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Take Flexible Work Requests Seriously

Take Flexible Work Requests Seriously

The recent employment tribunal case of a mother who returned to work after Maternity Leave and had her request for flexible working refused has again focussed on the need for all employers to consider such requests seriously.

In this case it cost the employer £185,000 in compensation. The former estate agent spent tens of thousands of pounds pursuing the case against her former employer. When it reached the tribunal recently, the judge ruled she had suffered indirect sex discrimination when the firm refused to consider her request.

In her request for varied working hours, she asked her employer if she could work shorter hours, a four day week, and leave at 5pm, rather than the normal end-of-day at 6pm, to pick her daughter up from nursery.

When her requested was declined, she was left with no other option but to resign, she told the tribunal.

Her award of almost £185,000 was for loss of earnings, loss of pension contributions, injury to feelings and interest.

Rules on rights to flexible working are due to change again, see our From Day One editorial.

The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.