Flexible Working for Parents?

snapper_37

Barbara Woodhouse's Love Child
Location
Wolves
Anyone managed to sort something out with their employer.

Quick rundown. A woman who works for me wants to slightly change her hours to enable her to pick up her sprog from school. Her husband works nights so it was never an issue before but he is fed up and wants to do days.

I arranged with my boss to trial her at what means an hour less a day - pro-rata deduction in wage.

However, when other managers got wind of this there has been a massive backlash and it has been stopped. They are basically saying that if it's done for one it has to be done for all, including all the factory girls.

End result is my girl is going to leave which is a real shame as she is a good worker and it will take me ages to get someone suitable and then trained up.

I've read up about this flexible working thing but just wondered if anyone here has succesfully applied? If not, what are the main 'excuses' the company has come up with.

Thanks.
 

Coco

Well-Known Member
Location
Glasgow
I thought everyone (parents?) had the right to request flexible working. Although maybe thats just a policy bigger companies have adopted.
Even though people can request it, it would still be up to the company to decide whether the person can still do the job without any detrimental affect to the company. In our place, very few people can meet that criteria. esp shift people or those that are expected to be there to serve customers at specific times.

Edit: Just to make this clearer, the 'girls' (I hate that phrase) and indeed the 'boys' can apply for flexible working, but managers would have to look at each request individually and decide whether or not it can be accommodated. There is no automatic right to get it just because someone else has. I'll check our HR guidelines, I'm sure there are lots of excuses listed there.
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
My previous employer was very supportive when I fought for custody of my children, and they agreed to me working from home rather than the office. I guess it all comes down to what the job is, but in many cases I think the employer would be much better off accepting flexible working and keeping a valuable employee rather than being rigid and ending up with a muppet.
 

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
I requested it once but was refused as they said it would impact on team morale, a nice wishy washy excuse. Despite my job being perfectly suited to home working they decided that all requests would be refused making up some joke reason that cannot be challenged. I think the same company reasoning, if one person is allowed then lots of other people will apply who have just as valid a case.
 
OP
snapper_37

snapper_37

Barbara Woodhouse's Love Child
Location
Wolves
Coco said:
the 'girls' (I hate that phrase)
Sorry I'm sure. Term of endearment only I can assure you! :sad:

The difference between the ladies and gentlemen of the factory and my lady is quite simple. She does a more skilled job that would require advertisement, interview and extensive training. The factory jobs are quite easily filled by agency workers should one leave or decide that didn't fancy coming in. However, should all the workers with young children decide that they wanted to leave at 3pm for example, this would be detrimental to production and I understand why this would not be allowed.

Since I have 2 more staff here, plus me, who are quite happy to cover the hour or so, I can't see the problem in my dept. Tis a tricky one. :smile:
 

ChrisKH

Veteran
Location
Essex
snapper_37 said:
Sorry I'm sure. Term of endearment only I can assure you! :sad:

The difference between the ladies and gentlemen of the factory and my lady is quite simple. She does a more skilled job that would require advertisement, interview and extensive training. The factory jobs are quite easily filled by agency workers should one leave or decide that didn't fancy coming in. However, should all the workers with young children decide that they wanted to leave at 3pm for example, this would be detrimental to production and I understand why this would not be allowed.

Since I have 2 more staff here, plus me, who are quite happy to cover the hour or so, I can't see the problem in my dept. Tis a tricky one. :smile:
Not really. You have just shown why it is possible to do it for your staff member as it does not adversely affect production or her/your work process, whereas those on the shop floor must stick to production hours. Is the workplace unionised?
 

perplexed

Legendary Member
Location
Sheffield
Flexible working is ok, as long as it is not held as the sole preserve of parents.

Previous experience has shown that some parents use children as an excuse to cherry pick what hours they want to work. I get irritated when the fact they have children means they "can't possibly work nights" that week. Despite knowing when they took the job that was part of the deal.

Which means that some other mug has to...

Those without children have an equal right to see their wives/husbands.

Interestingly enough, the ones who don't want to cover the crappy shifts and expect others to take up the slack, never seem to think this is unfair.

Also interestingly, a few years ago a firm I worked for introduced a shift allowance, so the pay for nights was higher. Suddenly, it wasn't quite as crucial for some of the parents to not work nights...:tongue:
 

Coco

Well-Known Member
Location
Glasgow
ChrisKH said:
Not really. You have just shown why it is possible to do it for your staff member as it does not adversely affect production or her/your work process, whereas those on the shop floor must stick to production hours. Is the workplace unionised?
+1 You've explained it well enough. Sounds like weak management who want an easy life. (not you :tongue: )
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
perplexed said:
I get irritated when the fact they have children means they "can't possibly work nights" that week. Despite knowing when they took the job that was part of the deal.
I agree with that... If you take on a job that involves working evenings or weekends then the employee really shouldn't be surprised if they're expected to do it! Circumstances do change (as was my case), and I think its not unreasonable to expect the employer to consider a request for change, but I don't think the employer should be obliged to agree.
 
OP
snapper_37

snapper_37

Barbara Woodhouse's Love Child
Location
Wolves
rich p said:
I had latchkey kids or they got minded by someone.
Me too (was a latchkey). How times change!

TBF, I'm being rather selfish in trying for the flexi time. I can't be arsed looking for another bod and have a few crucial months coming up, including holidays to cover. I can manage my dept, but only if I'm allowed to (if that makes sense :tongue:).
 

philipbh

Spectral Cyclist
Location
Out the back
snapper_37 said:
Anyone managed to sort something out with their employer.

Quick rundown. A woman who works for me wants to slightly change her hours to enable her to pick up her sprog from school. Her husband works nights so it was never an issue before but he is fed up and wants to do days.

I arranged with my boss to trial her at what means an hour less a day - pro-rata deduction in wage.

However, when other managers got wind of this there has been a massive backlash and it has been stopped. They are basically saying that if it's done for one it has to be done for all, including all the factory girls.

End result is my girl is going to leave which is a real shame as she is a good worker and it will take me ages to get someone suitable and then trained up.

I've read up about this flexible working thing but just wondered if anyone here has succesfully applied? If not, what are the main 'excuses' the company has come up with.

Thanks.
Your company should prepare themselves for a sex discrimination case to be brought against them if she is forced to leave on this basis

Flexible working is the law - though a request for flexible working doesn't mean it has to be granted

Did you start the trial already?

If the lady in question is able to complete her work in 5 hours less per week for 5 hours less pay, then the company is getting a bargain.

To withdraw the flexible arrangement on the basis that the "other managers" don't want "other employees" to request flexible working is asking for trouble
 
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