4 day week return to work rejected - what do I do?

(17 Posts)
tootsroots Thu 28-Jan-16 09:03:36

I am utterly disappointed and devastated as i love my job.

I just informally spoke to my manager about returning in September after 11 months mat leave. Firstly she said it was too early, i have to sort childcare now however as i live in London and it is not in a good supply.

I requested a 4 day week like my boss and another manager (a fellow direct report but also her good friend). It was declined as she felt my team needed a FT manager. Honestly we have the same amount of experience, i just happen to have built the team over 8 years from just me. I filled out the form and sent it to her so we could have an informal chat about it. She called this morning and she just said she would reject it. No other alternatives. Thank you and have a good day.

I cannot afford 5 days childcare and i will miss my baby. The hours in the job are long as is in a City firm but most people work 9-5 , i just did longer previously. It just seems so unfair and has double standards.

She is not even open to discussion. I have never failed to meet objectives, and have managed to operate with an under resourced team for years, they are just at 100% now so i do not know where i can go from here?

Legally what are my options?

What on earth shall i do?

FlopIsMyParentingGuru Thu 28-Jan-16 09:11:57

Have you seen if you have a right of review of this decision within company policies?
This would ordinarily be a review of the decisions and reasons by a third party. If this isn't in company policy, however, I don't know if you are entitled to a review. Other more informed people may be able to help more.

DoreenLethal Thu 28-Jan-16 09:12:40

Did she follow the process as detailed in the following?

www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview

Now, I guess you would appeal. Once you have the official rejection.

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jan-16 09:18:11

You can appeal, but always remember that the reasons for the decision have to be based on the needs of the business, not your childcare difficulties.

If they have made procedural errors, they need to be corrected, but it is possible they will not make any difference to the final decision (if they have good business reasons but have not yet set them out properly).

So the key question is why they need this post to be FT, and do those reasons stack up. It's not a comparison with your colleagues either. It is a case of whether you can meet the business need on a part-time basis without undue penalty to the employer.

tootsroots Thu 28-Jan-16 09:26:57

Thanks for the advice, she has used the rationale that the team need 5 days supervision and i cannot do that PT.

Guess I need to consider what i can do in terms of childcare or failing that become a SATM as no City firm no matter what they say recruits PT women.
Sorry, very raw still!

Whataboutnodetox Thu 28-Jan-16 09:30:48

I would wait till closer to do this formally as their position maybe different closer to the time. You can only apply once per 12 months I believe so don't waste the opportunity. Find four days childcare, if they reject it you cancel and stay at home.

slebmum1 Thu 28-Jan-16 10:50:14

Legally unfortunately not much. If its not in the interests of the business they don't have to approve it.

I wanted to go back 3 days a week, it was rejected and I can see why to be honest.

I was very lucky in that they found me another position (better!) position in the firm that was 3 days a week. I've now built up to 4 days.

slebmum1 Thu 28-Jan-16 10:51:23

Also my firm does recruit part time positions. What's your role?

KP86 Thu 28-Jan-16 11:01:49

Why did she say that it was too soon? As in too soon to confirm your return, or too soon after the birth?

It's really unfair. Any chance DH could drop a day or two and go part time and you stay full time?

Millionprammiles Thu 28-Jan-16 13:25:06

I wouldn't focus your energies on trying to get a reluctant manager to change their mind - even if they do, their stance may mean they are deeply unsympathetic to time off for child's illness, leaving on time etc which they may try to translate into performance management. An inflexible employer can make your life hell.

Could you go back ft while you look for a more family friendly position elsewhere? Is public sector an option?

Ideally you don't want a gap in your CV and you'll be more marketable if you're employed. Many parents take a real hit on their joint income in the early childcare years and it can feel like your working for nothing but if you give up entirely for a few years, will you be able to get back in later on (nb its harder to balance work when school starts)?
You don't mention a partner, if there is one, what's his view?

It can be really frustrating and demoralising, in some ways not much has moved on since the 1950s.

tootsroots Thu 28-Jan-16 21:51:58

I have had the day to stew think and am going to do the Ft, but ensure i get to go on training that my manager is always allocating to others, to work 9-5 and enjoy the extra pay by perhaps getting a live out nanny instead of the childminder so i get to spend more quality time when am home. If we can afford it..

I cant quit as i want a no2 so will benefit from the mat pay then.

I want the best for my son, so if i need to work so be it.

you are quite right about appealing a negative manager, no point and only i will come off badly, everyone is disposable.

Am being positive otherwise i will be bitter and that is not healthy.

thanks!!!

tootsroots Thu 28-Jan-16 21:58:06

She said too soon as 6 months away... but if i hadn't talked to her- then i would have been screwed as my childminder is only 4 days a week...it requires planning!

Littlef00t Sun 31-Jan-16 15:39:02

Plenty of time to return to work pregnant so you don't have to endure ft for too long wink

queenofthepirates Sun 31-Jan-16 15:50:19

FWIW my flexible working request was rejected out of hand when I applied. I left and we reached a compromise agreement to mitigate the lack of following protocols for considering flexible working so I took the money and set up my own business. Four years on it's thriving and I work my hours to fit around school. Much happier and I'm glad I took the chance. Of course not everyone's going to get a settlement to leave but I am glad I asked.

fiorentina Wed 03-Feb-16 22:04:54

Please don't assume a city firm won't employ you part time.
I have negotiated two jobs down to 4 days a week in the city that were advertised as full time by being up front. Admittedly one was working for someone who knew me so knew my work ethic but the other wasn't. Both have worked out well for me. Don't be disheartened. Good luck.

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 09-Feb-16 15:51:26

Re child care costs. For a couple of years I could have asked work to pay my childminder directly and cut me out entirely! I worked for around £120pcm - all the rest went to her!!!

BUT it is still worth it. The DCs are only little for a few years in the scheme of things. Staying in F/T employment gives you better long-term prospects re moving up the ladder, keeping skills up and you're more likely to get promoted etc.

I also stopped working for 5 years and all the above went in the bin. We were no worse off by not paying the childminder, but boy did my confidence, plummet and the ol pay packet a hammering on my return. I had to start lower down the ladder to get back to where I was and meanwhile colleagues got younger and more 'attractive', in full sense of the word, to bosses!

Wakey4 Wed 10-Feb-16 19:34:16

Do they think they would let u work 'condensed hours'? Where you work a ft week over 4 days?
Alternative is to go back ft and look for something else once uv got back into it.

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