’t have enough to do so would you be prepared to take on other duties which could help your manager and also help you to build skills?

  • Flexible working mum says:

    Hi. I am due to return to work following my maternity leave on the week commencing 9th May. I originally submitted my flexible working request in January. My manager handled this completely wrong which I soon realised was because he was leaving! I was then in contact with a lady in the payroll department who spoke to the hotel manager instead of my department manager. She said I would need to resubmit my application on the 1st March given them only 9 weeks to complete process. I expressed my concern with this but it wasn’t listened to. I then resubmitted as requested but took them weeks to reply get a meeting date sorted. I had my meeting on the 14th April. It has been 2 weeks tomorrow since the meeting which is company policy of when I must be informed of their decision. A day after my meeting they advertised for the other half of my position. I got a call today from my new manager who I had the meeting with and she said they are waiting to hold interviews for this. Even when I stated that it’s been 2 weeks and that I should have a decision she just repeated herself. It’s now 11 days till I should be returning. I am worried this won’t be dealt with in time. I have to make arrangements for childcare if it is and if there isn’t I need to find a new job. If this isn’t handled in the time I am due to return where do I stand and am I able to take this further and potentially claim loss of earnings if it goes past the date.

  • Steve says:

    Hi I’m a single dad and iv been in my job for a couple of years now my boss and I agreed on me doing 7 hour aday but over time iv felt pressured in to doing over time at the moment I’m just managing 2 and a half hours aday but my boss is threatening to sack me if I don’t do more but it’s impossible he’s had a right go at me infront of all the office staff rediculing and belittling me over my son iv had to take a couple of days off because of it as I’m suffering depression and I let him know this the othe week

  • Bally says:

    I am returning to work following maternity leave. I worked full time previously but am now finding this difficult with 2 children and childcare etc, I mentioned at work informally I may need to reduce my hours for a while as i am finding it very stressful juggling 2 children and a fulltime job. I was told informally that if I request to reduce my hours I would not be able to return back to my full time post in the future – Is this true? I thought that it would not risk my full time permanent role. I feel I am being disadvantaged, I want to return full time after about1-2 years max once and only want to reduce my hours by about 1 day a week. Could you confirm/advise – do i still have the right to return back to fulltime once my childcare needs and personal circumstances are better or do i risk losong a full time job permanently by asking to work reduced hours following maternity?

  • Catherine McCullagh says:

    Hi, I filled out a request for flexible working hours in february, we had a meeting to discuss things and they said they would get back to me within 2 weeks, its now been approximately 7 weeks since the meeting but they still haven’t replied to my request. In the meantime I have been working the exact hours that I requested so they have no reason to deny me the request but for some reason they are dragging their feet, management is changing, and I need to put pen to paper before a new manager tries to make me work my old shifts in my contract, what can I do?

  • Anonymous says:

    hi I have been working at a certain company for five years now but still earning 3000 and I have a family now to look after I did go to my boss last of last months and ask for an increase but he is still ignoring my request I dnt know why but now I decided to stay at home until he do something about it am I rong or right.

    Editor: You would have to provide more information. Did you agree to the pay terms when you started? On what basis is your boss justifying a lack of pay rise? Is this consistent with what other workers are being told? 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I have recently had to resign from my job of 3 years as they denied my flexible hours request. I am slightly annoyed as when I was on maternity leave, my portfolio was bought out by another company, so my existing company said stay with us and we'll find you a position (the same) when you return. I expressed at the time I would like to return part-time which they noted and said 99% of the time they are open to returning to work mums who request flexible hours (phone call). My request was dealt with and denied due to the reasons being detrimental to the business and that the work couldn't distributed to other employers it required full time. Can I appeal this? I feel cheated as they verbally said it would be ok when I was on maternity and now I have been unemployed for two months. I would have started my search much sooner if I had known this. Thanks.

    Editor: The whole flexible working process should be completed within three months and, although there is no statutory right to appeal it is best practice to allow an appeal. It would not be possible to appeal if you are no longer working for the company. You can lodge a case with the employment tribunal at a potential cost of £1,200 if you feel your request has not been dealt with reasonably, but you have to do so within three months of the decision being made and you would probably have needed to appeal to have a strong case. You would need to seek full legal advice.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I'm currently on maternity leave I'm due to return to work on 8th March after having 12months of maternity leave. I sent a letter begging of November to my employer requesting for flexible working hours to enable me to reduce the hours I'm currently working for childcare reasons. However my employer has not yet responded to my request I know they've received the letter as I have been in contact with our HR department. I also found outftom a work ccolleague that everyone's weekly hours have actually increased since ive been on maternity and I was nlt informed. I don't know what I need to do next as I am totally unable to work the hours that tgey have recently implemented

    Editor: Under flexible working legislation, if you file a formal request for flexible working your employer has to make a decision without three months. In the first instance, you could write to them reminding them of this and if there is still no response, you could consider issuing a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am due to go on maternity leave and have been considering whether I should come back part time or full time. Having requested a 30 hour week its now been declined due to business reasons and they feel that they can't accommodate a job share position either. Can I still request flexible hours before I return to work even though I know they want me to go full time before I leave….what happens if I say no..

    Editor: It sounds as if you have gone through the flexible work process and you have been turned down. You can appeal the decision if you feel it has not been given due consideration. After the process is completed, you cannot apply for flexible working again for a year. You still have a right to return to your original position if your request is turned down.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've requested to return to work after maternity leave on a part time basis (30 hours a week), which looks unlikely to be granted. I have been told I might be offered a different position with these hours, which is a lower position and on significantly less pay.
    I am aware that flexible working hours are not a right, but is there anything I can do about this?

    Editor: You do ont say on what grounds your request has been turned down and if you feel it has been given due consideration. Also is this the only alternative position available or is there something on similar terms and conditions to the role you now do which could be done on a part-time basis? See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/working-mums-magazine/hot-topics/7890872/extending-flexible-working.thtml for details of your rights.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I've worked the school hours for the last 6years 9-3pm 5 days a week. After the birth of my youngest I went back to work 8.30- 4pm 4 days per week. Now my area manager is saying that I MUST work 9-5pm with an hours lunch. I do the school hours as I do not have childcare support. I need to collect my kids at 4.30 latest. My manager & area manager are both aware of my time constraints.
    There are other part time staff at my branch and at other branches who do similar hours. But nothing is being said to them.
    What are my options ?

    Editor: What does your contract say about your hours? Does it say they are subject to change? Were your new yours brought in after the birth of your youngest the result of a flexible work request? Such changes constitute a permanent change to your terms and conditions and cannot be altered unilaterally without consultation with you and obtaining your agreement. Can you send any further information via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box and I will put you in touch with one of our experts.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I have been working part time for over 5 years and receive a car allowance which is paid in full. In the last couple of years people who have returned to work part time have had their car allowance prorated. I am about to request a change to my working pattern (no change to the hours worked). Can my employer change my contract and pro rata my car allowance?

    Editor: If you are requesting this under flexible working legislation it will constitute a permanent change to your contract.

  • Anonymous says:

    I work as a Test Analyst, so not client facing. I currently work full time with one day at home. I have put in a new flexible working request to work 4 hours in the office two days a week and to make up the rest of the hours in the evening so that I can do the school run. It has been denied but with no clear reason why. I have been told that I could do all the drop offs and work through lunch and leave early. This isn't ideal and having worked it out, I would still have the same number of hours to make up. What shall I do next?

    Editor: What reasons have been given for turning down a request? A request can be turned down on eight grounds and your organisation can, for instance, argue that you need to be available in core hours if there is a business need.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've got different problem. I have come back to work full time after having a verbal agreement that I'll be having Saturday's off. However now my manager has denied me this. I have not asked for change in the hours I do, just to have Saturday off due to childcare issues. My manager has now said that my childcare problem is not his concern and is refusing to take this into a consideration.

    Editor: Have you filed a formal request for flexible working – see https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview

  • Anonymous says:

    I have applied for a flexible working request to do 4 days in the office and 1 day from home. My work have turned it down as they stated that due to my increased responsibilities as a manager I would not be able to fulfil my role working one day from home. They then offered me a 4 day contract or to return to work full time. I have told them I cannot afford to drop a day and I am in the process of appealing the decision as it seems to be contradictory.
    What would your advice be on this situation?

    Editor: You would have to get into the nitty gritty of why they think it would not work and provide ways around their concerns. It is difficult to advise without knowing what job you do. You could also try to present it as in their interests to keep you, who know the job, on full time rather than have to cover the one day a week some other way. Also you could suggest a trial period of, say, three to six months so they could see how it works.

  • Anonymous says:

    Final post from F Analyst: FINALLY I have been offered the part time role! This is to start 4 working days prior to the school holidays. What an experience this has been! If this is the norm for this kind of thing, anybody going through the same issues I have has my utmost sympathy. This has taken exactly 12 weeks since I put my request to HR. Shameful!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. F Analyst back again. This week I've have one interview and 2 separate meetings with the managers involved in the new PT role. All were positive but STILL I have nothing in writing and nothing's been moved forward. 2 days after the final meeting I've emailed our HR person to ask what happens next in the process. (It was confirmed during the interview that I was the only applicant) My email has been ignored so I went to see our HR manager. She's not in so I can only assume she's working from home. I'm not going to go down the grievance route as I know I'm just asking fro trouble but with the school holidays now only 2 weeks away I am just so annoyed at the extreme slow rate of response.

  • Anonymous says:

    hello I asked my manager if i could have flexible working hrs as im a single dad to my 2 year old daughter i was turned down straight away so i appealed this and they still told me i couldnt go part time. i said the the manager that there was a girl away on maternity leave at the moment and if she didnt return then could i have her part time position? He told me that the job would be open to me if she didn't return. 2 weeks later i was told that the girl would not be returning and the part time job would be mine working 4 hrs a day 5 days a week. 8 weeks has passed and im still working full time, i went to my line leader to find out what was going on and he went to speak to the manager who told him that the part time job was no longer available as they were transferring someone from another area (who is full time) in to the area where the part time job is which i was ment to be having making the part time job a full time position, I feel really frustrated and angry at this. can they do this? since then it seems like they are trying to push me out i have been with the company for 13 years.

    Editor: Have they put in writing why they turned you down for reduced hours initially? They appear not to have consulted you on any of the changes they have made – have they given any justification for turning the part-time job into a full-time position? With more details our employment lawyer will be able to help you better.

  • Anonymous says:

    F Analyst: Further to my previous message I sent an email to HR 'Just to confirm that I still have not received any confirmation that my part time request has been approved. With the school holidays getting ever closer and not having at least that information, I am starting to become quite stressed about the situation. I think I have been extremely patient in waiting as long as I have for an answer, but I understand that this has now stretched far beyond the time frame for these requests under current employment regulations. Please could I, at a minimum have from you a confirmation of whether my request for flexible hours has been successful? This will allow me time to make alternative childcare arrangements should this be necessary over the school holidays.' Now I didn't cc my line manager in on this as I didn't want him to think I was going behind his back. However I received a reply cc'ing him in which not only still refused to tell me their decision but also included all previous messages between myself and HR! I am now mortified by the fact that 1) STILL no answer to my original request and 2) complete lack of confidentiality by HR. Appreciate any advice you can give me on this.

    Editor: Rather than keep sending messages, could you try and ring HR to put them on the spot to give an answer? And you could consider lodging a grievance if this is unsuccessful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello. Further update from Financial Analyst: My line manager finally showed my the role profile for the new part time position last week and after discussion and agreement he then said that he would forward this to HR and it would be advertised internally next week. (ie w/c 2nd June) Sadly we are now at Tuesday and there's no sign of the advert. I again messaged our HR manager to ask about the status of this and she is now ignoring my messages. I feel like I'm just being taken for a ride now and to make matters worse my line manager is actually off on holiday himself next week. Although I have now received a written copy of the job profile, technically I still have nothing in writing confirming whether my part time request has been accepted, but it seems silly to question that now that the process is nearly, but not quite there. Should I just keep waiting or send a more formal email to our HR department about this?

    Editor: If they said it would be advertised this week, it may be best to give it until the end of the week and then take it up with HR.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hello again. Disgruntled Financial Analyst here. Having got to Wednesday with no sign that anything was going to happen this week on moving my request to go part time forward, I contacted HR confidentially and pointed out how long I'd been waiting and that I'd not received an answer or job profile. They have arranged a meeting with my line manager on Monday as nobody is here to meet with him this week and so this continues to roll on. They did say, however that they would try and get this closed out for me on that day. A few hours later my line manager contacted me to confirm he was going to meet with another 2 managers involved with the new role to discuss the situation so at least, finally things are moving.

    Editor: Hope it all works out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks. I'll update you on my progress. I'd really prefer not to go down the grievance route as I did this one before in a previous company and it ended badly for me. Since that experience I have little faith in grievance procedures.

    Editor: Yes, it is best to try to deal with issues informally and only resort to a grievance if all else fails.

  • Anonymous says:

    Every time I've spoken to my line manager about this it's been with no notice to me, just a 'have you got a minute?' so I've been ill-prepared. Also, the meetings have been quite casual because of this. They are more 'catch-ups' than anything else and so no negotiations have actually taken place other than would I be interested in this other role but all I've really had is a very rough verbal outline of what it would entail. I said to my line manager at the time that at the very least I would need to have part time hours by the school holidays but at the time I honestly didn't think so little would have happened in all this time.

    Editor: I would write to them and point out the timeline on flexible working requests and ask for a full outline. If they do not respond, you could consider lodging a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    A couple of questions following up: I take it my employer should confirm for me if my request has been successful in writing? Also, even if I get this from them, how long do they then have to agree a start date for the part time to begin and confirmation of the change in roles and any other Ts & Cs?

    Editor:They should confirm in writing and outline the new role, including Ts and Cs. Did you agree or ask for a specific start date during negotations?

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the advice. I'm going to give this one more week and if I've not had confirmation by the end of next week, I'll follow up with an email as you suggest.

  • Anonymous says:

    I currently work full time as a financial analyst and several weeks ago my partners daughter came to live with us on a permanent basis. Prior to this we looked after her for half of each week. I applied in writing to work part time 6 weeks ago and although some discussions have been had regarding a different role that would suite this request for flexible working, I've received nothing in writing at all and have had no indication of the pay scale of the new role or when it is likely to start. I desperately need to have this in place by the summer holidays which are now only 7 weeks away. I am trying to be patient but am very frustrated with the long wait on answers. Is there anything I can do?

    Editor: Our HR expert Sandra Beale says: The timeframe for responding to a flexible working request is 14 days after the meeting.  The time limit can be extended if employer and employee agree however preferably recorded in writing outlining the new role.  If this has not happened, she should write to her employer pointing out the need to respond either to confirm the request or reject it.  On 30 June 2014 flexible working requests do not have to follow a strict timeline for dealing with requests, however, in the meantime, they do. If all else fails the employee should lodge a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    I returned to work after maternity leave on a 18hour contract, unfortunately after the first week my son was admitted to hospital with pneumonia, my employer now wants me to return bank saying it will help me with shifts,childcare etc. I am scared if I cannot get permant shifts and my rights may have changed.can they do this.

    Editor: If your employer has agreed a flexible work request, it is a permanent change to your terms and conditions and as such, they must consult you and get your agreement if they wish to change that. You need to talk to them about your concerns. Having time off to look after your son should not affect any of this. You have a legal right to time off for dependents for emergencies and also to unpaid parental leave for children under five.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am in week 7 of being back to work after 9 months maternity leave. I was given my usual days back with a slight difference on a Thursday used to do 8 hours now its 6. My general manager has now come back and said that everyone has to take a share of working weekends. I have never worked a weekend since i started there almost 2 years ago. The weekend is the only time i get with my son and i have horses to see to. Can my manager make me work every second weekend? I dont want to and its causing tension between my partner and myself and im getting stressed out and upset about it?

    Editor: You need to check your contract with regard to what it says about varying hours. See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/all/page_2/6330928/employer-wants-to-change-shift-patterns-ask-the-expert.thtml

  • Anonymous says:


    I’m due to come back to work after maternity leave at the beginning of April. I requested part time hours that my employer eventually agreed to. Now I find out that there are other job openings that I might be interested in but all of them are full time. Is it ok for me to apply now for full time position? The reason is that new position is better paid and gives more opportunities to progress whilst the old one is very demanding and stressful and not giving any perspectives to progress. Also if I applied for full time position and will not be successful can I stay on my part time position? I’m afraid that if I applied for the new full time position and was unsuccessful they will insist me to work full time on my old job and I will lose my previous part time agreement. Could you please advise?

    Editor: You can do so without losing the right to stay in your current job on its current agreed terms. They could only change your hours in agreement and consultation with you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I have asked for flexible working and went in for a meeting on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning they called to say that at the moment there is no opportunity and I could have my old role back. I was asked at the meeting if I was offered a full time role would I not want to work, to which I said yes. I feel like I am being pushed out and not sure what to do?

    Editor: Did you apply formally for flexible working – see https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/making-a-statutory-application? If you haven't I would do so. If you did, your employer has to give you a reason for turning you down and can only do so on one of eight grounds which they have to give good explanation for. See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml. If not, you can appeal.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm returning to work after having my second child, my line manager has indicated through informal chats that I'm likely to only get a six month reduction in my hours after which I'll be expected to return to full time hours, another person in the same department is in the same situation. However in our organisation and in many other departments returning mums have had permanent changes to their hours agreed including people on the same grade and responsibility as me , in addition two of our six directors work part time and flexible hours to look after their young children. Do you think I can challenge the indescrepancy within the organisation?

    Editor: Have you made a formal application for flexible working? You should do so as your employer then has to give reasons for rejecting for it and can only do so on eight grounds. They must show they have given your application due consideration – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello, I would like some advice for my Husband!! I have an 8 month old Daughter and returned back to work 4 days a week back in December. To avoid paying high childcare costs my Husband had informally spoken to his Manager about changing his working pattern (was working Mon-Fri, but wanted to change to work Thur-Sun)so that he could look after our Daughter whilst I was at work. He 'informally' informed them of this back in October and it was agreed. He has been working this new pattern since December, but was called into a meeting last week as they said it could not continue! He explained the situation regards to caring for his child and the right to request flexible working and they have now asked him to fill in a formal request. Can they now change their mind as we hadn't put in a written request or received their agreement in writing back in October? Thank you

    Editor: Our employment lawyer Tracey Guest has answered as follows: Where a change is agreed to your contractual terms then this will be a permanent change unless there was a specific agreement for the new terms to be undertaken on a trial basis. You have not mentioned a trial period or any suggestion that the employer reserved the right to review the new hours. Therefore it appears that the change to hours is a permanent change. The employer cannot therefore now choose to change the hours back. However given that the agreement was verbal there may be disagreement over what was actually agreed at the time e.g. the employer may say that the hours were to be on a trial period and it will be your husband’s word against theirs. I suggest that your husband puts in writing the change to his hours as agreed and makes it clear that this was supposed to be a permanent change and that he does not agree to any variation to his contractual terms. He should say that he does not therefore believe it appropriate for him to put in a flexible working request as the change to his hours has already been agreed and implemented.

    An employer cannot change hours of work without an employee’s consent. If an employee refuses to consent to a change and the change is forced upon them or the employee is dismissed and offered re-engagement on the new terms, then the employee may have an unfair dismissal claim. Your husband should take further legal advice if he reaches this point.

    At this stage, he needs to put in writing his contractual position in relation to his hours (as referred to above) and raise a grievance if his employer tries to push him into changing his hours.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a full time mum with 2 children.My younger son will start school in september and I am an graduate in Bachelor of commerce and not worked till now.I do not have work experience and i am ready to work as starter or trainee but most of the jobs asks for experience and my cv is rejected.I am interested in Accountancy and Bookkeeping jobs or voluntary jobs. Could you please guide me in this stage.

    Editor: The best thing would be to contact the Association for Accounting Technicians - http://www.aat.org.uk/ – who can give you specific advice on what you can do to get into this line of work.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a manager in a pub/restaurant and since coming back after having 9 months off on maternity my relationship with my boss has become strained. I am also married to a soldier to whom has a very demanding role his work pattern and places vary rapidly. He came home 2 weeks ago and said he was going away for 2 months, I drafted an email for my boss asking for flexible working as a temporary measure but all I actually wanted was to have the Saturday as my day off and the Sunday as holiday for a 7-week period, I manged to get the baby into full time nursery care so all was planned and perfected. My boss then organised to meet with me the week after to give me his decision, to which we had the meeting and he said he still had not decided yet, and I had to make this an official request on the correct form and I would hear in due course a date to meet with him and a ER advisor. Today I had this meeting and after proving that all the provisions were in place to ensure the business would not incur an additional cost the team were in place and the business would not suffer as a result of having 7 weekends off . He refused this request after bringing in facts that I never saw relevant like Xmas covers, burns night covers, stocks and that although he knew business was growing he wanted it to be growing faster and feels that I needed to be there for this to happen. He has however let me take the next 2 off and I have told him I won't be there for third as I have a family occasion that I will be attending, so in essence I am allowed to take 3 off so with only 4 weekends now I question is he being unreasonable, before the baby was born I had 5 weekends off without having to make this a flexible request and just did the Rotas to the needs of business but around my husband being away so we could see each other. I did bring this to his attention on numerous occasions but this was never answered as to why it was acceptable then and not now. I also have a text message off him which sounds awfully like blackmail to me and that the outcome of meeting was pre-determined.

    Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes says: Flexible working legislation is generally a permanent change in your hours which is not what you want.  However, you are entitled to other periods of leave, such as parental leave, so she could point out to them that if they don't agree to what you are asking you could use your parental leave entitlement or even dependency leave, but that this would possibly be more detrimental to the organisation as you would need to take parental leave in weekly blocks. You could also be off sick or anything, just for 1 day, so it is quite hard for your employer to enforce really. Given the reaction of your boss, you could legitimately raise a grievance about his behaviour – but if there is more to it than meets the eye [for instance, you mention blackmail, but this is quite vague] then you may need to raise a formal dispute.



  • Anonymous says:

    I have been working for a well-known retailer for over a year. In october my childcare informed me she was quitting so I was worried. I told my manager my predicament and I told him I would look for a new childcarer. I had a week holiday but could not find childcare. I phoned them and told them and they told me to come in for now at a time that suited me. I came back and started these new hours and two days later they told me I couldn't have them. What rights do I have?

    Editor: Did they propose specific hours or did you suggest specific hours that were agreed? From what you say it sounds fairly vague. Did they mention it was on a trial basis? If you could supply further information I can ask our legal experts for advice.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a full time working mother with two children (4 and 8). My youngest just started school and has a hard time settling due to the long hours. I work as an Account Manager for a vendor (market intelligence company) and sometimes have to travel within Europe, but mostly only for a day or so. This, of course, puts a lot of stress on my family and I always feel guilty leaving hubby to do the school run and the bedtime routine, as he also works full-time. We have a very good childminder, but my kids would benefit from a nanny, but, of course, a nanny is far more expensive, so it is a catch 22.
    My question is now what industry/career path can I follow without doing something that is a step backwards from what I am currently doing. My career is important to me, however not important enough to be constantly in a rush, struggling to get time off for school time and not being able to create a routine for my kids that includes rest and quality time (homework for instance is tough, everything gets crammed into the weekends, which is also filled with other activities).
    I have recently looked into charity roles, where client relationship management is also required on a fundraising level, but I wonder what else I could do?
    I can't afford to take a big pay cut, but I could take a small one, if it means I can get home at a decent time and regularly work from home.

    Editor: I will pass your query to our careers expert.

  • Anonymous says:

    HI. I am returning to work in April and wish to return part-time. Can I request that I go back on a temporary contract for three years and then return to my full-time contract?

    Editor: You can suggest any permutation on flexible working in your negotiations with your manager, but it is good to show that you have considered the potential advantages to your employer as well as to you of any arrangement and to anticipate any concerns they might have. It is also a good idea to have a back-up plan, for instance, going back on reduced hours and gradually building up to full time over perhaps a shorter period, or reducing days but being around for emergencies on other days or any permutation which you think might work for both parties. The most successful flexible working arrangements are often those where both parties have shown flexibility.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi i am employed on flexible hours and have recently had to move home.This means as I do not drive. I have to use a bus.My employer has started putting me on shifts that mean I miss my last bus home and have to pay for a room at a local hotel.Is there anything I can do?

    Editor: Have you spoken to your employer about this and explained your situation or do you feel they are doing this on purpose?

  • Anonymous says:

    Applied for flexi working pattern. My boss and I met and we agreed the time I am going to work,but that was verbally. Every month he brings out a rota and the time is wrong?any advice.

    Editor: A verbal agreement is not as strong as a written one as it is more difficult to prove, but it can still be legally binding. Have you spoken to your manager about this? You could put in a formal flexible working application and get it in writing or, depending on his response, you could lodge a grievance on the grounds you made an agreement and he is not keeping to it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have worked at my current job for 5 years and it has recently changed owners. They changed all shifts and cut my hours and I am a single mum of a two year old so need work around her nursery so I looked for more hours at a different place and told them I would have to give up a shift and they said if I give up a shift I won't have a job any more. Can they do that??

    Editor: Can you provide more information on, for instance, when the transfer took place. It should have been subject to TUPE – see http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1655 - which would have protected your terms and conditions and meant they had to consult with you on any changes to hours, etc. Did you agree to these changes and how long have you worked them?

  • Anonymous says:

    I have worked for the nhs for 13 years. I am currently on maternity leave after having twins. I requested flexible working, asking to finish at 3pm instead of 4.30pm daily. Two days after my request went in I was told my request had been denied due to staff shortages. I have received nothing in writing or have not been able to meet with anyone to discuss this. Currently my line manager has flexible working and doesn't need it any more. She has requested to have her full-time hours reinstated, but has been told no and another member of staff had flexible working, but she has since moved on. Is it fair that they can pick and choose who they give flexible working to?

    Editor: They have to follow a certain procedure and timetable laid down in the flexible working legislation – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml. They can only deny flexible working based on eight grounds and the grounds they give must be fully explained. You can appeal if you don't think the reasons given hold water, for instance, if you think they could cover the extra hour and a half through some other means. The fact that other people have flexible working does not necessarily mean all those who apply for it should get it as there may be different needs for different roles. However, you may be able to argue that the reason your request was turned down is discriminatory [eg other people working in similar roles have flexible working] and not based on strong business needs. It is important to try and see your request from your employer's perspective and then on appeal you can perhaps reach some kind of compromise.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hello, I am finding it really difficult to find a job that fits around my son and his nursery hours. I really do not know what to do and need some help and advice please. My son goes 3 days a week 1-6. Any information will help. Thank you.

    Editor: Please send a more detailed note on your work experience, etc, to our Advice & Support/Q & A page box and our careers expert will reply. 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I work as a nurse. I came back to work following maternity leave in 2010. I applied for a specific pattern of work due to childcare, using the flexible working policy. It took 6 months and all sorts of meetings for the hospital to agree on a weekly working pattern. A year later a nurse who used to work nights retired. I asked to be move to the position. I wrote to my manager, stating that this would be a change in circumstances. I never had a reply to my letter, but my shifts were transferred to nights. I have been on this rota since 2011. In October 2012, I had an injury which prevented me from working on my normal duties. In January 13, I was asked to return to work on day duties. The hospital demand was for me to work Monday to Friday 9-5. I could not meet this so I utilised annual leave till end of March 13. I explained to my manager that I could only continue to cover the same pattern I used to cover on nights not on days. I was not in a position to work Monday and Tuesday due to childcare. My manager then said that as he had not written to me re: my change of shifts, there was no agreement. I then took a grievance against my manager. The investigation was carried out by the hospital matron. In her view, "managers are too busy to follow policy and to write to employees". The hospital is not willing to acknowledge night work as they do not issue night contracts. At the end they had me working 3 days a week (Wed til Friday) because they did not require admin at the weekend. I am now back to working on nights, the pattern I used to prior to the injury, but I am concerned that they still have not written to me confirming my working pattern. I feel my trust towards my manager and the organisation has been broken to the point that quitting seems the only option. What can I do? Have they broken the law? Is it worth pursuing?

    Editor: You are certainly entitled to have your new work pattern confirmed in writing, although a verbal agreement is also binding but more difficult to prove. See https://www.gov.uk/your-employment-contract-how-it-can-be-changed/getting-agreement. It may be worth pointing the law on this out to your employer or taking out another grievance stating the law with regard to changes in work patterns.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. Am still working under protest while the lawyer is looking into my case. I am not feeling well. I have been signed off by my GP. Am not sure how this will go. Do I have a right to be off sick? Or because I am working under protest I am not allowed?
    Also I have noticed all the hours I requested not to do is what I am given to do. Is this right?

    Editor: You are certainly to be off sick if your doctor has signed you off sick. You should keep a written record of any interaction with your employer and include instances where you have asked not to work certain hours and are given those very hours to work. This could strengthen any potential legal case.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. When I went to see CAB adviser she informed me that she had started to feel my company has followed all the procedures they are supposed to. She advised me to talk to the lawyer who I had already spoken to and who contacted me yesterday. She felt that I don't have enough evidence unless I send her my correspondence with the company and maybe she could find something. I am feeling very disappointed. What should I do now? I had informed my employer that I am working under protest. I only have help with childcare until the end of the month. CAB hinted to me if I resign I might not get any support for six months. What do people with disabled children do?

    Editor: If the lawyer does not feel you have a strong enough case, there is not much you can do except try to negotiate with your employer and to find a compromise and see things from each other's point of view rather than pitching yourself against each other. If you really feel your employer is unlikely to shift, the only alternative may be to seek an alternative employer who might be more understanding.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have an appointment to meet with CAB on Monday. The environment at work is not good at all. I am hoping to get some help. I can't manage to work the long hours that I am given and two sleep ins in a week. My child has not had her contacts in for the last three days. When I leave home she is asleep and when I get back she is asleep. The more she doesn't wear them the more her eyes are getting worse.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok. Yes, I am protesting for my terms to be changes. I used to do one sleep in a week.

    Editor: The work under protest route is intended to bring some sort of negotiation to achieve a compromise, but your employer may hold out. If you feel your employer has purposefully increased your sleep-ins etc because they are trying to get you to leave, you could have a case for constructive dismissal, but you would need firm evidence to support this and you would need to get legal advice first. Did the CAB give you any further suggestions on this?

  • Anonymous says:

    I have gone through all those proses. I have made a grievance. Hence working under protest. I just don't know what to expect any more. How long should I expect to work?

    Editor: Please contact us via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box so we can get more details and get more expert advice to you, for instance, what has happened with your grievance? Usually people work under protest because they are protesting a change of their terms and conditions, but my understanding is that your conditions have not changed and that this is the problem. How many sleep-ins were you doing before your request?

  • Anonymous says:

    I was advised by CAB to go back to work under protest as all my efforts to negotiate for flexible working request did not work. Monday was my first day back to work. My manager gave me my shift pattern today. The request I made was not considered. I requested that I could not work a late shift in one of the houses because four years ago I suffered vandalism so I am so scared to work late hours in that environment. She has given me two shifts to work in the same house. I also informed her that I would like to do one sleep in a week due to my child's disability. She has given me two sleep ins. Is this a way of getting rid of me? What should I expect to happen? What are the procedures for working under protest and how long should I expect to work? It feels very wrong to be working with people that make you feel very unwanted.

    Editor: You do not say if you made a formal request for flexible working in writing and, if so, what reason was given for turning down your request – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml. If you have not made a formal request in writing, it is a good idea to do so. If you have and you do not feel your employer has properly considered your request and has not given good grounds [there are eight grounds permitted for turning down flexible working] then you can appeal. If you feel the proper procedure was not followed you can also raise a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I'm about to apply to work flexibly on my return to work. I gave my boss a heads up (before starting the formal request process) that I would be requesting 3 days per week and she has said that I will have to work 4. No reasons were given. Do I go ahead with the formal application process? I feel the decision has already been made which can't be fair?
    All advice appreciated.

    Editor: It's definitely worth applying and getting in writing the reasons why your boss is saying you need to work four days. Be prepared for negotiation, though, for instance, could you agree to come in in emergencies on the fourth day or do some work from home? You could also suggest a trial period to see if the three days works, but in any event if the reasons for turning down three days do not fit into the eight possible grounds for refusing a flexible work request or that the reasons given do not show that your manager has given due consideration to your request you can appeal. See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml

  • says:

    From my understanding it's basically a demotion. I received a letter yesterday, confirming to me that they don't even have any position for me unless I go back as bank staff. I feel like it's a way of getting rid of me. I have called them and will send a letter today to inform them that I will go back to work under protest and continue to seek advice. I hope it's the right thing to do. What I don't understand is on what terms I am I going to be working under? No, they don't have any other staff in the same position as me. I did offer to increase to four days, but on their letter this has not been mentioned. I also agreed to be flexible i.e work every other weekend. Nothing was put down on the meeting minutes. I am seeking advice from CAB, but unfortunately advisers are only available on limited days . I don't have time as I am supposed to report back to work on Monday.

    Editor: They cannot take your original job away. If you took ordinary maternity leave you are entitled to return to your original job by law and if you took additional maternity leave you have the right to return to your job or a reasonable alternative and that would be only if your job was no longer available. If they do force this on you you may have a case for unfair dismissal. They are not obliged to agree flexible working if they have good reasons for not doing so, however. 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. After meeting my employer to discuss my appeal last week, she has just called me to inform me that my request to go back part time has been denied. I had to call twice to find out the decision as I am meant to go back to work next week on Monday. I was getting very frustrated as I needed to make arrangement for childcare. She has informed me that my role as assistant manager is not available to me unless I go back full time. She also suggested at the meeting that they might have a vacancy for me as a support worker. She informed me that it is not available unless I consider to back as bank staff!! I am totally lost on what to do next. My understanding is that bank staff only work when shifts are available and this will mean moving from one house to the other. Please give advice on what to do next. Thank you.

    Editor: Do you mean that you could be a part-time support worker? Is your boss suggesting it's full time or basically a demotion to part-time support work?  Are any other staff in your position working part time? Have you suggested a job share? You do not have to accept the bank position, but it may be worth trying to negotiate some form of compromise agreement over your hours in the other role, such as compressed hours. If you asked to go three days a week, would four days be possible? 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi – I am single mum to a 5-year-old who has ASD and started school (mainstream) this year. I was recently made redundant from a full-time role in the pharmaceutical industry, in which I was home-based and permitted to work flexible hours. This allowed me to attend the several school functions / workshops occurring during school hours throughout the year and to better get to know my son's teacher and other school staff (which I enjoyed doing as a parent and which I feel greatly helped him in settling in at school). In return, I regularly worked in the evening to make up my hours – this suited both parties.

    Now I am applying for another job, I am struggling to find anything similarly flexible (or alternatively part-time) at other companies in the local area. I have interviewed for a couple of full-time office-based roles, but when I have brought up the question of possibly working flexible hours and/or 1-2 days per week from home, this has not gone down very well with the interviewers. Am I taking the wrong approach? Should I just bite the bullet, get a decent job, accept that I will have to work office-based 9-5.30 pm for 26 weeks (with consequent inconvenience / childcare costs / lack of involvement in my child's education), then apply for flexible hours after that? Is that approach more likely to work, in your experience (i.e. once they know me)? I am afraid that if I continue bringing up the question of flexible hours / homeworking at the outset (i.e. interview stage), that I will not be offered any job at all because (I am guessing) they will all probably have other candidates who happily will work the prescribed office-based hours. I am well-qualified for the roles I am applying for and am sure that, if I was happy to work the prescribed office hours, I would be offered a job pretty quickly. As I am a single parent, I also have to keep in mind the financial implications of being out-of-work, so unfortunately cannot afford to be too wedded to my "ideal" scenario of flexible hours. However, I feel very sad that it looks as though I will have to effectively step away from being involved in my son's education, in order to keep the bills paid. Any advice?

    Editor: This is a common problem. Often employers will not allow flexible working until they know they can trust an employee, but that is a gamble for the employee if they want eventually to work flexibly. It can be easier to get flexible work if you put out feelers via your networks about work possibilities, rather than respond directly to advertised jobs. You could take the risk and go for a non-flexible job in the hope you could negotiate flexibility after the required time, but it might be worth first investigating the companies you are applying to, checking their policy on flexible working and asking around if you know other people working there to find out how the policy translates into practice.


  • Anonymous says:

    Like above, after writing letters to and from, I made an appeal and was called for the meeting. At the meeting I felt like the decision had already been made. I was told it's hard for me to go back to my role on a part time basis. I was given a suggestion that I take a lower paid role which is more flexible. I am not happy about it. What should I do?

    Editor: You do not have to take the other role, but you need to negotiate over flexbility in your current role. What reasons were given and do you feel they are reasonable? Can you meet your employer half way and make a suggestion that addresses the reasons they rejected your request? 

  • Anonymous says:

    I am due to return to work (after maternity leave) in approx one month. Four months ago I applied to my firm for flexible working hours. My application is still not resolved. They ignored my request for nearly 3 months and I have just been informed that I will need to seek legal advice because they have decided not to approve my application on the basis that the role I previously held was not conducive to flexible working. It was the usual procedure to transfer people to another post where flexible working would be possible. It is a large firm, with lots of normal hour appointments. Are they obliged to offer me a transfer to another unit if they have done this for many other employees?

    Editor: Firstly, if the timescale outlined in the flexible working legislation is not followed – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml - you could appeal on those grounds and if you believe the grounds on which your request was turned down are not reasonable. Has the company recently changed its policies? If not and if there is a precedent for transfer you could argue this on appeal.

  • Anonymous says:

    My employer has not met me formally after my application to go part time, and two months after my request has still not given me a decision. What can I do?

    Editor: The following gives information on the timetable for flexible working - https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml. You could chase the application and consider lodging a grievance with your employer.


  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you, I will request time limit.

  • Anonymous says:

    The reasons given were an inability to reorganise work among existing staff. 2). A detrimental impact on quality and 3). A detrimental impact on performance. I informed them that its a temporary request – once my child has a structure of how she gets her support then I will go back to full time.

    Editor: They need to give a full explanation of all these reasons to show they have carefully considered your request. If you do not believe the reasons are valid or they have not followed the full process [see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml%5D, you can appeal.  For any appeal, try to anticipate their potential objections and provide possible solutions, such as covering busier periods. Are other people in your department working flexibly? It may also be a good idea to put a time limit on how long you need this flexibility.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have just received a refusal reply letter from my company, stating that they will not take me back as a part time worker as I requested. I am very angry and upset. Please advise where and what do I do. My child is partially blind and I am struggling to live her with people as she needs a lot of care. 

    Editor: Can you send full details, including the reason for refusing the request, via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box so our experts can get in contact with you if they need more information.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have worked in the care industry for 5 years. My maternity leave ends 2nd of May. I want to go back to work, I called my manager to inform her that I shall be returning to work part time. She asked to put it in writing which I did. She then sent me a form to fill in, I did, we then arranged to meet. When we met, she asked me the same questions I had already answered in the form and told me she can't make a decision until she talks to her manager and that will be in two weeks time! I feel very frustrated as am not sure what they are going to tell me. What should I do! Look for another job? Please advise.

    Editor: Your manager appears to be following the correct procedure. She has two weeks from the date of the meeting to respond – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml. If your request is refused, it must be refused according to one of the eight reasons outlined and she must have given it due consideration. You can appeal if you think this is not the case.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, is there any IT work that can be accommodated around 10 to 2pm? Thanks

    Editor: We advertise flexible jobs, but you would have to keep an eye out for specific job posts or you could contact firms in your area to see if they are indeed of a part-time IT person. Having someone part time might work best for a smaller firm.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am not bothered what job. I don’t really have a lot of experience. I worked in a nursery for a few years and hours would have to work around my partner – he swaps between dayshift and backshift.

    Editor: Can you reply via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box so we have your email and can ask any follow-up questions on the kind of work you have been applying for, etc? 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am finding it really hard to find a job. I have 2 kids – one is at nursery and the other is at school. My oldest has ASD and my partner works shifts so it’s hard for me to find anything so if anyone can help that would be great, thank you.

    Editor: If you put in a few more details about the kind of work you are seeking, what hours, what experience you have, etc, and send it via the Advice & Support/Q & A page box, I can forward this to our careers advisor. The more information you can give the better she can advise you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’ve been working in retail for 3 years now and have applied for flexible hours around kids’ school routine, my company have refused saying they don’t have this shift available, but several employeees have this shift. I have emphasised my urgency over this matter as I don’t have anyone to help me and cannot afford childcare. Can you please advise me my rights and what to do next.

    Editor: You can appeal the decision. Your employer is only able to reject a flexible working request on several clearly defined terms – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/career-advice/197211/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employers.thtml – and these must be applied ‘reasonably’ so if you have been discriminated against in the rejection of your appeal as other colleagues work this shift pattern then you can say this in your appeal. Or is it the case that the company already have enough people on this shift and would have to take someone else off this shift to accommodate you, which would be a different issue?

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m a stay at home dad. Is this service just for mums?

    Editor: It is free for anyone to use.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’m a full-time mum, but my son starts school in September and I have to look for work. I have customer service skills and cash handling skills, but I can find nothing in the area that I want to work in.

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