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Senior Manager for Financial Conduct Authority loses claim after being refused permission to work from home

In the case of Miss W v Financial Conduct Authority Ms W sought to change her contract so she could work remotely ‘without ever attending a physical office location’. 

In the case of Miss W v Financial Conduct Authority Ms W sought to change her contract so she could work remotely ‘without ever attending a physical office location’.

She brought the case to an employment tribunal in Croydon, South London, after her bosses rejected her request.

She told the tribunal panel that the FCA’s ‘excellent technology’ meant permanent home working would not pose any problems.

But Judge Richter said remote working was ‘not well suited’ to the ‘fast interplay’ of exchanges that can happen in person at events such as planning meetings or training sessions, where there can be rapid discussions.

He added that it was important to be able to respond to people’s body language, which is harder to do through video calling software.

‘There is a limitation to the ability to observe and respond to non-verbal communication which may arise outside of the context of formal events, but which nonetheless forms an important part of working with others,’ he said.

‘This is a case which raises a key issue in the modern workplace and will no doubt be the subject of continued litigation.

‘Ultimately it may be the case that each situation requires its own consideration.’

He ordered Ms W should receive £640 compensation because the FCA took too long to handle her application to work remotely.

The FCA declined to comment.

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