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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49866
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work in a hotel as a duty manager but currently on my years

Customer Question

I work in a hotel as a duty manager but currently on my years maternity leave.I requested felxible working hours, monday -friday from 8 am -5.30pm.The employer has refused my request but has given me an alternative option.i.e, letter attached below,please advice as I am not happy with their proposal:
Good afternoon Ellinor

Thank you for meeting with me on 27th June to discuss your request to change your work patterns in your role as Duty Manager with the hotel.

You requested to reduce your working week from 5 days to 4 days per week and restrict your working pattern to only include shift of Tuesday to Friday 8am-4.30pm on your return from maternity leave.

Following our meeting I can confirm that both myself and the General Manager have reviewed your request with a view to a suitable solution.
We have considered the options to facilitate this request in line with the demands of the business, following our review the conclusion was that unfortunately we are not in a position to accommodate your request as outlined above.

The considerations for this decision are as follows:
Between the hours of 7am and 8am we cannot leave the hotel without a Duty Manager. As it is not feasible to rota a second Duty Manager for 1 hour cover prior to 8am, this change to the DM shifts patterns would cause disruption to the business.

In relation to your request to working set days of Tuesday to Friday , we feel we have investigated all reasonable options, unfortunately meeting this request would not allow the flexibility for the Duty Manager roster which is required to meet the demands of the business. In an effort to provide cover for the vacant 5th DM shift we would have to source extra cover from within the hotel , this would be putting another department in the hotel under constraint on a weekly basis and is therefore not a viable solution.

Ellinor, if you have a second option that you would like us to consider I would be happy to discuss this further.

In addition we have investigated a suitable option where we can offer a temporary solution to meet your request, this option is the role of a Front Office Supervisor this is a permanent role with the Company however would be considered a change in position and therefore the relevant terms and conditions including salary attached to this position would be in effect. This option is not enforced by the company however it is available to you should you wish to consider it. The reason I reference this as a temporary solution is that after a period of six months we would require the flexibility of a front office supervisor roster. I would be happy to discuss this further with you should you wish.

I am available to meet with you again next week to discuss these options and answer any questions you may have.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What specific queries do you have about this situation?

JACUSTOMER-8jm27l7p- : I have given you the whole picture so I am asking for your suggestion
JACUSTOMER-8jm27l7p- : Well not happy at all given the fact that I paid £18.00 hoping to get some help buying don't think so you are helping me at all.I have provided you the whole scenario and you are asking me back as to how can you help me!
Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. Whilst you have the right to make a flexible working request, 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? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

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