am i being forced out

(12 Posts)
itispersonal Sat 18-Jan-14 14:51:29

I work in a call centre part time have done last 8 years, before during and after uni and I am now looking to return after my maternity leave.

I am the last of the group of mums that were pregnant at the time to return after maternity leave. I went into work beginning Dec even tho not back til March to sort out my hours on return.

I have asked for different hours from what I was previously on, as I am now unable to work a Saturday as I have no child care, tho I do have for week days. My initial request was to work midweek only but they have said there busiest days are Monday and Friday, I rearranged my childcare arrangements to work every Friday and alternate Mondays . However work is insisiting I have to work a Saturday. And I have to go to a meeting with them.

I know my request for flexible working doesn't have to be agreed however the feeling of being forced out is that other mums who are returning have had meeting and have been told they must a Friday or a Monday and no mention of a weekend, yet I have stated I have no child care, but can guarantee working in the week regardless if dd is ill etc.

Should/can it be one rule for 1 mum and another for me. We are all of the same level - a bum of a seat! If they do force me to do a Saturday and not others would this be classed as a grievance against me. Had lots of issues with them before left on maternity leave which contributed to me being signed off with stress and anxiety for a majority of my pregnancy.

Littlefish Sat 18-Jan-14 14:56:26

Yes, it can be different rules for different people as far as I know. It depends what their business need is. If they need people who can work on a Saturday, then I think they are within their rights to refuse your request. Perhaps when your friends returned to work, they could accommodate the requests not to work weekends, but are now short of weekend workers.

Unfortunately they can turn down a flexible working agreement if it doesn't meet the needs of the service.
It would be unreasonable of them to turn down a request because other people might want the same but it is reasonable to turn down a request because it conflicts with a pre-existing flexible working agreement held by someone else.

meditrina Sat 18-Jan-14 15:04:24

I note that you have said that you are the last to return.

They need X number of workers who can do Saturdays, have Y number of staff and Z is the difference between them and therefore also the number who can have flexible hours with Saturdays off. If the number on no-Sats flexible workers is already Z, then it is totally legal for them to refuse your request.

It's not an issue of 'fairness' in terms of comparing one worker to another. It is in terms of "was this request properly considered, and could it be accommodated on the basis of business need at the time it was made".

They cannot refuse a request on the basis that another worker might want to make a flexible working request in future.

itispersonal Sat 18-Jan-14 15:11:00

Cheers!... So basically I'm screwed!

Though I am still unsure how I am meant to work a Saturday, as they will want a set Saturday pattern in place, when I can not do this and I am sure they won't want a phone call on the Saturday saying I'm not coming in as my childcare has fallen through.

Surely it's better to have staff who can commit to set days in the week. Than having to change work plans as last mminute as I have no where for my dd to go.

Littlefish Sat 18-Jan-14 15:32:15

Of course they need reliable staff. However, they also need staff who can work on Saturdays. You were previously employed to work on Saturdays. You are entitled to return to either the same job, or a similar job with no less favourable terms and conditions. They appear to be following the rules. It is up to you whether you are able to return to the same/similar job. If you can't, you will have to look for employment elsewhere which fits your cicumstances. I know it feels unfair to you, but it really isn't. They are a business with a business need.

itispersonal Sat 18-Jan-14 15:41:53

Business always wins! I hate the thought of pinned intoa corner which I can't get out of, they want Saturdays from me so one way or another I'll have to dothem.

Id love to leave, I hate the place is makes me mentally ill and if I didn't need to have a clean medical record I would go down this route, as I shouldnt constantly have to keep myself awake thinking work won't be happy til I'm dead or gone. But the flexibility of the hours, they had always been good at changing hours for placements, exams etc, can do 20 hours in 2 (tho not open long enough of a Saturday to do this) and the pay is good.

Rockchick1984 Sat 18-Jan-14 21:49:09

Does your partner work Saturdays? He is also entitled to request flexible working, so he can apply to stop working them, then you don't need Saturday childcare.

itispersonal Sat 18-Jan-14 22:29:42

Yes he works Saturdays and his firm are even less likely to let him as he works in retail or he would have to work Sunday and then we wouldn't get a day off together. Which isn't ideal either as family time is important for the work life balance.

I know in the end my mum will end up looking after her, which isn't fair as she will already be looking after her 1 or 2 days a week n 3 is a lot, even though they are retired.

itispersonal Sat 18-Jan-14 22:31:13

Partner will be doin the childcare as well in his days off as well as my mum.

Littlefish Sat 18-Jan-14 22:32:47

Could you afford one day at a childminder so that your parents would continue to do 2 days rather than 3?

flowery Sun 19-Jan-14 14:48:08

As others have said, they don't have to agree your request just because they've been able to agree others.

Were you proposing they recruit additional staff to cover the Saturdays you no longer want to work, or were you proposing everyone else could work more Saturdays to enable you not to have to work them any more?

Your mum will only "end up" looking after your DD if you ask her to. If you think she'd prefer not to, or think it's not fair to expect that of her, you have the option not to ask her to do it.

I'm not sure what you mean by you don't know how you are "meant" to work a Saturday though? Same way as you are "meant" to work the other days - by finding suitable childcare. What those arrangements are is none of your employer's concern. As with any other day, you'd choose childcare that isn't going to "fall through".

I know you'd prefer not to work Saturdays, but really it's nothing to do with your employer that your partner happens to work Saturdays already and you'd therefore need paid childcare for one day a week.

Business doesn't "always win" - you say yourself the hours are flexible and the pay is good. It's up to you to decide whether you want to stay in your job or not, and balancing out the flexibility and good pay that you like against the aspects you don't like is part of the decision making process.

Perhaps you could go back to work, pay for a babysitter or something one day a week just temporarily while you look for a job that gives you flexibility, good pay and allows you to work the days you want. It's always easier to find another job while in a job.

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