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  • FIRST POST
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 12th Mar 18, 9:20 PM
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    satmanuk44
    Advice on tribunal and flexible hours requirement
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:20 PM
    Advice on tribunal and flexible hours requirement 12th Mar 18 at 9:20 PM
    Hi,

    I had a verbal agreement with employer 12 months before maternity about having set hours which I was doing. On returning from maternity I have been told it was only temporary and that my contract states I have a flexible agreement and they now want me to work other hours.

    The while my contact doesn't really agree with what they say the job description supplied by them states the below:

    To work minimum 40 hours per week, the hours to be determined by your manager to ensure high standards are maintained."

    I have not worked 40 hours for at least 10 years due to having children and my hours were changed although the also now refuse this was agreed. Does this statement in my job description mean they will win in a tribunal?
Page 1
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 12th Mar 18, 10:21 PM
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    jobbingmusician
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:21 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:21 PM
    Not an expert, but I believe you have a case. Your work had been changed (as your payslips for the last 10 years before mat leave will confirm) but the employer had not updated the contract. I don't think that they would be able to argue that a change which lasted 10 years was a temporary agreement!
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Mar 18, 10:23 PM
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    elsien
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:23 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:23 PM
    Do they want you to do additional hours, or is it the same number of hours but they want to change the days/times that you work?
    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.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 13th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
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    BorisThomson
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    Have you now put in a formal flexible working request?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 13th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
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    TELLIT01
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    You say you haven't done 40 hrs/wk for at least 10 years. Prior to the last 12 months before maternity leave, had your hours been fixed and consistent during the last 10 years i.e. always working the same hours per week and hours per day?
    Regarding the situation in the last 12 months, many companies review flexible working changes on a yearly basis and can move people back to their previous hours if there is a need. That's certainly the case where my wife works as there are a couple of people who were told they could reduce hours from this April but have since had the offer withdrawn, ironically because of others going on maternity leave.
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 13th Mar 18, 2:54 PM
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    satmanuk44
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:54 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:54 PM
    They now want me to work less hours but more during the evening. When prior to maternity for 12 months at least it maybe 18 months actually I didn't work evenings.
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 13th Mar 18, 2:57 PM
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    satmanuk44
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:57 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:57 PM
    No I simply asking to return on the shift pattern I left on. But they are telling me it was only termporary and that they have always rejected my flexible working requests. Which is not the case as I have been allowed to change my hours after both maternity leaves. But I have no proof aside from getting them to provide the totals that will confirm this unless they say they can not find them.
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 13th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
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    satmanuk44
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    Tellit01 no they have not been exact for the last 10 years.

    About 8 years ago my finish time was changed and I was relieved from on call duties.

    About 6 years the evening work was reduced to 1 a week instead of 3-4.

    12 to 15 months prior to maternity this was reduced again to 0 evening shifts.

    All agreed verbally, yet letters they have now produced disagree with this stating they have always refused flexible working requests.
    • Pricivius
    • By Pricivius 14th Mar 18, 1:34 PM
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    Pricivius
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:34 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:34 PM
    If every change so far has been agreed verbally, are the company trying to argue that they have always refused (formal) Flexible Working Requests?


    So they have informally agreed changes with you over the years, but none of these changes was arranged under the Flexible Working Request process, which requires meetings and justifications and deadlines etc..


    This seems to be the point they are making.


    Rather than talking Tribunal, have you discussed this with them? Do you understand why they are requiring you to do these hours? Is there a way around this? Can you work with them to find a solution? You state you have a flexible agreement which you accept you have used to your benefit over the years, but these things are a two-way street so I would be looking to work with them rather than sue them.
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 14th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
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    satmanuk44
    If every change so far has been agreed verbally, are the company trying to argue that they have always refused (formal) Flexible Working Requests?


    So they have informally agreed changes with you over the years, but none of these changes was arranged under the Flexible Working Request process, which requires meetings and justifications and deadlines etc..


    This seems to be the point they are making.


    Rather than talking Tribunal, have you discussed this with them? Do you understand why they are requiring you to do these hours? Is there a way around this? Can you work with them to find a solution? You state you have a flexible agreement which you accept you have used to your benefit over the years, but these things are a two-way street so I would be looking to work with them rather than sue them.
    Originally posted by Pricivius
    They are stating for the requests that were made for flexible working they have always refused. I dispute that they have every rejected them. Which is shown, after asking for these changes I have worked the agreed hours of employment. If this was not the case I would not have had my shifts changed.

    I have been trying to resolve this for 6 months, and have already started the tribunal process due to time limits set out by the tribunal service. I'm not saying I refuse to work the hours they are requesting to be awkward. It's simply childcare which is the reason I can not do this. Childcare cost for the afternoon /evening would be crica 130 for the same period I get paid 80. So I would loose crica 100 pw.

    The employer has given me no alternatives, its their way or I face disciplinary.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 14th Mar 18, 4:28 PM
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    Ozzuk
    It sounds like you've had informal hours change agreed in the past, rather than a formal agreement from a formal request - i.e. a form stating what you want, and what the impacts to the team/business are along with business benefit.

    I'm certainly no expert, but I can't see anything wrong with that approach, trouble is I can't see how you'd prove it was anything else.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 14th Mar 18, 11:09 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    Bear in mind that your childcare arrangements are no concern of your employer, and they do not have to consider any difficulties you have in this area.
    Still knitting!
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    • Pricivius
    • By Pricivius 15th Mar 18, 1:34 PM
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    Pricivius
    They are stating for the requests that were made for flexible working they have always refused. I dispute that they have every rejected them. Which is shown, after asking for these changes I have worked the agreed hours of employment. If this was not the case I would not have had my shifts changed.
    Originally posted by satmanuk44

    So are you saying that every request you have made for flexible working has complied with the company's policy to be in writing, setting out what you want and how the business can facilitate this? And the company has arranged a meeting to discuss with you within the deadline? Ands they have replied in writing setting out their response and giving a business reason? And you have appealed following the company's policy? etc etc... This is the formal process. You suggest above that the changes have been made verbally. There is a big difference between the two. A company can change things informally under a flexible contract on a temporary basis as agreed with you - this is not a formal Flexible Working Request.


    You seem to be suggesting that you have asked for changes and they have agreed. Now that they are asking, you are not agreeing. A flexible working arrangement works both ways.

    I have been trying to resolve this for 6 months, and have already started the tribunal process due to time limits set out by the tribunal service. I'm not saying I refuse to work the hours they are requesting to be awkward. It's simply childcare which is the reason I can not do this. Childcare cost for the afternoon /evening would be crica 130 for the same period I get paid 80. So I would loose crica 100 pw.

    The employer has given me no alternatives, its their way or I face disciplinary.
    So, why do they need what they need? Do you understand what has changed in he business that they need you to work these hours? Have you proposed any solutions - offered a compromise?
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 15th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
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    satmanuk44
    So are you saying that every request you have made for flexible working has complied with the company's policy to be in writing, setting out what you want and how the business can facilitate this? And the company has arranged a meeting to discuss with you within the deadline? Ands they have replied in writing setting out their response and giving a business reason? And you have appealed following the company's policy? etc etc... This is the formal process. You suggest above that the changes have been made verbally. There is a big difference between the two. A company can change things informally under a flexible contract on a temporary basis as agreed with you - this is not a formal Flexible Working Request.


    You seem to be suggesting that you have asked for changes and they have agreed. Now that they are asking, you are not agreeing. A flexible working arrangement works both ways.

    So, why do they need what they need? Do you understand what has changed in he business that they need you to work these hours? Have you proposed any solutions - offered a compromise?
    Originally posted by Pricivius
    Without going into too much detail you are wrong on many levels. A flexible working arrangement is a permanent change to your contract if both agree. So any change to this would also require agreement by both parties. A request does not go both way its agreed upon and set in stone.
    • satmanuk44
    • By satmanuk44 15th Mar 18, 8:39 PM
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    satmanuk44
    Bear in mind that your childcare arrangements are no concern of your employer, and they do not have to consider any difficulties you have in this area.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    It's called indirect sex discrimination, and is covered in law by The Equality Act 2010
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 15th Mar 18, 10:04 PM
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    TELLIT01
    It's called indirect sex discrimination, and is covered in law by The Equality Act 2010
    Originally posted by satmanuk44
    How is it sex discrimination, direct or indirect? Either parent could request flexible working for childcare and either parent could be refused.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Mar 18, 12:49 AM
    • 38,621 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    How is it sex discrimination, direct or indirect? Either parent could request flexible working for childcare and either parent could be refused.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Not to mention that anyone could ask for flexible working for other reasons, eg caring for an aged parent - but I'm not even sure that the reasons have to be given!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • Pricivius
    • By Pricivius 16th Mar 18, 1:00 PM
    • 614 Posts
    • 1,012 Thanks
    Pricivius
    Without going into too much detail you are wrong on many levels. A flexible working arrangement is a permanent change to your contract if both agree. So any change to this would also require agreement by both parties. A request does not go both way its agreed upon and set in stone.
    Originally posted by satmanuk44


    Please go into the many levels - I am always keen to learn and understand where I have gone wrong. My understanding was that parties can agree flexible changes informally, or they can do it formally using the process set out in law. If they do it using the process set out by law, then I agree that whatever is agreed is then set in stone.


    Your employer seems to be suggesting that your changes have been agreed informally - your contract states you have a flexible arrangement and it appears your employer has been agreeing changes with you on this basis.


    This is different to a Flexible Working Request under the legislation. I have asked whether you went through the stages required by the law - for example, did you make your request in writing setting out:

    • The date of the application, the change to working conditions you are seeking and when you would like the change to come into effect.
    • What effect you think the requested change would have on the employer and how, in your opinion, any such effect might be dealt with.
    • That this is a statutory request and if you have made previous requests, on what date/s.
    This is required by law so if you did not do this, the employer can argue that you did not make a statutory Flexible Working Request. If you did not make a statutory Flexible Working Request, the agreed change is not set in stone.


    I am genuinely trying to help but I think there is somehow a breakdown in communication between us.
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