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Question regarding flexible working request

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Hi All,

 

To provide a bit of a backstory: the company where I work has made no significant pay awards (beyond inflation) for around 8 years and for the last two years nothing whatsoever (not even inflation).

After a bit of calculation my wages are now below what they were in 2008 when adjusted for inflation despite now performing a significantly more senior role.

I have found something which could be performed one day a week which could significantly supplement my income and to this end put in a request to cut my working week to 4 days (not working for the company on a Friday i.e. doing my own thing).

 

To be clear I have offered significant mitigation: pro-rata reduction in holiday, being available on the phone on a Friday where possible, possibility of coming in to the company on a Friday if they're desperate and fits in with me and the option for either party to cancel the agreement after 3 months trial period.

 

Needless to say this request has been refused. The letter contains the statement "You requested a reduction to your working hours without an corresponding reduction in your salary" As I understand it this is not a statutory or material consideration.

The letter then goes on to state that they have "considered my flexible working request against each of the statutory grounds....... The reason for this refusal is that to grant the request would impose an unreasonable burden of additional costs for the business. We consider your position to be full time and we would have to cover your absence with additional resource at extra cost to the company".

 

When my manager presented me the letter I put it to him that the reality is they would never cover my absence on the Friday with someone else as there is (a) no one else in the company who can do my job (b) the business would not employ an outside contractor for one day per week. My manager basically agreed with me and said "you're probably right"

 

My question is (a) have the company provided evidence to reject under the statutory reason of burden of additional costs, (b) Does the statement "You requested a reduction to your working hours without an corresponding reduction in your salary" hold any validity or rather does it invalidate their reasonaing as it could be construed that they would have accepted has I offered a salary reduction.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

PS. For clarity I am a man and the request had nothing to do with looking after children

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seems entirely reasonable to me. 80% of the hours = 80% of the pay. Should have asked for a condensed working week of eg 4 x 10 hour days.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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So you want the equivalent of a 20% pay rise and more time so that you can work for someone else, for the life of me i can't see why your current employer did not jump at the chance......

 

Perhaps if you are not happy with the pay and conditions you should go and get a job elsewhere.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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Holy cow! Sorry but if I wanted the responses as above I wouldn't have asked.

 

Emmzzi - Whether you think 80% of salary for 80% of the hours is reasonable or not, it does not form part of the statutory considerations for refusal hence my questions above

 

ssparks2003 - Actually I want around a 40% pay rise, and know I can get it elsewhere too. However in general I quite like the company and it's an easy commute for me, the situation is that adjusted for inflation I am now paid significantly less than I was in 2008 and also 30% to 40% less than the manager who's role I now fulfill (who left 4 years ago). They know this and I know this so actually I don't see that doing 20% less hours (which it wouldn't be in reality anyway) for the same pay is a bad deal for them. I wouldn't be working for someone else on my 'day off' it would be myself carrying out consultancy work.

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Emmzzi - Whether you think 80% of salary for 80% of the hours is reasonable or not, it does not form part of the statutory considerations for refusal hence my questions above

 

According to your first post you asked to do 80% of the hours for 100% of the pay (not 80% of the pay). You have read "You requested a reduction to your working hours without an corresponding reduction in your salary" as as part of the statutory consideration of a flexible working request. I read it as simply a statement confirming what they understood your request was. It you weren't asking for a 4 day week with no pay reduction then you should go back and tell them so and they can reconsider it.

 

Do they have an internal appeal procedure?

 

Sorry no-one seems to be agreeing with your here. Frankly asking to do 80% of the hours with no pay reduction (if that's what asked) is taking the p***. I'm not surprised they refused. If you know you can get a 40% pay rise elsewhere why not go and get it?

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Agreed. I seriously doubt that someone who thinks such a refusal is irrational from the employer can see any sense in rational answers here. Why ask if you didn't want answers? What you effectively told them that you will continue to work for them on the same salary provided the hours of work suit you. There is nothing "flexible" about that! And it certainly is a material consideration that you expect the same pay for fewer hours- more of their material (money) will bed spent for fewer hours of work.

 

It's unfortunate that, like many people, you haven't been able to have a wage that keeps up with inflation. But if that is what you want, then toy must find another job that offers such.

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It looks to me that the company have applied the statutory reasoning almost perfectly.

 

Nobody would take the role on for one day per week and there is nobody to cover the role in a Friday. They can't fill the role internally. That implies that the statutory reason of an inability to recruit additional staff applies.

 

If they did recruit for one day per week, it would result in additional costs. If they did, it would be likely to be on a consultancy fee at increased cost to the company, so their reasoning is correct.

 

The are not purporting to shoehorn your salary into a statutory reason - it's entirely ancillary, and reasonable, for them to not want to pay you 100% salary for 80% of the work. Even if it was agreed, your holiday would be pro rata anyway.

 

If the job no longer suits you, you may be better focussing your energies on finding alternative employment.

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Holy cow! Sorry but if I wanted the responses as above I wouldn't have asked.

 

Then you should have said "please only post if you agree with me" and saved everyone time.

 

I still think condensed week is the better option. Or a new job.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Holy cow! Sorry but if I wanted the responses as above I wouldn't have asked.d deal for them.

 

My most humble and profound apologies, I thought you had come hear to gain advise and opinion from others. Next time can you advise the answer that you expect in your original post so that we can all just cut and paste it into our responses for you.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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if your scheme for your doing your own thing on fridays is that good you will be delighted to be given the opportunity.

As for pay not keeping up with inflation there are 2 sorts of inflation, cost push and wage push. Your employer is obviously not suffering from the latter because you are still there so they dont appear to have a problem with recruitment and retention.

A relative of mine dropped from a 5 day week to 4 days but she now does 9.5 hour days. Her employer cannot make any other changes due to the nature of the business and her role but if at some point in the future they employ someone else in a similar capacity she will ask for a reduction in the working week and obviously a drop in salary as well.

Your further resposes make it sound like you are lucky you werent offered the opportunity to develop these new ideas of self employment 100% of the time

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