Subzero (Grimsby) Ltd
FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY
We are committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment for our staff and to developing work practices and policies that support work-life balance. We recognise that, in addition to helping employees balance their work and personal lives, flexible working can improve our use and retention of staff, raise staff morale and reduce absenteeism.
No-one who makes a request for flexible working will be subjected to any detriment or lose any career development opportunities as a result.
This policy is for guidance only and does not form part of your contract of employment.
1.1 Those employees who have caring responsibilities for certain children and adults (set out below) have a statutory right to request flexible working. That right is recognised by the formal procedure set out in this policy. A request accepted under the formal procedure results in permanent changes to terms of employment.
1.2 To be eligible to make a request under the formal procedure, you must:
(a) be an employee;
(b) have worked for us continuously for 26 weeks at the date the request is made; and
(c) not have made a formal request to work flexibly during the last 12 months (each 12-month period runs from the date when the most recent application was made).
1.3 Employees who want to work flexibly to care for a child must:
(a) be making the application in respect of a child who is under 17, or, if the child is disabled, under 18;
(b) be responsible for bringing up the child and be making the application to enable them to care for the child;
(c) make the request no later than two weeks before the child’s 17th birthday, or if the child is disabled, before the child’s 18th birthday;
(d) be either:
(i) the mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent of the child; or
(ii) married to, or the partner of, the child's mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent.
1.4 Employees who want to work flexibly to care for an adult who is aged 18 or over, and who is in need of care, must be (or expect to be) the person who cares for that adult, and:
(a) married to, or the partner or civil partner of, the adult; or
(b) a relative of that adult; or
(c) neither of the above, but living at the same address as the adult for whom they care.
2.1 Formal requests can only be made to enable employees who meet the criteria to carry out caring responsibilities. This may cover a range of circumstances. For example, they may need to spend more time with their child or they may need to be able to drop their child off at or collect him or her from school.
2.2 Employees who meet the eligibility criteria, and whose requests for flexible working are accepted, will have permanent changes made to their contracts of employment to reflect their new working arrangements.
3. FORMS OF FLEXIBLE WORKING
Flexible working can incorporate a number of changes to working arrangements:
(a) reduction or variation of working hours;
(b) reduction of the number of days worked each week; and/or
(c) working from a different location (for example, from home).
4. WHAT TO DO IF YOU WISH TO REQUEST A FLEXIBLE WORKING PATTERN: FORMAL PROCEDURE
4.1 You will need to submit a written application if you would like your request to be considered under the formal procedure.
4.2 Your written application should be submitted to us and should:
(a) state the reason for your request, whether to care for a child or adult;
(b) provide information to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria set out in this policy; and
(c) ideally be submitted at least two months before you wish the changes you are requesting to take effect.
4.3 It will help us to consider your request if you:
(a) provide as much information as you can about your current and desired working pattern, including working days, hours and start and finish times.
(b) think about what effect the changes to your working pattern will have on the work that you do, on your colleagues as well as on our business. If you have any suggestions as to how any potentially negative effects can be dealt with, please include these in your written application. We can consider whether they are workable.
(c) give details of the demands of your caring responsibilities. If your proposal cannot be accommodated, discussion between you and us may result in an alternative working pattern that can assist you.
4.4 We might be able to agree your proposal without the need for a meeting (which is the next stage of the formal procedure). If that is the case, we will write to you to, confirming our decision and explaining the changes that will be made to your contract of employment.
5. FORMAL PROCEDURE : MEETING
5.1 We will arrange to meet with you within 28 days of your request being submitted. You may bring a workplace work colleague or a trade union representative to the meeting if you wish.
5.2 The meeting will be used to consider the working arrangements you have requested. You will be able to explain why the arrangements accommodate your caring responsibilities. You will be able to discuss with us what impact your proposed working arrangements will have on your work and that of the rest of your team. If the arrangements you have requested cannot be accommodated, discussion at the meeting also provides an opportunity to explore possible alternative working arrangements.
5.3 If new working arrangements are agreed, it may be sensible to start them under an initial trial period, to ensure that they meet your needs and our requirements.
6. FORMAL PROCEDURE : DECISION
6.1 Following the meeting, we will notify you of our decision in writing within 14 days.
6.2 If we need more time to make a decision, we will ask for your agreement to delay the decision for up to a further 14 days. A request for an extension is likely to benefit you. For example, we may need more time to investigate how your request can be accommodated or to consult several members of staff.
6.3 There will be circumstances where, due to business and operational requirements, we are unable to agree to a request. In these circumstances, we will write to you:
(a) stating the business ground(s) why the request cannot be agreed;
(b) providing an explanation of why the business reasons apply in the circumstances; and
(c) setting out the appeal procedure.
6.4 The eight business grounds on which we may reject your request are:
(a) the burden of additional costs;
(b) detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;
(c) inability to re-organise work among existing staff;
(d) inability to recruit additional staff;
(e) detrimental impact on quality;
(f) detrimental impact on performance;
(g) insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work; and
(h) planned changes.
6.5 If your request is accepted, or where we propose an alternative to the arrangements you requested, we will write to you with details of the new working arrangements, details of any trial period, an explanation of changes to your contract of employment and the date on which they will commence. You will be asked to sign and return a copy of the letter. This will be placed on your personnel file to confirm the variation to your terms of employment. There may also be some additional practical matters, such as arrangements for handing over work, that we will discuss with you.
6.6 Please note that, under the formal procedure, changes to your terms of employment will be permanent and you will not be able to make another formal request until 12 months after the date of your original application.
7. FORMAL PROCEDURE : APPEAL
7.1 If your request is rejected, you have the right to appeal.
7.2 Your appeal must:
(a) be in writing and dated;
(b) set out the grounds for your appeal; and
(c) be sent to us within 14 days of the date on which you received the written rejection of your request.
7.3 We will arrange for your appeal meeting to take place within 14 days of receipt of your request. The appeal meeting will be held at a convenient time for all those attending and, as at the meeting that considered your request, you may be accompanied by a workplace work colleague or a trade union representative.
7.4 You will be informed in writing of the appeal decision within 14 days of the date of the appeal meeting.
7.5 If your appeal is upheld, you will be advised of your new working arrangements, details of any trial period, an explanation of changes to your contract of employment and the date on which they will commence. You will be asked to sign and return a copy of the letter. This will be placed on your personnel file to confirm the variation to your terms of employment. There may also be some additional practical matters, such as arrangements for handing over work, that we will discuss with you.
7.6 You should be aware that changes to your terms of employment will be permanent and you will not be able to make another formal request until 12 months after the date of your original application.
7.7 If your appeal is rejected, the written decision will state the grounds for the decision and provide an explanation as to why the grounds for refusal apply in the circumstances. You will not be able to make another formal request until 12 months after the date of your original application.