Homeworking request rejected: ask the expert

I have just had a flexible working request turned down. I asked to work from home and have worked from home for two years up to 2011 because my office relocated. However, my firm was then taken over by another and the office moved to 30 miles from my house. It is still a long journey for me and I asked if I could work from home, or do some days from home so I could see my child. Other people in the office work some days from home. What should I say on appeal?

A flexible working application can be validly refused on the following grounds:

– the burden of additional costs;

– the detrimental affect on ability to meet customer demand;

– the inability to reorganise work among existing staff;

– the inability to recruit additional staff;

– a detrimental impact on quality;

– the detrimental impact on performance;

– the insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work;

– planned structural changes.

It is not clear from your email which grounds your employer has relied upon, but if they can not justify their reasoning then you would have a claim for sex discrimination. You could also resign with immediate effect and claim constructive unfair dismissal (although you should take further legal advice before going down this route). If others in your job work from home and you have been able to do your job from home in the past and this has been successful then it seems unlikely that your employer can justify their refusal. In relation to the extra duties they have given you, they can not just change your job without your consent so you should refuse the extra duties stating that these are not part of your normal role. If your appeal is unsuccessful and you wish to take further advice at that point then please call Sarah Calderwood on 0161 975 3845.

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