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  1. #1
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    Default Return to work flexible working arrangements

    Hi all, just after a bit of advice or information about whether my employer is legally able to do what they're doing..

    Ok so I returned to work 2 months ago from 6months maternity leave. I returned on the agreement (signed contract) that I would work part time (3days a week) for the first 2 months and would resume my full time position after that. As per my current contract I am to resume full time as of next week.
    The problem I have is that 2 weeks ago my partner took on a FIFO job working 3 weeks on and 1 week off. My employer was the first to know about this as I had requested to take on a permanent part time position as working full time on my own would just be too much.
    They gave me a decision today and have told me my request has been declined as 'they don't have any part time work available'. I am soo upset as next week, being my first week back working full time, is the week my partner will be back for the first time.
    The way I see it, is that my employer should still have to offer me flexible working arrangements as my circumstances have now changed and I can no longer work full time with my little one.
    I have been with this employer for 6 years and before my bub had even had worked my way up to team leader. Before leaving for maternity leave I did stand down from my position as I could not handle the hours and pressure of my role. So I believe I done them a favour as that move also was a massive downgrade in my wages!
    Anyone have any thoughts or advice on my situation??
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi. I would love to say yes they do but unfortunately they have done everything they need to legally. As they have trialled the part time position they can determine if it works for their business. Although your circumstances have changed, the company is still in the same position. Sorry I don't have better news for you.

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    That really disappointing to hear especially after your long time there. I'm not sure if they can do what they were doing it not but it doesn't sound like they are in it with you or support you. Maybe contact fair work Australia to find your rights. Returning to work is hard and to feel shafted is a horrible feeling. Big hugs. Good luck.

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    I too would also think a signed contract is all they care about right now. Sorry to hear you workplace isn't being very flexible.
    If your in a union based company maybe speak to a representative?

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    Your signed contract stated you would return full time next week - even though your personal circumstances have now changed, your companies requirements obviously haven't.

    Although this is now difficult for you, your company is not doing anything wrong. I hope you can work something out soon

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    They can refuse on reasonable business grounds but need to document these in a written response to you (you also need to make a written request for what arrangement you would like and why, etc).

    To be honest though, FWA don't have ground rules for what reasonable grounds actually are so it's more than likely that their response would be legal.

    You could go down the EEO route if that's what you want... Personally I don't think I would. Not all jobs can be done part-time on a permanent basis, although I realise I know nothing about your actual job - I am talking generically here.

    I don't think it's fair to expect employers to have to say yes to every flexibility request if it doesn't work for the business as well as for the employee.

  8. #7
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    Thank you all for your responses. Thing is, my employer tried pushing me to take a permanent part time position on my return from parental leave. I pushed really hard for the transition of part time resuming my full time postion after 2 months. It wasnt until I used phrases such as 'on what grounds are you declining my request' did they accept my my request.
    I do admit that is was a bit embarrassing now having to ask for permanent part time but as I explained to my employer, my circumstance have now changed.

    Big issues again today with my job... After yesterday being sat down with HR and my Team Leader, being told my request for part time has been declined. I said to them 'well i will now obviously have to look at all my options' - Not ever saying I will not work full time. But today, I am left a letter on my desk (not even handed to me' from the manager, telling me "It will be necessary for you to resign from your current position, I wish you all the best in the future."!!!
    WHAT THAT?!?!?! Will be onto Fair Work Australia first thing tomorrow!!! Sooooo angry!!

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    Sigh.... Happens so often Really sorry to hear your employer has turned out to be such an ********. Can I ask what industry you work in? Is it a large or small company? You might also want to look into making a complaint to the Anti Discrimination Commission in your state. Also look seriously into getting legal advice. This kind of thing upsets me so much.... But mostly because so many people, including mothers, continue to believe these kind of things don't happen in real life.
    Best of luck.

  10. #9
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    I work in insurance - its not a huge company but it is quite profitable. Has between 100-200 staff. I have been with the company for 6 years!! The company only started 9 years ago! I am the first employee to resume my position after maternity leave! As I previously mentioned I worked my way up to team leader and worked my bum off! Now look where I am.. Being asked to resign! Thanks again for your responses.

  11. #10
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    Well they have made a big mistake there saying you have to resign... I would def get some legal advice on this.

    Can you share what the whole letter says?


 

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