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Question

I am working in a care home as a support worker.I am working for three years now. My previous Manager allowed me to work according to my family need bcz I am having small kids to look after and wife also working. After change in management they said not possible any more.If I want to work in the company like before I need to go as a flexible worker it is like bank staff for the company where no guarantee for hours and need to work in different homes under the company. I seek advice from Unison also they are also saying same.Is there any legal possibility to maintain my working pattern? Thank you.

 Regards Anish

Answer.

Dear Anish,

If you are the parent of a child under 17 (under 18 if your child is disabled) or caring for an adult, you have the right to ask your employer for flexible working. You must also have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks.

Flexible working can include working part time, working school hours, working flexitime, home working, job sharing, shift working, staggering hours and compressing hours (where you work your total number of agreed hours over a shorter period).

Although you have the right to ask to work flexibly, your employer doesn\'t have to agree to it. However, they must give your request serious consideration and have a good business reason if they decide not to agree.

If you are asking for flexible working because you are a parent, you must be responsible for your child on a day to day basis.

You can make a request to work flexibly each year. This must be in writing. You should say how you think, the change in your working pattern will affect your employer\'s business and how this might work in practice.

Your employer must also follow a standard procedure for considering your request. This includes having a meeting with you. If your employer wants to turn down your request for flexible working, they must give their reasons in writing. You have the right to appeal, if your request is turned down. You must do this in writing, within at least 14 days of getting your employer\'s decision. You should give your reasons for appealing and make sure your appeal is dated.

If your appeal for flexible working is refused, you may be able to:

  ask ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to help you sort out your dispute with your employer (in Northern Ireland this is the Labour Relations Agency). ACAS has set up a flexible working arbitration scheme to deal with this type of dispute.

  complain to an employment tribunal

As far your case is concern you have small children to look after and you are previously given flexible working hours by the same management/company, your employer is obliged to give flexible working hours. The reason behind is that, the employer will not suffer any disadvantage because of giving you flexible hours and the employer had done the same previously.

We advise you to give in writing the employer, stipulating your hardship of not giving the flexible hours working together with some inputs saying that, your demand is not determent to the employer.

If the employer decline your request, you have a choice to approach ACAS, and afterwards a complaint to Tribunal.

ACAS will try to conciliate with the employer and you, and if it is not materialised, they will refer the matter to the Employment Tribunal.

You should also bear in mind that, an employment tribunal may not be able to over-turn your employer\'s decision. However, it may be able to force your employer to reconsider your request or to award you compensation.

Zenith Solicitor (Legal Defence Team.)

 Disclaimer

The information contained in this article are from the event happened previously. The author of this article takes no responsibility in any shape or form should someone decide to act upon or use it for his/her personal consumption. The article has merely been presented exclusively for information. Should some on decide to use it for any reason, is strongly recommended to take independent legal advice prior to acting upon.
 
Zenith Solicitor.

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