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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I recently (July) went on paternity leave with a view to returning

Customer Question

I recently (July) went on paternity leave with a view to returning to work part time 3 days per week, mon, tue, wed in the new year. These being the days my line manager said would suit her best. My wife has arranged with the school she teaches at to work 4 days per week as from Jan 1st. Mon tue Thursday fri.
My employer has now told me they want to change my days to mon tue fri. Leaving us with no childcare arrangements on a Friday and both of us not working on the Wednesday.
Where do I stand?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was your request initially approved?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was never formally made, Monday to Wednesday are traditionally our busiest days, and my line manager did tell me they were the days she would prefer me to work prior to the initial request. I understand that in the new year, Friday's are about to become busier, but she wouldn't have been aware of this prior to me going on paternity.My wife is a teacher and it would be impossible for her to re arrange her days as the board of governors have already gone to a lot of trouble allowing her to drop the Wednesday.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never made the request urgently, because I was told to just send a letter when we had decided when I was returning to work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Up until sending in the request, I was told on more than one occasion that mon true we'd would be the preferred days.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mon. Tue. Wed.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
have you been told why they have changed their mind?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not yet, but I believe it is because another office will be closing and we will be taking on more work. This was intimated but followed up with the phrase "I can't tell you officially". Obviously this is because people will be made redundant and it hasn't been announced yet.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are we still connected?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The right to make a flexible working request applies to any employee who has been employed by the employer for at least 26 weeks. Examples of the changes that can be applied for in a flexible working request include:· A change to working hours· Change to working location· Job-sharing 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. However, for all of this to apply you need o have made a formal request first and this does not appear to be the case yet so I suggest you do that so at least the employer is then obliged to seriously have to consider this and follow the set rules. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have given an incorrect phone number,Please call ***********
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I made the formal request on Thursday 26th November. Where do I go from here?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I am unavailable for calls at the moment as I am in and out of court - this option is given automatically without the system knowing of our availability. So if you have made a formal request has the employer given you a formal answer yet as a result of that application?
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I seem to have lost your question.I have only received notification by Facebook messenger, basically saying that it has to be Monday Tuesday Friday as it suits the needs of the business.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I would push for something more formal than that but remember that the employer basically retains strong flexibility over accepting or rejecting such requests. The code they are expected to follow is here:
http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/e/Code-of-Practice-on-handling-in-a-reasonable-manner-requests-to-work-flexibly.pdf

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