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    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 25th Mar 17, 8:19 PM
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    flex working - date of submission/children - which trumps which?
    • #1
    • 25th Mar 17, 8:19 PM
    flex working - date of submission/children - which trumps which? 25th Mar 17 at 8:19 PM
    Posting on behalf of a friend of mine – she’s an older lady and not computer au fait – she provided some background so I have included it – but for the short version go to the bottom

    Margot works in a large remote archive. She has worked there for 18 years, full time, no issues. Likes the job but it’s not for everyone as you can go all shift without seeing a single soul, all day, everyday – but its laid back, pays well, has a good pension and she can have the radio or an audio book on while working – Enjoys the work and never missed a target or had a day off sick.

    There are only three staff and one security person. Each team member has their own areas and tasks so they don’t overlap or see each other at all except for ensuring someone is on site. The only rule is that there needs to at least one member of staff on site during the open hours.

    The site has never had any management – it’s been pretty much autonomous for the 18 years Margot’s been there– just the three staff and security. So there is very little to manage– (pay/cleaning/housekeeping and workflow allocation is done remotely by head office in another country) The archive is staffed early morning to late evening and then security looks after the place over night.

    The other two members of staff (been there 3 and 5 years respectively) both came back from maternity at almost the same time. The two ladies approached Margot and said that they were struggling with a work life balance and for a short time they needed her to do a split shift (open up/short early shift go home/ short late shift /close up = same hour’s overall). This meant the ladies were doing a set day and could fit in day care, nursery and other family commitments. Margot, remembering how hard being a new mum was, agreed. Its awkward, time consuming and is costing her extra petrol and mileage - but she liked helping the other ladies out for a short time. They were very appreciative.

    However there has been a bit of bother at work - Margot’s not aware of what about (it’s not got anything to do with her – so she keeps her nose out) – It must have been a bit of a big deal as manager was flown over to review the two ladies.

    She investigated the issues and as part of the review she changed around some of the working areas, put in some new work rules, a new system that tracked the workloads more scrupulously. She reinstated physically clocking in and out with security (not done since before Margot’s time ) and lastly…….the old rota.

    The two ladies then promptly refused. They said to the Manager that Margot had requested this flexible working and now due to ‘custom and practice’ – this was her shift whether she liked it or not. They point blank refuse to do the early/late shift as they believe she had set a precedent and this therefore superseded the rota. Margot was really upset as this is a lie, she never requested this working pattern she did it to be helpful and a good colleague. It seems the ladies have enjoyed not having to do shifts and this was the reason they kept pushing back the change back - taking advantage of her soft side.

    In light of this upset and her impending retirement Margot, with the assistance and at the active prompting of the manager, has formally requested flexible working – to do a slightly earlier start, shorter lunch and earlier finish. Which the company have preliminarily accepted pending review.

    On finding this out the ladies have now lodged a formal grievance that Margot’s submission should be considered AFTER theirs - which is to keep the status quo - as they have children. The company said they will have to take guidance on this but they believe the ladies rights, as they have children, supersede hers – though it’s a moot point at the moment as the ladies haven’t submitted any paperwork.

    Now I have had a quick look on the .gov and it does say anyone can apply for flex working but it doesn’t say if one groups status can be considered over another – is that down to the business?
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
Page 2
    • leslieknope
    • By leslieknope 7th Apr 17, 2:51 PM
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    of course they have! i hope neither of them get it - margot should point out they have children so couldn't possibly do the lates

    i'm glad margot hasn't been pushed back into doing the split shifts, but i am appalled at their gall. i can't believe they got away with not working the shifts set out for them.
    CCCC #33: £42/£240
    DFW: £4355/£4405
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 7th Apr 17, 6:16 PM
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    I think they should interview them and ask them the question so you can't manage the late shifts now with your children and caused all this drama how are you going to manage in this role:
    • elsien
    • By elsien 7th Apr 17, 6:20 PM
    • 16,373 Posts
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    I can't believe they weren't disciplined for failing to turn up to work as scheduled. No use management throwing toys from peak if they don't follow through with consequences.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 8th Apr 17, 10:51 AM
    • 1,356 Posts
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    I was amazed they didn't put their foot down too!

    However everyone likes the idea of a totally solitary workplace but in reality not seeing anyone all day everyday they do get a high churn of staff. Until they find one that sticks and stays and then they seem to stay for ever. Margots old co workers were there till retirement happily puttering about enjoying the silence.

    When they did leave they went through a churn of staff and it was time consuming and expensive because they had to fly a manager in to do the training each time.Once both the ladies settled everything calmed down and normal service resumed with no issues for the last five years.

    So i think they have tried to keep the ladies sweet, get a manager in who will learn what their roles are and then if they cause any more issues its much easier to replace them, thats my thoughts.
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 20th Apr 17, 12:55 PM
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    I thought i would update everyone who took the time to post.

    The new team leader has started - moved in from one of the city offices (his commute is shocking - he must be mad) and he seems to have decided as Margot is less trouble than fighting with the ladies so he's put her back on split shifts. Just for a short while - so he says.

    He is aware that she's got a flex request in, but as it's not formalised he's 'going with the flow'.

    My personal opinion is he doesn't want to start off as a 'baddy' so is giving the ladies what they want for a few weeks and then hold his hands up and say that the matter is out of his hands if her flex working is approved.

    Admittedly he did frame the change back very well. From his point of view it makes no sense him being on a permanent late - whereas on a standard shift he gets to keep an eye on the ladies and also touch base with Margot everyday so he is training up everyone and also learning all the roles. so there are now three of them doing a day shift!

    Margot says he's a nice guy, a bit soft and has already made a passing comment that this role might not be for him - he was expecting something 'a bit more dynamic'

    So Margot is now just waiting for the outcome of her request as shes getting a bit fed up of the hassle (though she does admit in the summer its rather nice to be home during the sunny part of the day)
    Last edited by Tygermoth; 20-04-2017 at 1:05 PM.
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • tea lover
    • By tea lover 20th Apr 17, 3:42 PM
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    tea lover
    It sounds like she's been played by a "charming" manager there.
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 20th Apr 17, 5:11 PM
    • 1,356 Posts
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    I would agree, however its going to be a waiting game - if the flex request does not come back in her favour shes all for making herself more trouble than the ladies.

    Shes primed for a fight, but feels it would be preemptive to start just yet - a case of pick your battles.

    Margot is not silly though - before agreeing to do this she requested total clarification and has got it in writing from the new manager that her shift pattern it entirely temporary, that its not an established practice and will not be considered as such - with HR also confirmed in a follow up email to his.
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • foolofbeans
    • By foolofbeans 21st Apr 17, 12:01 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 404 Thanks
    I don't employ women of child bearing age, you only have to look at threads on here to realise it makes life more complicated than it is already.
    Originally posted by bugslet
    Wow, just wow
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 3rd Feb 18, 5:07 PM
    • 777 Posts
    • 4,277 Thanks
    Hi Tygermouth - did it all work out for Margot in the end? Hopefully she didn't have to make too much trouble!
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 8th Feb 18, 10:32 AM
    • 1,356 Posts
    • 2,762 Thanks
    Sorry for the late reply. I had totally forgotten this thread and Margot was on an extended trip away in Australia visiting family over Christmas - so we have not had a catch up in a while.

    It is all change, the new manager was as slick as I thought, he did keep Margot on the split shift to keep the ladies sweet and for quite a while. However with all the drama they had all forgotten that she had requested flex working way back at the beginning of all this hoo ha - and they never did put in their application. The brown stuff hit the fan when the confirmation came through that Margot was to have permanent early shift.

    As it was a formal contract change they were firmly advised that it was to be accommodated and should anyone pull the nine to five stunt they had before they would be strongly disciplined. This did not go down well but suddenly things calmed down and everything went back to how it had been before. The extra checks and security measures all fell to the wayside and Margo went back to her enjoyable silent and isolated days. So she thought the matter had been put to bed.

    A short while ago there was a surprise meeting called and the area manager flew in again. Margot was advised of two new starters Reginald and Harold. It seems there had been some further drama involving the new manager and one of the ladies having a relationship while the other was kicking up a stink about favouritism.Not sure if all three were dismissed, moved somewhere else or left of their own volition - as Margot is not a gossiper she has not even asked.

    The new guys have settled in well, everyone does their bit and they are back to happily self-managing.
    Last edited by Tygermoth; 08-02-2018 at 10:35 AM. Reason: altered contractions to remove the forum number issue
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Feb 18, 12:52 PM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,222 Thanks
    OK things have settled down but what was/is not clear...

    How did/does the place manage with 2 on maternity and holidays/sick if there is a need for at least one on site and each(of 3) cover different areas and substitutes need training where is the provision for cover?
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 8th Feb 18, 2:47 PM
    • 1,356 Posts
    • 2,762 Thanks
    I have never asked, to be fair so I do not know how it works.

    I think, but I am not sure, they close down entirely for a short period in the summer and over Christmas.

    I know over the summer they have students who do training and will pick up shifts but other than that she has never mentioned cover - but there must have been for the ladies maternity leave.

    For random days I think the guys just sort it among themselves both pick up half of the tasks for the person on leave?

    Next time she comes by for a cuppa I will have to ask her.
    Last edited by Tygermoth; 08-02-2018 at 2:52 PM. Reason: taken out all the apostrophes to stop the forum fault
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
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