I have started a six-month contract in July working from 8am – 4pm and then received an email stating that I should check the rota for new times daily which now show 9-5 for the whole month. In my contract it says 8-4 though that these hours can be changed for business needs. The previous week I mentioned when asked ‘how is it going’ that iI have a special needs son and the current hours are really good for me. Is there anything I can do?
I understand you started work on a 6 month contract in July 2015, and have been working 8-4 however the current rota attempts to changes your hours to 9-5. Your contract allows your employer to amend your hours for the needs of the business. However, you have had informal discussions with your manager regarding your special needs son and the fact that your current hours are really good for you.
Unfortunately, you do not have the right to request flexible working until you have been working 26 weeks/6 months, so this will not apply to you considering the length of your contract.
It may be that you can informally discuss your child again with your manager, and hope that they can make an exception in your case and leave your hours as they are. However, as there is a clause allowing them to change your hours, they would not be obligated to do so.
If you cannot resolve this matter informally, you could raise a grievance, but should bear in mind that as you are only on a six-months contract, the company could simply dismiss you and you would not have any protection against unfair dismissal as you would lack the two-year service needed to bring such a claim.
You may have a potential claim for discrimination by association. This claim protects a person from being discriminated against because of a third-party’s protected characteristic. In order to succeed in this, you would have to prove that you have been treated less favourably because of your son’s needs.
If you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.