Firstly, I haven't defended anyone.
I have pointed out that the law only requires employers to consider flexible working requests.
You haven't actually said what you believe your employers motivation to be in refusing your request, but certainly haven't suggested that they've refused to consider any options.
From what you have said , the issue seems to be that you:
"...haven't been able to agree a flexible working solution that would satisfy you both".
It may be that such a solution doesn't exist. But it doesn't follow that if you are not satisfied, then the employer is invariably acting unreasonably.
I am all to aware of the issues surrounding childcare and the difficulty of making work pay when you're a mother on a middle income. I would strongly support the introduction of universal free childcare, which the institute for public policy research believes would actually bring money in to the exchequer. So there are economic as well as social and moral arguments for such a policy.
Solidarity for working mothers doesn't mean providing unquestioning support to anyone who is dissatisfied and wishes to sue local taxpayers, regardless of circumstance. The public sector ethos is also about solidarity, and I believe in that also.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:04:09:21:40:41 by rahrahrah.