I’m returning to work after OML I have requested flexible working. My contract states 35 hours per week, 5 days out of 6 Monday-Saturday. Before maternity leave I was working every other Saturday. Now I have requested to return to work as half time under a scheme called new parent return to work guarantee. I am unable to work Saturdays as I have no childcare as my previous carer cannot look after two children. My employer has refused my request and has demanded that I now do one in three Saturdays which I still cannot do due to no childcare. What are my rights?
Strictly speaking, your employer is entitled to offer you the same job on the same terms and conditions that you undertook prior your maternity leave. Accordingly after OML, you are entitled to return to work, working every other Saturday.
You have a statutory right to make a request for flexible working (I am not sure of the terms of the “new parent return to work guarantee” and whether that mirrors the statutory right to request to work flexibly or whether there is a guarantee to request flexible working). However, under the statutory right, your employer has the right to consider the request and, can refuse the request provided it has good business grounds. I am not sure what reason your employer has given, but if it is due to a good business reasons, then they can do so. If you feel that the request has not been considered properly, then you have a potential recourse to the Employment Tribunal.