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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work for a police force as police staff, the force has currently

Customer Question

I work for a police force as police staff, the force has currently gone through a massive restructure and now some staff have to travel quite far to continue working. A colleague works through his lunch breaks of 36 minutes so he can go of duty early.
Is this acceptable?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were they asked to move workplace location? Was that allowed under their contract?

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : They had to sort of agree that they would travel to the new location of the office and work shifts etc, but it appears that the train service from where they commute is not brilliant, especially at weekends
Ben Jones :

How long has this arrangement been in place for?

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : It has been 2 weeks into the re-structure and this person has been working through lunch breaks to finish early. In the unit we have to work on a shift system so I am finding it quite annoying that he is "allowed" to go early and others including myself have to stay to the "proper" end of shift time. He is also working from his "home station" at weekends and I have contested this verbally as I have to travel one hour twenty to get to my employment and he is being allowed to work at his "home station" when nobody else is allowed to.
Ben Jones :

There is nothing stopping the employer allowing certain members of staff to work through their breaks or to leave early. There is no law that says such equality must exist amongst everyone and in individual circumstances the employer can apply different rules to different employees. If that person has asked for this to happen, the employer has considered it and they deemed it is appropriate, they can certainly allow someone to change their hours as necessary. There is nothing stopping you from doing the same and you can make a formal request for similar changes to be made to you, however as mentioned there is no law that states an employer has to treat you all equally in that respect

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : Ah, thanks Ben, it,s just that I Was an operational police officer until I contracted meningitis in 2006 which left me deaf and thus becoming a civilian police staff and I have a son who is 14 and I am a single parent and the force will not accommodate the fact that my son is only 14 and that due to my deafness I cannot use a telephone, but I have worked for the organisation as police staff since 2006 without any issues and fully contributing to the role that I was previously in without any problems and now they refuse to allow any flexible working that was in situ before the re-structure as I am now on a trial period of 4 weeks , action on hearing has attended the new office and ascertained that there is no suitable telephone that would be compatible to my role, I just feel that this other person is getting preferential treatment when I would like a bit of compassion, I am a real hard worker and feel quite let down by the force.
Ben Jones :

Would the same arrangement as theirs work for you, or are you looking at entirely different changes?

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : I have requested that I don,t hAve to work weekends due to child care issues and this was rejected as I am in a trial period and at weekend there are only 2 members of staff on duty and I contested that I would be working alone when the other member of staff was on lunch, sick or on a different shift and would not be able to answer any telephone calls....I was hoping that they would allow flexible working as my son is 14 and that I cannot use a telephone so why the emphasise on me being in the office at weekends etc when I cannot use a phone??
Ben Jones :

ok so the arrangements are different which means that you can't say they are necessarily getting priority treatment because what works for them in their situation would not necessarily work for you and what you are after may not be considered possible or reasonable, whereas their arrangement could be easier to implement. However, your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments if you are disabled, which you are and they must be able to justify clearly why the requested adjustments are not reasonable. Also you have the right to make a formal request for flexible working which he employer has to consider officially and go through a formal procedure.

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : Does the right to go through a formal procedure included in my trail period?
Ben Jones :

that can happen at any time, it does not depend on a trial period

JACUSTOMER-tznoo2ec- : Ok thanks for your assistance....they have intimated that should I contest or try to continue with my flexible working that it will have. Negative result as I knew that being in the re - deployment pool that because previously I worked Monday to f
Ben Jones :
you cannot be treated detrimentally for making a flexi working request - they can reject it and that would be it but they can't then penalise you as well
Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you

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