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19/06/2014 at 19:34
Is anyone in the know on these? I sent mine in to my work asking to return 5 days a week but cut my hours to finish early each day so I can get home earlier to have the same set times with O.
I work for a huge organisation so I know there is 'guidelines' but I can't access anything at home. I sent my request 2 and a half weeks ago and got an email today from my boss saying 'having previously rejected two requests for reduced/compressed hours, I am unable to support this request at this time'
That was all he said. I emailed him back to say I was at the hospital (my H was having surgery today) and could he explain to me and he said to give him a call when I can. I'll try to phone tomorrow but what do I say!? I called my work HR this afternoon just for anonymous advice but they kept asking for my colleague id number and I don't want it on my record at this point that I phoned. They did say he has to give me a valid business reason but surely thats not a valid reason. I don't give a hoot what other people have asked for, they're not returning from mat leave.
The awkward situ is my boss is the head of our team, so as high as you can go and I work directly for him, so I'm slightly concerned to rock the boat so to speak but surely it's almost expected that I would reduce my hours?
I so didn't need this today, it's actually had me in tears. If I can't reduce my hours, the earliest I can get home at night from leaving work at 5pm is 6:40pm and that's leaving at 7:15am, I will see O for maybe an hour a day ( god I'm nearly crying again!)
19/06/2014 at 19:46
In our place its at the managers discretion and where I used to work the manager used just say that if she have 1 person flexibility then everyone would want it. Lots of people complained to hr but they just said it was at the managers discretion, She allowed certain changes but not much. So by him saying he's rejected similar requests then he is using his discretion iyswim. Are u part of a union that you could speak to before you phone the boss?
19/06/2014 at 20:07
I know that he has to give a 'valid business reason' that's the only thing they kept saying on the phone. We're a massive organisation and they make a big thing of work life balance and are very big that anyone can apply for flexible working and you don't have to give a reason why, only downfall is that there are a lot of old school bosses (like mine!) that don't agree with it and people work stupid hours for him that he basically gets for free so why would he let them get paid for longer days and have a day off etc.
I had to fill in an actual application and it has a part on it for business decision and the reasons but he's not sent me this back, he's just said no.
There are two women at my work returned from mat leave since I've been in the team, one came back 4 days a week (so just dropped a full day) and the other came back 3 days, again just dropping a full 2 days. I'm our bigger earner so we just can't afford for me to drop a full day, plus I do think he would have an argument that I need to be there every day for my job which was one of the reasons I said I would go back 5 days.
The two women don't report directly to our main boss though, they have a line manager inbetween who they would have applied to.
19/06/2014 at 20:19
Hey lovely, I work in hr so hope I can help. As you have made a formal flexible work request, your employer has a duty to meet with you to discuss your proposed changes. A phone call declining your request is not sufficient. The meeting needs to be held 28days from the date you submitted your request. You are also entitled to have a union rep or workplace colleague present should you wish. I would email him outlining your statutory right for a meeting to be held in which to discuss. He can only refuse on business grounds - I.e. Work cannot be covered for example. In prep for your meeting I would go armed with how you propose work could be covered in your absence etc x
19/06/2014 at 20:26
Oh thanks MM. Sorry TRF I meant to say I'm not in the union, they're pretty rubbish tbh anyway!
MM all I've had is an email knocking it back and all he said was the above that he's already refused applications, nothing at all about issues with work or anything.
I would be leaving an hour early each day than my normal contracted hours and I said in my application that (just like I did before!) I would pick up emails on my blackberry when I had left the office and if there was anything urgent due in a day, I have remote access and can log in at home and finish things once O was in bed.
I'm concerned that I make a big deal of this and then I have to go back to work for him directly, it's going to be so uncomfortable.
So he definitely has to give me a valid reason? Is the fact that he's already refused other people deemed a valid reason?
19/06/2014 at 20:34
He has to meet with you and give careful consideration to your request by law. He cannot refuse or bypass this stage. He then has 14 days in which to respond to you, in writing outlining the business reasons for refusing your request (for example, the work cannot be distributed between the team - which when talking about an hour a day when you will be contactable if required is tosh!). Refusing others Is not an acceptable reason to refuse!! You can also appeal his decision. I can totally understand you not wanting to rock the boat but you are legally entitled to the above and he is legally obliged. Plus you are being far from unreasonable in your request! I hope you get things sorted as I know how guy wrenching going back to work after ml is!! I'm only phone so sorry my response isn't v detailed but if you need any further help just give me a shout! X
19/06/2014 at 21:39
Do you think he's refusing it because it's a reduction in hours rather than dropping a day? Is there any way you could apply to do a half day on day instead if they really won't consider compressed hours? x
19/06/2014 at 21:46
Thankyou MM. I said I would try and call tomorrow so I'll see what he says.
PP I'm not sure tbh but I thought he would be happy I was going to be there every day and just heading off sharp, he knows I have a fair commute and he has two children himself so I hoped he would be understanding.
I'm just under an hour and a half door to door commuting so if I did a half day, I wouldn't get home until the back of 2 and then the other 4 days I would see O for maybe an hour when I got home, of which he would be winding down for bed. Plus I know my work and I 100% guarantee you I would spend a big of that afternoon on the phone to work or being contacted about something.
I feel like such a sh1te mum already about this, I'm desperately trying to make things work.
20/06/2014 at 09:15
WmurraymintS if you work for a huge organisation then they should really know better!
There is a statutory procedure laid down in relation to employee requests for flexible working. In summary, on receiving a request for flexible working from an employee (which must be in writing), the employer must adhere to the following timelines:
Arrange a meeting with the employee within 28 days of receiving the application to discuss the request. The employee can be accompanied by a work colleague if they so wish.
Notify the employee of their decision within 14 days of the date of the meeting. This notification will either accept the request and establish a start date, or confirm a compromise agreed at the meeting, or reject the request and set out clear business reasons for the rejection together with notification of the appeals process.
There is a right to appeal and the employer must arrange to hear the employee's appeal within 14 days of being informed of the employee's decision to appeal. The employee must be allowed to be accompanied by a work colleague if they so wish.
Notify the employee of the decision on the appeal within 14 days after the date of the meeting.
Employers can decline applications based on several criteria and they would need to objectively justify why they weren’t prepared to accept your request.
It appears your employer may not have followed the statutory process. As you have reminded them of statutory guidelines, you could submit a grievance using your company's grievance procedure about their failure to stick to the statutory regulations, asking them to repeat the process properly. If they don't do what they're supposed to do, you can submit a tribunal claim. You will have much more success if you do that after you have exhausted all the internal channels for dispute resolution.
If you do take out a claim and it is successful, the tribunal may order your employer to reconsider the request and award maximum compensation of eight weeks’ pay.
20/06/2014 at 10:16
MDD he has to give a valid business case - so why it won't work for the business ie service needs, office cover etc. Saying you turned down 2 previously is not a valid business case. I would ask for a formal response in writing and also suggest other ways of working. To me leaving an hour early but still being contactable is their best case scenario and I can't see why that would be impossible to accomodate. Once you have the formal response you can appeal the decision and it will go to someone higher than your boss. Might make it slightly uncomfortable on your return but once he sees you back and working hard as you did before I doubt any animosity would linger. Alternatively maybe ask to go in and meet with him to put your case forward in a more informal way?
Sounds like he's not really considered it at all to me and just given a flat out no cos it's easier!
20/06/2014 at 13:48
Thankyou both. Shhh I'll have a look at that link. He's totally old school and just says no and nobody takes it any further. As a company we are huge on work life balance, it's just not applied in our team!
He's going to call me this afternoon so FX we can come to an arrangement. I have spoken to HR again this morning and they've confirmed what you have all said and that he has to send my form back with a reason of rejection (and there are a selection to pick from). I don't think any of the reasons can be justified and the woman I spoke to at HR agreed. She's also talked me through the appeals process if it gets to that.
20/06/2014 at 22:31
How did it go this afternoon Missdeedee?
22/06/2014 at 07:36
I asked this same arrangement, so still going in 5 days but doing 1.5 hours less each day so I work until 3.30pm. I cut my lunch to half an hour too, is that something you'd be willing to do? I agreed to stay later if given notice to cover other absences or peak periods to gibe H enough notice to arrange with his work to do nursery pick-up. And could you suggest doing a trial of say 3 months, and if it works then carry on and if not come to some other arrangement? get him to set out the requirements before the trial period so you can make sure you have evidence that you've met them all by the end
23/06/2014 at 23:17
Thanks for asking PS, sorry for the late reply.
Nenas that's exactly what I had asked to do, so drop an hours pay and cut my lunch by 30mins so I could finish at 3:30pm. My boss is dead set against me 'compressing' my day so he won't agree to me cutting my lunch hour. I did speak to him about my commute etc and he's fine on whatever hours I want to work (I know, totally NOT what he put in his email!) so It looks like I'm going to end up finishing at 4pm. I should still be able to get home for about 25 past 5 so I'll get 2-3hours with O every night and they will be the same routine hours so hopefully that will help.
Glad it's sorted out but quite disappointed on the lunch hours. I know I could push it but reading between the lines on the call I'm fairly certain we might be going through another restructure soon and I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by rocking to boat so to speak right before hand.
Thanks for all the advice ladies x
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