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  • FIRST POST
    • bluenose2
    • By bluenose2 3rd Jul 17, 1:55 PM
    • 8Posts
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    bluenose2
    Flexible Working. Reduce lunch break...
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 17, 1:55 PM
    Flexible Working. Reduce lunch break... 3rd Jul 17 at 1:55 PM
    Good Afternoon,

    I have been with my company for over 5 years now and due to my daughter starting school in September I am required to change my hours in order to support with collection.

    Ordinarily I work 9-5 with a 1 hour lunch break but I am requesting a change in hours from September to 9-4:30 with a half hour lunch break.

    I have unofficially discussed this with my HR representative and he advised that I would be able to go down to the hours requested but cannot sacrifice my lunch break as they're unpaid, I would therefore have to take a salary sacrifice of a daily half an hour.

    Now of course I would much rather take the hit on lunch break in order to preserve my salary, am I being unreasonable here? Apparently they have rejected similar claims before and therefore it's unlikely mine would be accepted.

    I have asked them to arrange a formal meeting as per process but not feeling very confident based on the "informal conversation".

    Any suggestions or advice is appreciated.
Page 4
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Jul 17, 11:24 PM
    • 2,035 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser

    Doesn't matter if they do or not. They're not obliged to treat everyone the same, just consider each request given the business conditions at the time. I have people who work part time who requested it. Someone else recently asked to go part time - and I said no because I can't accommodate any more flexibility with the amount of work we have to do. Doing it for one person does not set a precedent.
    Originally posted by KiKi
    Good luck with that. I'm sure the people you've turned down are really engaged.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • 16,083 Posts
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    FBaby
    This issue comes up so many times, it's a nightmare for managers to deal with. It's all very well if you don't need to have enough staff to support the business from/until specific hours, or when you get a good range of staff wanting to come earlier/leave earlier.

    The problem is when you have a team who all want the same thing. What I've experienced in the past is 5 staff whose school children attended two schools in a town 1/2 hour away, where their after school club charged more for children staying after 5pm. This lead so a number of them asking to finish at 4:30 to be able to make the 5pm time and avoid the £2.50 a day extra.

    Then there was the issue of growing traffic which meant that even when leaving at 4:30, they didn't make it for 5pm, and being charged the £2.50 even for 5 minutes past 5, so suddenly, two asked to finish at 4:00. Because they couldn't come earlier due to dropping off, they wanted to bypass lunch break all together (already on 1/2 hour), which legally couldn't be done, but still they complained.

    This then led to others feeling that they too should be entitled to ask for flexible hours, with one starting to ask to work from home 1 day a week, and then another.

    The most stressful part is the requests that changes regularly in line with personal circumstances, usually children. When you have a number of staff whose children all start school within a couple of years of each other and all suddenly only wanting to take time off during school holiday, it's a nightmare. Add to this those whose children have grown up but are married to teachers....
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 6th Jul 17, 4:27 PM
    • 2,926 Posts
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    t0rt0ise
    Nobody, literally nobody, at all, will choose to be there from 9 until 5 with an hour for lunch if there's the option of 9 until 4:30 with half an hour for lunch. Who on earth would choose that? They can't offer that option.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Rubbish. At one of my jobs we were allowed to do this and not everyone wanted to. Indeed most didn't. I didn't. I liked the hour off for lunch, half an hour is just not long enough to wind down and eat and rest. Besides most workers aren't so stupid and unfeeling as to begrudge someone who has child care problems, a slightly different working pattern. We aren't all selfish.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 6th Jul 17, 6:18 PM
    • 4,822 Posts
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    glentoran99
    In my workplace people are free to start anytime between 7 and 10am, and free to leave anytime between 4 and 18.30


    They cant also take any lunch from 30min to 2 hours


    You know what everyone doesn't do the same, im shocked, and all hours are covered
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 6th Jul 17, 7:57 PM
    • 4,780 Posts
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    marliepanda
    In my workplace people are free to start anytime between 7 and 10am, and free to leave anytime between 4 and 18.30


    They cant also take any lunch from 30min to 2 hours


    You know what everyone doesn't do the same, im shocked, and all hours are covered
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    That's really not the point.

    Your company choose to do that. Hurray.
    This company is choosing not to do that, as is their right.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 6th Jul 17, 8:11 PM
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    unforeseen
    TBH the company could have said that the OP can finish half hour early but it will be classed as leave and deducted from their leave entitlement. That way the work less hours but get paid the same. Downside is that they may not have enough leave when THEY want to take it. Has been done before.

    Would they be willing to lose a day's leave every 3 weeks?
    • KiKi
    • By KiKi 6th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    • 4,925 Posts
    • 7,999 Thanks
    KiKi
    Good luck with that. I'm sure the people you've turned down are really engaged.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    As I said, if I can accommodate them, I will. If I can't, then I have to say no - but I gave a reason for it. I'm sure the person concerned was disappointed.

    Not sure why you need to resort to sarcasm when I posted a factual response, but hey!
    ' <-- See that? It's called an apostrophe. It does not mean "hey, look out, here comes an S".
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Jul 17, 10:06 PM
    • 4,056 Posts
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    sangie595
    I have to admit that I haven't read every post closely, because by page 2.5 I usually lose the will to live. But I have read enough here to be able to say that I think most posters have lost the plot. It doesn't matter what anyone here thinks is right, fair or just. All that matters is whether the employer is entitled to say what they have. I see no evidence that they can't - but I may be wrong as it may have cropped up around about the point where the death wish kicked in. Can someone point to the actual law that the employer has broken for me? If not, then the rest is irrelevant opinion.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 7th Jul 17, 11:01 AM
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    glentoran99
    That's really not the point.

    Your company choose to do that. Hurray.
    This company is choosing not to do that, as is their right.
    Originally posted by marliepanda


    It is the point if the argument is "Everyone will want to do it"


    The company has also told the OP the hours are acceptable
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 7th Jul 17, 11:02 AM
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    glentoran99
    I have to admit that I haven't read every post closely, because by page 2.5 I usually lose the will to live. But I have read enough here to be able to say that I think most posters have lost the plot. It doesn't matter what anyone here thinks is right, fair or just. All that matters is whether the employer is entitled to say what they have. I see no evidence that they can't - but I may be wrong as it may have cropped up around about the point where the death wish kicked in. Can someone point to the actual law that the employer has broken for me? If not, then the rest is irrelevant opinion.
    Originally posted by sangie595

    The reasons given for rejection aren't applicable with reasons acceptable for rejection of a flexible working application
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 7th Jul 17, 3:51 PM
    • 6,038 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    In my workplace people are free to start anytime between 7 and 10am, and free to leave anytime between 4 and 18.30


    They cant also take any lunch from 30min to 2 hours


    You know what everyone doesn't do the same, im shocked, and all hours are covered
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    This depends an awful lot on the size and nature of the company, and what cover is required. In our office, this doesn't work. we do a lot of stuff dealing with third parties which have rigid hours, we have clients coming in for appointments which means that you need to have reception fully staffed (and enough people available to man the phones etc), and we have a lot of work which has tight deadlines (e.g stuff that comes in at 3 and has to be out the same day)

    We are as flexible as we can be with the needs or requests made by staff members but what we find is that very few people want to come in later in the morning, most want to leave earlier in the afternoons.

    I think every single person who has requested flexible working in our firm has wanted to leave at 3, or 4, or 4.30. We are currently in a position where we could not grant a further request for the same as it would leave us understaffed. In a different field of work then things might be different, and the size of the organisation makes a difference as well.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 7th Jul 17, 5:37 PM
    • 4,056 Posts
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    sangie595
    The reasons given for rejection aren't applicable with reasons acceptable for rejection of a flexible working application
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    But that isn't true, is it? The OP had done no more than have an informal discussion with HR. Why HR said it wasn't possible is utterly unclear- there is no detail to that. So there may (or may not) be a relevant reason. So, as I said, no law has been broken and everything else here is nothing but opinion.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 7th Jul 17, 5:48 PM
    • 4,056 Posts
    • 6,566 Thanks
    sangie595
    This depends an awful lot on the size and nature of the company, and what cover is required. In our office, this doesn't work. we do a lot of stuff dealing with third parties which have rigid hours, we have clients coming in for appointments which means that you need to have reception fully staffed (and enough people available to man the phones etc), and we have a lot of work which has tight deadlines (e.g stuff that comes in at 3 and has to be out the same day)

    We are as flexible as we can be with the needs or requests made by staff members but what we find is that very few people want to come in later in the morning, most want to leave earlier in the afternoons.

    I think every single person who has requested flexible working in our firm has wanted to leave at 3, or 4, or 4.30. We are currently in a position where we could not grant a further request for the same as it would leave us understaffed. In a different field of work then things might be different, and the size of the organisation makes a difference as well.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Quite. We are a large organisation but spread over many locations. We MUST be available to members 8.30 - 17.00, Monday to Friday. As with your experience, nigh on every request we get (and we have been operating flexible working requests far longer than the law has!) is to finish early. We therefore have a rota system and everybody must work it. The,"office" must be covered. We have recently been able to establish telecoms systems that work through virtual networks, so the location of the "office" is no longer a complete fixed point. But "someone" will be working from 8.30 - 17.00 answering phones and directing calls. With only three people employed to do that, that means "what people want" isn't an option! So far we have never needed to look at regulating this - we have left them to work it out between themselves. And that has so far worked. If it comes a day when it doesn't, then the apparition of no flexibility will loom. And we're the union!!!!!!
    • bluenose2
    • By bluenose2 15th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    bluenose2
    Hi All,

    Just to follow this topic up, I had my meeting this week and the request was denied.

    HR confirmed they are more than happy to accomodate my earlier finish but would have to dock my pay rather than taking half an hour away from lunch.

    I'm still baffled as to why and I've just been told it's a "company decision" but it's something along the lines of "not being paid for lunches".

    Either way, I will not be appealing and nor will I accept the dock in pay as I fortunately now have an alternative.

    Thanks for all the comments and input.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 15th Jul 17, 1:21 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Paying you less for working fewer hours is not "docking your pay".

    The "why", as you have been told, would be because there's probably only a handful of people, you being one of them, who actually take a full hour for lunch anyway. Most probably do a bit of work through it. They won't be happy to see you starting to do what they have have always done and then swanning off half an hour early.
    Last edited by ScorpiondeRooftrouser; 15-07-2017 at 1:23 PM.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 15th Jul 17, 1:24 PM
    • 4,822 Posts
    • 3,826 Thanks
    glentoran99
    Hi All,

    Just to follow this topic up, I had my meeting this week and the request was denied.

    HR confirmed they are more than happy to accomodate my earlier finish but would have to dock my pay rather than taking half an hour away from lunch.

    I'm still baffled as to why and I've just been told it's a "company decision" but it's something along the lines of "not being paid for lunches".

    Either way, I will not be appealing and nor will I accept the dock in pay as I fortunately now have an alternative.

    Thanks for all the comments and input.
    Originally posted by bluenose2

    Shame because you had a good chance of winning given their reasons
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 15th Jul 17, 1:30 PM
    • 1,866 Posts
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    unforeseen
    If it's policy for thereto be a one hour lunch break then there is no point appealing. They do not have to justify not reducing it.

    Maybe they've worded it badly but the actual reason is perfectly valid.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 15th Jul 17, 1:35 PM
    • 4,822 Posts
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    glentoran99
    If it's policy for thereto be a one hour lunch break then there is no point appealing. They do not have to justify not reducing it.

    Maybe they've worded it badly but the actual reason is perfectly valid.
    Originally posted by unforeseen


    its not, it does not fit with any of these




    the burden of additional costs

    an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff

    an inability to recruit additional staff

    a detrimental impact on quality

    a detrimental impact on performance

    detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand

    insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work

    a planned structural changes to the business.


    The fact that they are happy for the change in hours negates everyone of those as a reason
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 15th Jul 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1,866 Posts
    • 2,355 Thanks
    unforeseen
    The last but one on the list maybes goer. They have an extra person working for half an hour but there may be insufficient work to justify it
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 15th Jul 17, 2:50 PM
    • 2,035 Posts
    • 3,061 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    its not, it does not fit with any of these




    the burden of additional costs

    an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff

    an inability to recruit additional staff

    a detrimental impact on quality

    a detrimental impact on performance

    detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand

    insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work

    a planned structural changes to the business.


    The fact that they are happy for the change in hours negates everyone of those as a reason
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    No it doesn't. The effect can be indirect as well as direct. If it has a negative impact on other existing staff, it impacts performance.
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