UK Employment Law

UK Employment Law Questions Answered by Verified Experts

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

UK Employment Law

Hi My wife has worked for Everyone Everywhere for almost 9

Customer Question
Hi My wife has worked for...
Hi
My wife has worked for Everyone Everywhere for almost 9 years.
Intially on a 5 day contract then after the birth of our 1st child her hours were reduced to 4 days for child care reasons. In Sept 11 we had the birth of our second child and Kim was due to return to work on the 16th Feb 12.

We requested Flexible working hours 2 days but this was turned down. We then offered 3 full days including a weekend day. They counter offered with her original 4 days or work 3 days 11am to 4pm BUT BE AVAILABLE FOR 5 DAYS. This offer is impractical due to child care being inflexible. 4 days is too expense on the child care front.

Today was the final appeal meeting and her above request was turned down on the basis they need flexiblility in the days worked.

The business is a retail mobile phone business with many sister stores. It is open 7 days a week 9am to 5pm and they have many different shift hours.

I know they can turn down this request but asking someone to work 3 days but be availble for 5 in my limited opinion is sex discrimation on the basis of the child care issue. You cannot at the start of the week ask your childminder to change days.

Also pre maternity Kim's salary was often remarked upon by her line manager and area manager. As an employee that has worked for the company for almost 9 years her salary in retail terms is not bad and higher than her colleagues plus she has huge benefits.

This appears sex discrimination and contrustive dismissal?

Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: UK Employment Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own UK Employment Law Question
Answered in 1 minute by:
4/3/2012
Solicitor: Ben Jones, UK Lawyer replied 5 years ago
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,776
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Verified

Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know the exact reasons for their refusal?

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

Hi Thanks for being so prompt.

Customer:

We have not had the official letter but the reason given in the meeting is that the "lack of flexibility" in the days-

Customer:

For example if someone is ill or holiday - Kim would change their days

Customer:

does this help?

Customer:

Are you there?

Ben Jones :

yes sorry just got called away . Let me just draft my answer

Ben Jones :

The right to request flexible working consists of the following three steps:



  • A formal request by the employee by following the set statutory procedure

  • An obligation on the employer to consider the request seriously

  • A limited number of grounds on which the employer can refuse the request


 


An employer can only reject a flexible working request 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 to providing a set ground for rejecting the request, 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 business ground.


 


Assuming they have given serious consideration to her request, have followed the proper procedure and can justify the refusal on one of the above grounds and show that is indeed the case, then it is unlikely she can claim discrimination or constructive dismissal.


 


If you believe that they have not used one of the set grounds for refusal or the facts they have used are incorrect, you can consider raising a formal grievance first to try and resolve this or by formally appealing the decision. If these do not help, you have the option of taking this to an employment tribunal, however you can only do this on the following grounds:



  • the employer failed to hold a meeting, notify a decision or offer a right of appeal

  • the reason for refusal was not one of the set reasons above

  • the rejection was based on incorrect facts


 


The claim should be presented to the tribunal within three months of the procedural breach or within three months of the date on which the employee is notified of the appeal decision.


 


Whilst constructive dismissal is an option, consider carefully whether the above factors apply, especially as this is a very difficult claim to win.


 

Customer:

Sex discrimination?

Ben Jones :

Sex discrimination will be part of the first claim. Just because the hours proposed by the employer do not suit her as a new mother dopes not mean this is sex discrimination, especially if the employer has satisfied all of the considerations I mentioned above.

Customer:

Ok that is the detailed answer - What is your professional opinion?

Ben Jones :

it really depends on whether the reasons they have given for rejecting the request are genuine and justifiable in the circumstances

Customer:

The business has many stores and many part timers and this can't be the end after 9 years of service. I don't think the above points are affected. I do think her pension contributions and her hourly rate are the reasons. This is having a cost on the store. Her roles is being filled by a temp on min wage and her rate is £7.81 plus benefits and commission.

Ben Jones :

this is a question of fact. I do not have enough details of the employer's business needs or resources to say with certainty if their decision is right or not, all I can give you is the law that applies in this situation and what she can do about it. If she has evidence that her pay is the reason then she can certainly use that in any appeal, grievance or claim she makes but I have not seen evidence that this is the case, it is just speculation

Customer:

This is very depressing.

Customer:

The law appears to be so subjective - nebulus. We/ I think they are making it difficult for her to come back they advertise a family flexible working policy to their staff yet there is no flexibility. The decision in this case is not on a point of law but on a judges interpretation of the presented facts.

Ben Jones :

There will certainly be a subjective element in this case because it depends on the business needs, resources, etc - these will vary from one employer to another. Employees will have certain rights but that does not give them full rights to request whatever hours they want - there is still a business to be run and employers will have certain rights too.

Customer:

Ok

Customer:

But this is what scares me about law - nobody has the answer. Would anybody or any recommendation for somebody taking on the case on a no win no fee basis? At the moment the best option is to continue on maternity leave unpaid.

Customer:

I am frustrated but I am very grateful for your professionalism. I hate bullys and boys in suits and that's whats happened.

Ben Jones :

law is rarely straightforward. A lot of it is to do with interpretation, reasonableness, etc - the way it works is that the main principles are set in stone but how they are applied will depend on the particular situation. There is no escaping that. You may find a firm that could take this on but you have to do some looking around because there aren't many that do no win no fee.

Ben Jones :

or you can make the claim yourselves

Customer:

If we make the claim ourselfs what do you think would happen?

Customer:

also I do think offering 3 days instead of the 4 days as before is reasonable. It is one day less than before?

Ben Jones :

What will happen is difficult to predict. You would get some help from the tribunal but still have to show that you have a valid claim. Whilst at first sight the 3 days would seem reasonable it still depends on the needs/resources of the business - for you it may not make much of a difference, for the business it could be much different

Customer:

Last question It nebulus. they have staff that work one day a week and they have staff that work 4 hours and they have ORange and T mobile stores and there has been no attempt to transfer or try and offer some other solution.

Ben Jones :

they need to explore all avenues - they have a legal duty to seriously consider her request and that 'serious' consideration should involve looking at different options,such as the ones you mentioned

Customer:

ok thanks Ben. All the best.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,776
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Verified
Ben Jones and 87 other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,776
48,776 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'

Ben Jones is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks!

RickLeeds, UK

I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks!

Ms. BakerAlfafar, Spain

Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great!

MaggieUSA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

UK Lawyer

48,776 satisfied customers

Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'

Jenny McKenzie

Jenny McKenzie

1,919 satisfied customers

10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR

UKSolicitorJA

UKSolicitorJA

Solicitor

390 satisfied customers

solicitor

John Knox

John Knox

Solicitor

72 satisfied customers

Solicitor and Advocate

Kasare

Kasare

Solicitor

35 satisfied customers

LLB (Hons)

Buachaill

Buachaill

Barrister

23 satisfied customers

17 years experience

INC

INC

Solicitor-Advocate

22 satisfied customers

LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)

< Previous | Next >

Related UK Employment Law Questions
Where do I stand in respect of claiming back unpaid overtime
Where do I stand in respect of claiming back unpaid overtime and holiday payments that are contrary to the terms and conditions that I carried over a point of transfer. … read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
Can an employer go from a counseling session with a employee
Can an employer go from a counseling session with a employee and then go to a final warning . Also can they demote someone and deduct 9k from they're wages .… read more
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
1,919 satisfied customers
My husband worked for a company for 10 months but it was
For Ben Jones My husband worked for a company for 10 months but it was going nowhere so he gave his notice into the company his wage for this was £25.000 pa The owner then offered a job on a self empl… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
Do I have the right to refuse using a thumb print method of
Do I have the right to refuse using a thumb print method of clocking in … read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I have worked for my company for 11 years 5 of which have
I have worked for my company for 11 years 5 of which have been a manager. We have missed one quarters targets my boss has told me he doesnt want me to manage my branch anymore as he beleives I have ta… read more
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
1,919 satisfied customers
I have been accused of falsifying my time sheets and
Hello, I have been accused of falsifying my time sheets and fraudulently claiming money for times that I have not worked. It was during a period of 11, 12-14 hours night shift (I usually work days, bu… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I am employed by a large online design agency in India (I am
Hi, I am employed by a large online design agency in India (I am in the UK) and am experiencing harassment and bullying. Is there anything that can be done legally, as I am losing my job due to this. … read more
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
1,919 satisfied customers
Can you assist. I was recently dismissed by my employers for
Good morning. Please can you assist. I was recently dismissed by my employers for alleged gross misconduct with payment in lieu of notice (PILON), but I was never invited for or had an investigation m… read more
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
1,919 satisfied customers
Whether the graduate jobs in UK are available to only the
Whether the graduate jobs in UK are available to only the specific graduates from the certain field?… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I have just started to work in an hotel three days ago but
I have just started to work in an hotel three days ago but do not wish to carry on working there. Actually, I intend to give them a resignation letter tomorrow. I haven't sign any contract nor documen… read more
T_Graham12
T_Graham12
Bachelor's Degree
36 satisfied customers
I need some advice on my notice period. I intend to give my
no. I intend to give my bosses my letter of resignation on Monday 4 december. In my key terms of employment (i never signed a contract) it says i need to give 4 weeks notice period. … read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I have been suspended for shouting at a patient and accused
Hi I have been suspended for shouting at a patient and accused of having my hand risen to slap him when in fact it was in defence as the patient hd just hit me.. A manager walkd in to the room at that… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I was sacked at the very end of my trial period and then
Hi. I was sacked at the very end of my trial period and then received no wages, I issued a claim through a small claims court to retrieve the money owed and this was ignored by my ex employer. A judgement was then entered against him and he has issued an N244 form, denying that the judgement should be in his name. I have been given a notice of hearing which occurs next Thursday but have strong objections to his statements and the details he has presented in support of his application. I wish to present my case but don't know how to go about doing so... … read more
Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law
5,089 satisfied customers
My employer has just introduced ssp, previously all
Hi my employer has just introduced ssp, previously all employees were granted up to six days paid leave, before any bonus was deducted from pay. Due to what they term as abuse and staff seeing the six… read more
Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
1,919 satisfied customers
If there is a incident out off work time with a colleague
If there is a incident out off work time with a colleague that is nothing to do with work can there be an investigation into this by the companyor HR.… read more
Jo C.
Jo C.
Barrister
Master\u0027s Degree
37,517 satisfied customers
What is the minimum break period required by law between
Hi what is the minimum break period required by law between seasonal contracts before the worker is considered permanent … read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I need some help i have a clause in my employment contract
I need some help i have a clause in my employment contract which states this: … read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers
I am currently facing a disciplinary hearing for gross
For Ben Jones,I am currently facing a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct at work. The charges are unjust and there are mitigating factors. But it would be difficult for me to defend myself as i… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
48,776 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x