About going back to work

(51 Posts)
BimbaBirba Mon 18-Feb-13 14:43:17

I'm going back to work tomorrow after one year on maternity leave. It's a brand new job with a brand new company.
Last week I wrote to the person who's going to be my manager to ask if she'd let me work reduced hours for the first week because my LO is not settling in at nursery and I've been asked by nursery staff to give him another week on reduced hours.
This morning my manager rang me to say that if I can't work my full hours from tomorrow I'm afraid she will have to withdraw the offer of employment.
Is it "fair enough" or a bit harsh?
I'm a bit in shock tbh sad

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 18-Feb-13 14:44:43

Sorry, I think YABU. I think it's a case of 'fair enough'.

CheddarGorgeous Mon 18-Feb-13 14:46:46

You asked to reduce your hours on your first week of work? Sorry, YABU.

But I hope it goes well and your DC settles - good luck smile

HollyBerryBush Mon 18-Feb-13 14:47:11

If it was your previous employer and you were well thought of, you'd knowwhether you could ask for this or not.

To ask for reduced hours with a new employer before you have started - that does come under the category of 'coming it'.

Unfortunate, but people are running businesses.

WorraLiberty Mon 18-Feb-13 14:47:21

Sorry but I think it's fair enough too from the company's POV...although it's obviously very tough for you.

It's not a great start is it?

BimbaBirba Mon 18-Feb-13 14:49:33

Not a great start. I genuinely thought it'd be ok. sad

AThingInYourLife Mon 18-Feb-13 14:50:44

I can't believe you asked them for time off your first week!

If your baby isn't settling at nursery your husband needs to take some leave to cover it.

This is a new job.

You need to make a good impression.

It sounds like you've really pissed them off.

lljkk Mon 18-Feb-13 14:53:02

Can your child's father take 2 half days instead?

AThingInYourLife Mon 18-Feb-13 14:53:32

You need to stop thinking about this as "going back to work after maternity leave".

You are starting a new job with a new company.

The fact that you have spent the last year on maternity leave is nothing to do with them.

HazleNutt Mon 18-Feb-13 14:56:35

Fair enough - if this is something you wanted, you should have brought it up during the hiring process.

Bejeena Mon 18-Feb-13 15:01:36

Honestly sometimes you think you've seen/read it all but things on here never cease to amaze me.

Of course they are going to think you are seriously taking the mick if you ask to do reduced hours in first week!

CheungFun Mon 18-Feb-13 15:02:01

I do sort of agree with the company and other posters as it's a new job and it's your first week, but if it was me in your situation with such a blunt response from the company I'd be wondering what they'd be like if you had to take time off if your LO was ill or needed to be taken to a dr's appointment etc.

I had to leave work early on my first two days back as DS was I'll at nursery with a high temperature. It wasn't the greatest start, but it helped knowing that my team leader was a mum herself and she understood that there wasn't anything I could do about it and that I felt bad enough already!

PrincessRagnhild Mon 18-Feb-13 15:02:19

YABU I'm afraid. Asking for time off in your first week is not the way to make a good impression - it makes it look like your new job is way down on your list of priorities - which would be fair enough with your LO, but you need to at least try to show your employers that you are prepared to make an effort for them. They are investing in you after all.

BimbaBirba Mon 18-Feb-13 15:06:46

I felt I could ask because the following week I agreed to go on two days training which will mean I'll have to work longer hours. So I thought she wouldn't mind if I worked shorter hours the first week and made them up the week after.
My DH has a very demanding job and he's already covering for me next week when I'm training. That's why I was reluctant to ask him to take time off this week too but I guess I have no choice.
I am really worried now in case my LO is ill or I need to take time off for other emergencies.

minibmw2010 Mon 18-Feb-13 15:09:50

It's difficult but this is a NEW job, one where you're (I assume) on probation for a fixed period? This is not the way to give a good impression, sorry.

whattodoo Mon 18-Feb-13 15:11:35

With any luck, you will find your new employer to be fair in the future when your child is sick etc.

But you need to build up some goodwill first.

And you should be getting uh into the mindset that childcare is both parents' responsibility, not just yours and the ocassional favour from DH

PrincessRagnhild Mon 18-Feb-13 15:12:38

They might be okay with you taking time off for emergencies once you've settled in and built up some goodwill. It's just that asking for time off before you've even started the job (unless it was agreed before they offered you the job) looks really bad and unprofessional.

I don't quite get your calculation re. having to work longer hours in the second week due to training. Are you saying that because you're having to work longer hours the second week, you should get to work shorter ones during the first week?

SullenCrescent Mon 18-Feb-13 15:18:55

"That's why I was reluctant to ask him to take time off this week too but I guess I have no choice."

Why do you need to ask him to take time off, it is his child and his responsibility as much as yours, you should be planning your return to work and child care arrangements together.

Tailtwister Mon 18-Feb-13 15:23:07

I agree, your DH needs to take on more of the childcare during the first few weeks. I can understand why you want to work reduced hours and if it was an existing job you were returning to then it wouldn't be an unreasonable request. However, it's a new job and they really need to see your commitment.

I think there could be more understanding from people on this thread though. Returning to work after 1 year's mat leave is daunting enough, but a new job is an additional stress. You'll be fine OP. It will be hard, but put your faith in your DH and let him take the strain off you for a few weeks.

BimbaBirba Mon 18-Feb-13 15:30:57

Thank you. I was feeling nervous about going back before and now I'm biting my nails thinking I've ruined it sad
It's not DH's fault at all. He's very understanding and will do his best to help but my job doesn't pay the bills, his does. He's also away a lot so can't always help out.

WhatsTheBuzz Mon 18-Feb-13 16:15:37

wow,
that's really stressful for you. Yabu but obviously not your fault and
for this reason I think some posters should have tried to empathise more
and not be so presumptious about the situation with your DH!

NatashaBee Mon 18-Feb-13 16:22:33

my job doesn't pay the bills, his does

I'd make sure you don't say that to your employer, they might not be too impressed with your attitude. I'm with others, i think you need to 'bank' some goodwill before asking for favours. If I had just started a new job, I'd expect my husband to be the one covering childcare issues for a while, so I could learn the ropes and make a good impression.

ChewinTheFat Mon 18-Feb-13 16:32:52

Why shouldn't she tell her employer her wage doesn't pay the bills? Just out of interest, not that I think anyone would voluntarily divulge that info to an employer.

It's a big ask op on your first week on a new job. Hope your dc settles in well and good luck with the job smile

WipsGlitter Mon 18-Feb-13 16:35:31

I actually had to do this in my first week of a new job and they were fine about it. The fact you are being flexible the following week and they're not reciprocating is a bit off. What sort of job is it?

Mandy21 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:49:40

I also think its gets things off on the wrong foot. Even the most flexible of employers will be wondering whether its a sign of things to come (rightly or wrongly) and that you'll need be asking to change your hours etc at regular intervals. Unfortunately, I think it does demonstrate that you don't see the job as a priority within the family unit if you're asking for changes even in the first week. I agree with other posters that you (and your DH) should have made arrangements so someone else picked up any childcare issues for the first couple of months.

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