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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47902
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I currently work logistics company i have worked for

Customer Question

I currently work for a logistics company i have worked for them for 18 months, i signed a contract to work Sun 08:00-16:30 and Mon-Thurs 11:00-19:30. When a colleague left i change my shift to Tues-Fri 07:00-15:30 and Saturday 08:00-16:30 i did not sign a new contract for these hours. i have requested to work Monday to Friday or alterntive Saturdays with one of five other colleagues in the office so i would not have to work every Saturday this was 5 months ago and this has just been passed between members of management each telling me this wasn't possible. The company have since took someone else on full time in the office to work Mon-Fri on the hours i had requested and they had said no to. Is this legal? Can they force me to work Saturdays? My father has been diganoised with cancer in his bladder and he will be having an operation in 2 days to have his bladder removed, he will then need care from myself and my sister as he is 78 years old. i have today filled in a request for flexible working hours so i am able to work Monday to Friday and care for my dad at weekends, can they refuse to do this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When my colleague left i changed permently chnaged my hours to Tues-Sat but did not have any update in contract or sign anything to change this from Sun-Thurs this was just done verbally.
I asked management first if i could work Mon-Fri on a perment basis but they told me no so i asked if i could do alternitive Saturdays with someone else as working every Saturday was too much for me. When i requested this both times it was just verbally between myself and managment although i had to go through 3 different management members, nothing was ever in writting or classed as a flexible working request the first time i asked was January and again in March both times they have just said they'll look into and they told me verbally it cannot be done, although now they have given an agency worker a full time contract doing the same job as me a monday to friday job, this was at the end of March.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. As a starting point, just because you have applied for the hours and you have been refused to work them, does not mean the employer cannot then offer them to someone else. There is no guarantee that if you apply for such a change, even if you were the first in line, that the employer would grant your request. Also it does not prevent them from then going on to offer them to someone else. This in itself is not illegal.
The major issue in your case is going to be your length of service. Until you have been working somewhere for at least 2 years you are not protected against unfair or constructive dismissal. This means the employer can either dismiss you or force you to resign for more or less any reason and that includes being treated unfairly like in the circumstances here. Sk even if you disagree with their actions, you do not have the minimum service to actually challenge it legally. You can raise an internal grievance but if that is rejected then you cannot take the matter any further.
In terms of making a flexible working request, this right applies to any employee who has been employed by the employer for at least 26 weeks.
When a formal request is made, an employer can only reject it 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, 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 reason used.
However, when selecting the ground for refusal the test is a subjective one on the part of the employer. If the employer considers that one of the grounds applies, then the test is satisfied. The test does not create any requirement of reasonableness into the employer's judgment. It would appear that only if the employer's view is based on incorrect facts, could the decision actually be challenged.
Therefore, if the employer has not relied on one of the set grounds to justify their refusal, or the facts they have used are incorrect or unreasonable, the decision can be appealed first before a formal grievance is raised. If that does not help, a claim can be made to an employment tribunal. The available grounds to challenge their decision are:
• The employer failed to hold a meeting, notify their decision or offer a right of appeal
• The reason for refusal was not for one of the allowed reasons
• The rejection was based on incorrect facts
The claim should be presented to the tribunal within 3 months of either the procedural breach or of the date on which the employee is notified of the appeal decision.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you