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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50143
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have had a flexible working request declined from work

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I have had a flexible working request declined from work based on the grounds of the additional burden of costs. During my conversation with my line manager when he informed me of the decision he also mentioned that due to structural changes planned the request would open up too much risk (I work in banking) to the business.
I intend to appeal as another colleague in a similar role has had the exact same request agreed and in place for 6 months. During my original request meeting my manager has commented that this working pattern was working well. I wondered if I had any grounds to appeal on the basis that the business has used knowledge of planned changes (of which I am not aware of) to make the decision. Would it be fair for me to ask for an understanding of the changes planned so that I may appeal with the same knowledge as the business?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long have you worked there for? Please can you also tell me the reason for the request. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've worked for the business for almost three years, the request is in regards ***** ***** returning from maternity in January.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. 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.

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

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben, my employer has rejected my flexible working request on the grounds of cost. As the same request was approved by the company by way of a compromise as part of an appeal in January - so I have any grounds to appeal on the basis that they have put this plan is place already this year and confirmed to me the job share for my colleague is working well for the business?

Hi yes you can by arguing that the grounds for refusal are incorrect or unreasonable, this being backed up by the fact that it was already approved earlier this year so unless there have been significant changes in costings or budgets, that may be an unreasonable decision