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Author Topic: Flexi contract and childcare  (Read 7012 times)

Orangutan

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Flexi contract and childcare
« on: 10-09-19, 10:37AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been employed by tesco on a 26 hour flexi contract coming up on 4 years, in that time I've picked up the odd overtime shift here and there to help out but since having my first child I've had to cut that down to almost none. My department has recently had a change of manager and the new manager has been using the flexi contract to flex most of the department up to the maximum hours allowed to cover leavers and doesn't plan on hiring replacements. We are all just being handed sheets of paper with our overtime hours and asked to sign, am I correct in thinking that we should all be individually sat down to discuss what we can do?

Since saying that I couldn't do the shifts that were allocated to me my manager has asked me to fill in a flexible working form to adjust my availability, and has asked me to at least put down at least 2 extra shifts that I can do. The problem that I have is the only shift that I could realistically pick up on a regular basis would be a Saturday evening; which doesn't meet my managers 2 shift requirement, will mean everyday of the week I am either caring for my child on my own or working at tesco and also will cut into the already limited time that my family get to spend together.

Is there anyway that I can get the flexi contract changed to a standard contract? If I can't is there anyway that I can 'play' the flexi contract to my advantage?

Preacherpauly

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #1 on: 10-09-19, 12:25PM »
You would be very lucky to get a non flexi contract.  Just fill out your new availability and put saturday night, what can they actually do?
« Last Edit: 10-09-19, 12:29PM by Preacherpauly »

NightAndDay

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #2 on: 10-09-19, 01:54PM »
Hello everyone,

I've been employed by tesco on a 26 hour flexi contract coming up on 4 years, in that time I've picked up the odd overtime shift here and there to help out but since having my first child I've had to cut that down to almost none. My department has recently had a change of manager and the new manager has been using the flexi contract to flex most of the department up to the maximum hours allowed to cover leavers and doesn't plan on hiring replacements. We are all just being handed sheets of paper with our overtime hours and asked to sign, am I correct in thinking that we should all be individually sat down to discuss what we can do?

Since saying that I couldn't do the shifts that were allocated to me my manager has asked me to fill in a flexible working form to adjust my availability, and has asked me to at least put down at least 2 extra shifts that I can do. The problem that I have is the only shift that I could realistically pick up on a regular basis would be a Saturday evening; which doesn't meet my managers 2 shift requirement, will mean everyday of the week I am either caring for my child on my own or working at tesco and also will cut into the already limited time that my family get to spend together.

Is there anyway that i can get the flexi contract changed to a standard contract? If I cant is there anyway that I can 'play' the flexi contract to my advantage?

As far as I'm aware flexi contracts aren't a thing in Express formats (I don't know about transferring from superstore on a flexi contract to Express, but in my 7 years in Express, not once have I seen anyone on a flexi-contract, everyone had set shifts.)

lucgeo

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #3 on: 10-09-19, 04:34PM »
Look up on the government website, or ACAS, about your rights to parents and Flexi working.

Your manager should be sitting down to ASK what shifts you can do, at least 7 days prior, and they must be in your availability window.
Unless you are in RHRP meetings, then you do not have to change your availability hours, those are your contracted core hours and the availability Windows that were accepted when they gave you the job. ( someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but that is my understanding of it?)

Do not sign any overtime hours allocated to you on a sheet of paper if you can't do them or they're out of your agreed availability window.
Do not agree or sign anything if your unable to do the hours requested.
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NightAndDay

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #4 on: 10-09-19, 05:43PM »
As far as I'm aware, RHRP meetings still have to take your availability into account, they can ask you to change hours to hours within what you've put you can do on the availability form, asking you to change hours to hours that's documented as you not being available would be a redundancy situation.

chris9997

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #5 on: 10-09-19, 06:00PM »
I dont think it is a redundency situation, as the job is still there.

NightAndDay

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #6 on: 10-09-19, 06:51PM »
If the job is defined as having agreed set hours when they employed you which are no longer available, then I think it counts as a redundancy situation.

Redshoes

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #7 on: 11-09-19, 07:27AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been employed by tesco on a 26 hour flexi contract coming up on 4 years, in that time I've picked up the odd overtime shift here and there to help out but since having my first child I've had to cut that down to almost none. My department has recently had a change of manager and the new manager has been using the flexi contract to flex most of the department up to the maximum hours allowed to cover leavers and doesn't plan on hiring replacements. We are all just being handed sheets of paper with our overtime hours and asked to sign, am I correct in thinking that we should all be individually sat down to discuss what we can do?

Since saying that I couldn't do the shifts that were allocated to me my manager has asked me to fill in a flexible working form to adjust my availability, and has asked me to at least put down at least 2 extra shifts that I can do. The problem that I have is the only shift that I could realistically pick up on a regular basis would be a Saturday evening; which doesn't meet my managers 2 shift requirement, will mean everyday of the week I am either caring for my child on my own or working at tesco and also will cut into the already limited time that my family get to spend together.

Is there anyway that i can get the flexi contract changed to a standard contract? If I cant is there anyway that I can 'play' the flexi contract to my advantage?

As far as I'm aware flexi contracts aren't a thing in Express formats (I don't know about transferring from superstore on a flexi contract to Express, but in my 7 years in Express, not once have I seen anyone on a flexi-contract, everyone had set shifts.)

If you are on a flexi contract you need to have hours you can work outside your fixed hours, if not you are in breach of your contract. How many hours you need to be available I'm unsure about but full policy is all online. Since a certain date, that someone on here can tell you, all contracts are flexi and I have never heard of a flexi contract being changed to fixed.
You are not at risk of redundancy as it is job roles that go at risk and not individuals, and you are not offered redundancy due to your personal circumstances unless this also falls under restructure.
One option would be to request to drop hours so you can flex up to what you do now but I agree that this option is a very poor one but as you have a flexi contract and you are unable to flex your options are limited.
You will also find online the policy regarding flexi contracts and the handing out of flexi sheets. This is the way things are going, the restructure in the metro has long serving colleagues with great service records at risk due to not being matched to a job role and one of the measures is flexibility.

Orangutan

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #8 on: 11-09-19, 07:15PM »
Thanks for all the replies.

@Preacherpauly I really don't want to put Saturday night down as being available as I don't want to be working every Saturday evening, it seems the way it's going I'll be consistently asked to work the shift at least 3 out of every 4.

@NightAndDay Unfortunately transferring to express isn't an option

@lucgeo I've looked at flexi working on the government website and others and it seems that it is up to the employer whether they allow it and in this situation I can't see them agreeing. I've no idea what RHRP is so am not in any of those meetings and I'm definitely not signing anything that I am unable to do.

@Redshoes Where is the flexi contracts policy, I've tried to find it multiple times on ourtesco but never have any luck.

I guess I might just have to put down that I can work the Saturday night and just have to be a nuisance by requesting a meeting each time. If my department were to have some sort of restructure though is there some way that they could force me into changing my hours so that Saturday is my contracted shift if it is on my availability?

Loki

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #9 on: 11-09-19, 07:22PM »
The Union’s stance on this is clear. The Flexible contract is supposed to be a two way conversation... not for management to dictate. Granted, there will be times where you will have to work additional hours and refusal without good reason could become problematic as being flexible with regards to working additional hours does form part of your contract.

However, there must be a discussion between yourself and your manager when completing the Record of Hours sheet which is then placed on file.

Should your availability change due to personal circumstances then you should discuss this with your manager who also cannot refuse any changes without good reason.

You can indeed ask to change from a flexible contract to a standard contract. Quite a few members I represent have had this authorised due to child care issues.

Speak to your rep and/or manager.
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Orangutan

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #10 on: 11-09-19, 11:39PM »
Thanks for that Loki there is possibly some light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately I'm not a member of the union I only know of one rep in my store and every time that I've asked him for the forms to join he doesn't have them on him and I wont see him again for a while and then I'll forget to ask him as I've already sorted the issue on my own or he wont have the forms again.

If i were to do this myself would it fall under the flexible working request form? The one where I put the reason for the request, how it will benefit Tesco, how it will impact my colleagues and the solutions that I suggest? If it does how am I meant to answer those questions? Because it only benefits Tesco by not having to find a replacement for the hours I currently work, will require other colleagues to take extra shifts that they also don't want to do them and the only solution is to hire more staff. It all seems quite abrupt and like I'm threatening to quit or go sick if I don't get my way.

madness

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #11 on: 12-09-19, 01:24AM »
Do you work Sundays? What sort of shift pattern are you on?

Orangutan

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #12 on: 12-09-19, 08:15AM »
I work a day shift Sunday, Monday and Wednesday and an evening shift on a Thursday.  I look after my little one on my own from about 730 until 430 Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Preacherpauly

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #13 on: 12-09-19, 02:25PM »
Tell your manager you need to change your availability. Tell him you are willing to do 2 out of  4 saturdays a month as you need some off to have family time. Some managers seem to think you aren't entitled to a life on a flexi contract.

2 weeks out of the month doing 5 shifts and 2 weeks doing normal shift pattern is reasonable. What more do they want.

madness

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #14 on: 12-09-19, 07:56PM »
I work a day shift Sunday, Monday and Wednesday and an evening shift on a Thursday.  I look after my little one on my own from about 730 until 430 Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

That's a reasonable ammount why not speak to your manager ask for a fixed contract but mention what overtime you can do outside of that. If you make it official on a flexi contract eventually "deals" get forgotton.

lackofinterest

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #15 on: 12-09-19, 09:23PM »
flexi contracts are for the benefit of the company. the company couldnt care less about our private lives

Redshoes

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #16 on: 13-09-19, 09:10AM »
As stated above you need to update your availability. This is done annually now, and when circumstances change. You need to fill in maximum and minimum hours willing to work and have some form of availability. You can also add in a sentence at the bottom about how you can work more during term time if at uni for example, the uni example shows how a persons availability can also be flexible. You need to think long and hard about how to word this for you. You may have more or less flexibility during school holidays, for example.

Redshoes

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #17 on: 13-09-19, 09:23AM »
 We would always explain the business need for the change and how it affects you (some examples of this are; extended opening hours in stores which mean revising shift patterns, the closure of a department, or a reduction in the hours needed to complete a task due to simplification).

Your manager will take time to consider if the change they are asking you to make is reasonable. This will depend on your personal circumstances and the change required. This will be based on the discussion between you and your manager.

Suitable alternatives are likely to have:

Similar hours
Similar working conditions
Equivalent terms and conditions
Similar status/position/work level
Similar skill sets
The same location, unless a move to another location is agreed.
When we meet with you we will discuss the impact the change will have on you, we aim to be sensitive to your personal circumstances. For example, if the proposal means changing your hours of work to include earlier start times, whilst this may not impact the majority of people, if you have certain commitments we will try and work with you in these situations to explore alternatives that may be suitable. We will however always be honest with you as in some circumstances remaining on your existing terms will not be possible.

Redshoes

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #18 on: 13-09-19, 09:25AM »
During the consultation;

We will first consider any volunteers who can make the changes needed.
We will make every attempt to reach a mutual agreement, looking for compromises and alternative positions.
At the end of the consultation period if an agreement is not reached we will review the change and take time to consider if what we are asking you to do is still reasonable. If it is, and we are at the end of the consultation period we will need to give you notice that we are to end your current contract of employment. You will be written to following the discussion. The amount of notice you will be given is dependent on your service with the company. This is a minimum of 4 weeks and increases by 1 week for every year’s service up to a maximum of 12 weeks (unless your contract states that you are entitled to a longer notice period).

When we issue you with your notice, we will also offer you re-engagement on the new terms, (If an individual accepts re engagement your length of service will remain as continuous for the purpose of benefits, pay and holidays).This offer will be made in writing which you may choose to accept at any time before your final shift having worked your notice period.

lucgeo

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #19 on: 13-09-19, 09:49AM »
Bear in mind, regarding the above info kindly sought for you from Redshoes, that constructive dismissal is exceedingly rare, and in your case, where the discrepancy is so minute, and you have childcare issues, I would think it highly unlikely they'd take you down that route...and don't let them try and barter by saying we've comprised with the other hours...they've agreed to them being acceptable, so they shouldn't try to retract their agreement based on whether or not you play ball.
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tumshie

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #20 on: 15-09-19, 06:46PM »
You can join Usdaw online (tho your rep sounds a bit feeble).

https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Join-Us

by the way, there should be a notice board somewhere near the lockers, with names of union reps for your store.
« Last Edit: 15-09-19, 06:50PM by tumshie »

Orangutan

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #21 on: 04-10-19, 03:35PM »
My manager accepted for me to just put Saturday night, I think that it's now assumed that I will do every Saturday night though, I've said that I couldn't do one that I legitimately had other plans for. Once it comes around to the next set of rotas am I within my rights to say I will do these 2 for you but not the other 2? Do I need to give reason or is a simple I can't do these shifts suitable? Will they start to get funny with me after every meeting saying I can't do these 2?

Thanks for all the help.

NightAndDay

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #22 on: 04-10-19, 03:46PM »
If they form part of your contracted shifts, then no, you can't pick and choose, if they're not contracted then you'll have more wriggle room.

lucgeo

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #23 on: 04-10-19, 04:40PM »
If you have put your availability for the Saturday night, and have signed a new contract with the Saturday night hours as part of your contracted core hours, then you cannot refuse to work them, as you are not fulfilling your contract.

If you haven't signed the contract, and it is part of your core hours, then don't sign it!

Basically ditto to what NightandDay said  8-)
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Orangutan

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Re: Flexi contract and childcare
« Reply #24 on: 04-10-19, 05:42PM »
They are not part of my core hours, the hours on Saturday night are the ones that make up my availability for my flexi contract. Basically forced overtime hours!