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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44941
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Two years ago I changed my role at work from field based from

Customer Question

Two years ago I changed my role at work from field based from home to a role field and office based. I did not accept for a while as I wanted in writing the terms agreed that I would be home based Monday and Friday. They point blank refused anything in writing. After A short amount of time. I was working five days a week in office and managed to get down to at least Monday at home. Without agreeing to any change about the Friday.
While working at the office I stay at work provided accommodation. My requirements for working at home were based on access to my child. If I had not taken the role I would have had no issues. I had a meeting about possibility of reducing hours slightly or having flexible time and told by M.D. That he did want me to reduce my hours as it would reduce money and I should be providing. No business reason was mentioned.
Do I have any legal comeback. We have no H.R. department. M.D. is very slippery and hot headed. Suspect if I make any kind if further issue, I will be sacked for being a pain to him about this issue.
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. can you tell me your total length of service with out any breaks please

JACUSTOMER-vyr4s7wu- :

My employment started in April 2010. so over 4 year. during that time about a year after starting I did start working at the office at an adhoc basis. which returned back to home based again without any change of contract

Ben Jones :

Hello, you have the right to make a formal flexible working request if you wish to do so and you would be requesting to be working certain days at home. You have the right to do so because you have child caring issues that you need to deal with and which could be resolved or at least assisted by flexible working arrangements.

The procedure for making such a request can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/making-a-statutory-application

When a formal request is made, an employer can only reject it on a limited number of grounds. These are:

  • Planned structural changes
  • The burden of additional costs
  • A detrimental impact on quality
  • The inability to recruit additional staff
  • A detrimental impact on performance
  • The inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • A detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • Lack of work during the periods the employee proposes to work

In addition, the employer has a duty to explain their rejection in writing. They must state why the specific business ground applies in the circumstances and include the key facts about their decision. These should be accurate and relevant to the reason used.

However, when selecting the ground for refusal the test is a subjective one on the part of the employer. If the employer considers that one of the grounds applies, then the test is satisfied. The test does not create any requirement of reasonableness into the employer's judgment. It would appear that only if the employer's view is based on incorrect facts, could the decision actually be challenged.

Therefore, if the employer has not relied on one of the set grounds to justify their refusal, or the facts they have used are incorrect or unreasonable, the decision can be appealed first before a formal grievance is raised. If that does not help, a claim can be made to an employment tribunal. The available grounds to challenge their decision are:

  • The employer failed to hold a meeting, notify their decision or offer a right of appeal
  • The reason for refusal was not for one of the allowed reasons
  • The rejection was based on incorrect facts

The claim should be presented to the tribunal within 3 months of either the procedural breach or of the date on which the employee is notified of the appeal decision.

Hope this clarifies your position?

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

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