Compressed hours

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Looking at asking my employer for some flexibility in my week to compress my hours to facilitate a day off once a fortnight night to either take my partner to appointments or just get stuff done to allow some quality time.
  • Is there a criteria I need to meet to claim carers status?
  • Does this need to be certificated or validated?
I earn over the threshold for carers allowance. However, my partner has full PIP.
You might find this useful:
https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factshe ... y_2017.pdf

No one - not even a carer - has the right to have their application approved by their employer. However, if an employer turns down a request, they should give reasons for doing so.
Thank you very much. That is just perfect.
However, I wonder if it would actually be better to take some pressure off you by having someone else take your wife to appointments etc. so YOU get some free time?
When did your wife last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?
When did you last have a holiday, or a break from caring?
Hmm, what about the 'disabled by association' criteria? I don't know much about it, other than what I've read here on the forum, but it seemed to imply that an employer has to make as reasonable adjustment for the CARER of a registered disabled person (which would include Pip claimants, wouldn't it???) as for an actual disabled employee??

On the issue of 'part time/flexible' working, from what I understand (again, not fully, if at all!), the government won a 'weasel vote' by stipulating that every employee has the RIGHT to 'ask' for part-time and flexible working, but the employer still has the RIGHT to say 'no'!!!!!!! So, fat lot of use, then really, isn't it, giving on the 'right to ASK' without the 'right to DEMAND'. I mean, I have the 'right' to ask the Queen to give me all her money - fat lot of use it will do me if she has the 'right' to say 'shove off, lowly peasant woman!' !!!! (I'm sure she'd be more polite!!!)
Jenny is right in saying the employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments. Google "Constructive Dismissal Coleman Case" for details.
jenny lucas wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:16 am
Hmm, what about the 'disabled by association' criteria? I don't know much about it, other than what I've read here on the forum, but it seemed to imply that an employer has to make as reasonable adjustment for the CARER of a registered disabled person (which would include Pip claimants, wouldn't it???) as for an actual disabled employee??
Unfortunately, no. Or not about flexible working. Brilliant idea, but the government didn't do that. :cry:
The duty to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people
does not apply to non-disabled workers who require adjustments to take care of a
disabled person with whom they are associated. People in this position, and those
assisting children or older relatives (whether or not disabled) with their day-to-day
care needs, are often referred to as carers.
From the Equality Commission's Guidelines about the law:
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sit ... orking.pdf

I would guess that the government didn't give carers the right to flexible working after being petitioned by SME representatives. Most employers in the UK (form memory, it might be as high as fall into the SME (small and medium enterprises) category. 96% of those have fewer than 10 employees. 99% of all employees have fewer than 50 employees. These can be heavily impacted by existing equality legislation and probably protested that the right to flexible working was one headache too many.
file:///C:/Users/herne/Desktop/SN06152.pdf
bowlingbun wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:37 am
Jenny is right in saying the employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments. Google "Constructive Dismissal Coleman Case" for details.
This is more a case of harassment, not discrimination.

Let me try to make sense about this. The Equality Act 2010 (brought in after the Coleman case) consolidated a lot of earlier legislation. (I used to teach the earlier legislation). In the UK, there is
- discrimination
- harassment, and
- victimisation
as different concepts within Equality law. Just to make things more complicated, 'discrimination' is sub-divided into direct (in your face 'you can't have/do that because you're disabled/too old/female' etc etc etc and indirect 'here's a new workplace rule that applies to everyone and if a one-legged black lesbian can't comply with it, tough'. In other words - the employer brings in a rule that is applied to everyone but in practice makes life difficult for some.

In the Coleman case, Sharon Coleman brought the case on dual grounds:
- harassment, and
- being denied flexible working
The harassment arose because she had been accused of things falsely and insulted because she asked for time off to look after her disabled son. It was the insults and the accusations that gave her something to sue about. If her employer had turned down her request for flexible working without any insults or accusations, she would only have been able to challenge the reason given for turning it down. If the court found the employer's reason reasonable, she would have lost the case. Taking the case for harassment as well as challenging the denial of flexible working made her case stronger and probably won it. The law of flexible working gives employers the right to deny it if their reason is 'justifiable in law. That can only be proved by taking the employer to a tribunal.

However, it's a long slog. Coleman had to go to an Employment tribunal, then an Employment Appeals Tribunal (equivalent to the High Court), then the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Then back to the Tribunal. I'm guessing all that took around 5 years. These cases are gruelling. Just attending an Employment Tribunal can be gruelling for most people - I know, I've played the legal game for clients. I also persuaded a government department to take a case to law that took 7 years to go up to the ECJ and back to the UK court. Most people don't have either the funds or the energy for such a course of action. :cry:

The best thing is to get a trade union or the Equality Commission to take a case as a 'test case', as they do most of the work and pay the legal fees.
I've managed to track down more info on the Coleman case.

Basically the ONLY judgement made by the European Court of Justice was that "disability by association" is a legal thing. Now, that depended on European law, but the government put it into the Equality Act 2010, so we have UK law on it. (Of course, after Brexit the UK government could change the law any time and would no longer be subject to European courts).
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/a ... 303_en.pdf

The case had to return to a tribunal to be decided, but it was settled out of court. This means that there is no legal decision arising from the actual case, except the ruling by the ECJ.

As this report states:
3. Coleman does not establish an obligation to make reasonable adjutsments for carers under the DDA, though the case has been reported in such a way that some have formed that impression.
http://proactivegroup.co.uk/index.php?o ... &Itemid=31

There's a 2013 case that failed to gain the judgement in favour of the carer. I could explain that and write about the principles of deciding which law takes precedence if case law and statute disagree but I'm not going to go into the details because, by now, your eyes have glazed over and you're thinking caring is infinitely easier than the law. :twisted: Basically, there is no right attached to a carer to be granted flexible working.

Here's something to read if you're interested:
https://www.thehrdirector.com/business- ... comes-law/
In which case, Kevin - it might boil down to a brute case of Real Politik - ie, are you more valuable to your employer than they are to you?

If the former, they'll adjust to keep you (though they might play hardball, or push you to get another job offer in your hand !), and if the latter then they'll just tell you to get stuffed.

In the end, in life, this is what most things come down to.

(Though, as we can see from the nursing crisis headlines this morning, many employers - in this case, the 'ultimate employer' oft he UK government - since they fund nurses' salaries in the end - do, depressingly, usually opt for cutting their nose to spite their face - ie, they will continue to haemorrhage nurses rather than fix the problem - ie, pay them more, blah blah blah . That said, of course, since all government ministers can afford private health care, their only fear is to lose the next election. No other pressure can be put on them. The electorate is only valuable to them at elections.)