Working 4 days/week. Want to go back to 5. What's my story?

(14 Posts)
Azrael Mon 18-Feb-13 17:44:36

I've gone back to work in January 2013, and I was very chuffed that they accepted my request for 4 days a week.

Ahah, silly me.

Big, unforeseen change: we can't take family holiday for the rest of 2013 as DP had to go abroad for 2.5 weeks to help his very ill dad.

Oh yes I do love being back 4 days/week too, but I do actually have enough days holiday (35 days) to cover almost the whole year.

I wish I'd gone back 5 days a week, but working actually only 4 thanks to all those days holiday.

My HR said that it would be difficult to go back to 5 days/week once you've requested a part time. I brushed it off and now I feel stupid.

I'd like to get my 5 days/week back. What story should I go with?

The 'DP had to go abroad/I can't use my days holiday' or 'I didn't realise I'd love being back at work so much, I want my 5 days/week back'.

What do you think?

ceebeegeebies Mon 18-Feb-13 17:51:05

It might not be as simple as coming up with a story to get your hours back. In my experience, unless a trial period is agreed, once someone reduces their hours there is no right to get them back so they could say no (they may have allocated the money elsewhere within the team/budget for example).

Also, what would you do for next year, and the year after etc.

Also, where do you work to get 35 days holiday?? I want to work there wink

Azrael Mon 18-Feb-13 17:52:57

I could also add that the treatment my FIL got cost £20K and that we need the money as we're about to buy a house.

That could be another story. I really don't know what's most likely to make her want to help me get my 5 days/week back.

Any HR managers out there, would love to have your opinion.

Azrael Mon 18-Feb-13 17:55:24

Oh dear, that's what I feared ceebeegeebies.

I get 35 days because I got 15 days accrued from last year + 20 days this year.

If they don't accept to give me my 5 days back, maybe I could ask to have some holiday days paid??

Oh I feel so silly. I was so focused on this part time I didn't see that I could get it for the same money using my holiday... argh.

ceebeegeebies Mon 18-Feb-13 17:59:14

Well you can always ask - the worst they can say is no.

However, you haven't answered my question about what you are going to do next year when you only have 20 days holiday and therefore have to work 5 days a week for the majority of the time.

Even if they do agree for you to return to full-time work, I would say it is unlikely that they would agree to you then reducing your hours again as you have messed them about this time.

HappyGirlNow Mon 18-Feb-13 19:00:39

Lots of places have a holiday policy saying that at least a fortnight of your holidays must be taken as a block so that wouldn't allow you to take lots of 4 day weeks.

Azrael Mon 18-Feb-13 21:32:15

ceebeegeebies, you're very right: what am I going to do when I run out of annual leave...

Sigh, so maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to go 4 days a week.

I'll try and see how many days holiday from last year I can get paid for.

Thanks, it's making me feel better!

mamadoc Mon 18-Feb-13 22:59:47

I think you'd be very ill advised to go back to 5 days unless you really do plan to work FT long term.

Surely your boss has to approve holidays so they would have the right to refuse if they wanted and make you work the whole 5 days some weeks if it suited them. What would you do for child care then if you only have 4 days arranged?

When you have LTFT hours properly arranged its a right that you can rely on but if you try to fudge it using holiday then you can't complain if your boss won't play ball.

annh Tue 19-Feb-13 00:17:47

I'm afraid the cost of your FIL's medical treatment or the fact that you can't take a family holiday is of no interest to your company in deciding how many days you work. If you really want to go back to full-time work you need to come up with a reasoned business case why this is better for the company, and not just better for you. However, as several other people have pointed out, this seems be a very short-term solution. Next year and all the years after, you will need childcare to cover the shortfall in childcare and you will be exhausted if you don't manage to take a block oftime, like a week or more, off at one time.

annh Tue 19-Feb-13 00:18:27

I'm afraid the cost of your FIL's medical treatment or the fact that you can't take a family holiday is of no interest to your company in deciding how many days you work. If you really want to go back to full-time work you need to come up with a reasoned business case why this is better for the company, and not just better for you. However, as several other people have pointed out, this seems be a very short-term solution. Next year and all the years after, you will need childcare to cover the shortfall in childcare and you will be exhausted if you don't manage to take a block oftime, like a week or more, off at one time.

Azrael Thu 21-Feb-13 21:38:31

Thank you all for your replies and words of wisdom!

Callthemidlife Sat 23-Feb-13 06:49:57

Here's your plan.

Say nothing. Go do four days a week. After a few months you can either -
1) tell them its working fine but you don't think you are going to need all your vacation on top this year because you're managing great with the four day thing, feeling on top of the world and loving your career, so could you perhaps get some of your holiday ’paid off' for this year, to,help you stay in the swing of it all and not break the momentum?
2) tell them that you are getting so much out of being back at work you'd be happy to go back to 5 days to get your career revving again, especially as you want to will convince your bosses how career-minded you are.

Honestly, the way you tell em makes all the difference

I'd strongly advise option 1 as it leafs you with choices next year.

Callthemidlife Sat 23-Feb-13 06:51:01

Leafs? Aargh damn autocorrect.

nextphase Sat 23-Feb-13 07:39:40

Yes, this year you have too much holiday, but not in the rest of the years.

I sold back the carried over holiday when I returned from ML - ie I came back in April, with a full years holiday (which runs Jan to Jan), but sold back all the accrued bank holidays etc.

Could you say to HR you didn't realise you got all your bank holidays accrued, and please could you exchange them for pay, as you have a ridiculous amount of holiday, and it would impact your ability to do job / the rest of the team if you were to take it all off this year? If you took a full years ML, this will be 8 or 9 depending on if you caught the Jubilee bank holiday or not. The pay can help with the costs you are facing at the moment, and you keep your 4 day week long term.

Also, you may not be able to go on a family holiday, but you and the kids could have a week off, and do nice things based from home - a day at the park, the local farm etc. And you'll get to see DH in the evenings.

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