Have you or your partner requested flexible working and if so how has it worked out?

(51 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Sep-08 17:20:45

The EHRC are keen to find out more about whether flexible working was working for Mumsnetters and their partners.

So just wondered how many folks have asked to work flexibly post-kids - and since the legal right to ask came in - and how did it work out in practice?

If you've gone back into the work place following a career break, have you been able to get flexible working, and has it worked for you and your employer?

sfxmum Fri 05-Sep-08 17:28:04

I asked for it after 1yr maternity leave, I thought it would be ok as what I was doing runs 24/7 and I had to work some weekends anyway
but they made my life very difficult, I went back without an agreement and worked quite hard for 4 months but no flexibility was forthcoming so I left
strange as before baby I felt my hrs were quite flexible
the problem with the legislation, as I see it is that it depends too much on your direct line manager, at least in my situation

even with support from HR I just could not stomach the fight. I felt quite fragile going back to work anyway.

ilovemydog Fri 05-Sep-08 17:29:21

I asked for flexible working but they couldn't find anything suitable which is hillarious as it's a multi national company. So they gave me a payoff which was absolutely fine as I wanted to change careers anyway. The payoff meant that I could:

1. Retrain
2. Be able to stay at home with DS until he's about a year.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 05-Sep-08 18:41:27

ds1 - before the new legislation. requested 3 days, got it. About a year later (due to change in childcare) requested I do the same hours over 4 mornings, got it.

ds2 - after the new legislation. requested 3 long mornings (18 hrs instead of the 22.5 hrs I had been doing), refused on the basis they had decided that managers should be in the office for at least 4 days (there had been some issues with other people working 2 or 3 days in the last couple of years).
Discussions with my boss lead to the agreement that I would do 20 hrs over 4 mornings.

It works very well (and in fairness it IS better for the business that I am there for 4 days rather than 3 - and I did sell the change after I had gone back after ds1 on that basis).
They are also fairly flexible - as I am with them. If need be I swap my days to attend meetings, work later for courses etc. Over the summer they agreed I could do my hrs over 3 days instead of 4 to relieve my childcare.

mypandasgotcrabs Fri 05-Sep-08 18:51:58

I've recently started working flexibly. It was actually offered to me rather than me making a request for it. The company I am with is a big, well known, national company, but the store I work at is only small.

I work 16hrs a week & I have to be in Monday morning, but other than that it is up to me when I work. Most of the time I stick to school hours, but it means that if I need an appointment (which I have a lot of for ds2 atm) I can just swap a day over, or I can go in an hour later fo example and make up that hour at another time.

It works really well for me, my manager knows that I will do my hours & knows I won't take the mick with it.

Cosette Fri 05-Sep-08 23:33:29

I work flexible hours since returning from maternity leave 18 months ago. I returned intitially on 3 days a week for 6 months, and then went up to 4.5 days worked over 4 full days for a year, and have now just changed to 4.5 days (33 hours) working 3 full days and 2 half days.

I work half days on Wednesday and Friday, but in reality flex those hours depending on meetings - so sometimes I need to work longer on Wednesday, so finish earlier on Friday, or vice versa.

I generally work from home on Wednesday and Friday morning - to maximise hours working, but it depends on meetings.

twinsetandpearls Fri 05-Sep-08 23:39:52

My dp was offered it, he now works from home and can take time to take dd to school, pick her up , go to assemblies etc and make up the hours elsewhere. It has helped transform our family from a very stressed divided one to one that is blissfully happy and stress free.

Ewe Fri 05-Sep-08 23:45:06

I have gone/am going from 8:15am-6pm 5 days per week to 4 days per week doing 9am-5pm. Not sure how it will work as Monday is my first day back, will let you know!!

They have been very understanding for a v.young mediahhhh company.

Sunshinetoast Thu 11-Sep-08 14:33:00

Has anyone managed to persuade a new employer to let them work flexibly? I've got a friend who is trying to return after a career break and she's finding it difficult to find part-time work in her field. I'm not sure whether she should just apply for full time jobs and maybe raise it at interview?

snigger Thu 11-Sep-08 14:37:35

I work for HMRC, and it's been nothing but positive. I've got hours that fit entirely round my family and circs, and even after that I was able to vary the hours when DH's work pattern changed.

Flexible working is the only reason I'm back at work - I can fit work around my family and still give both my all.

I think it would be worth raising as a possibility with new employers - frankly I don't understand why enlighted employers wouldn't be champing at the bit to introduce greater flexibility - most staff would be much more flexible in return.

PerkinWarbeck Thu 11-Sep-08 14:42:59

All going swimmingly here. we are both in the public sector, but in jobs where working late at short notice is common.

DH works flexibly - compressed hours with Tuesdays off

I work 3 days weekly and do a long day on call on Tuesdays. This frees me up to work shorter days Thurs/Fri to collect DD from nursery.

MARGOsBeenPlayingWithMyNooNoo Thu 11-Sep-08 14:49:45

My request to work part time was accepted but my friend who works in the same location as me (who hasn't got children) has been refused flexible working hours.

She needs them to reduce her hours because her health is suffering. (she has to work 6 day weeks twice a month)

I think she is going to speak to our union to gain some advice.

I think they have acted with discrimination towards my friend as she hasn't got any apparent home commitments. angry

Sunshinetoast Fri 12-Sep-08 07:58:08

I've got a couple of friends who requested a reduction of five days to four. Both of them say they are now doing the same amount of work (taking work home, working weekends etc.) but only getting paid for four days. The message seems to be request five days over four rather than a cut in hours because at least that way you still get paid for the work you do.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunshinetoast Fri 12-Sep-08 15:31:48

Bloody hell, that's awful. Good luck. Have you tried contacting the Equality and Human Rights Commission (www.equalityhumanrights.com) which took over responsibility for this area from teh Equal Opportunities Commission?
Also Palmer Wade are supposed to be very good solicitors for this sort of case.

aly16 Fri 12-Sep-08 15:37:10

I went back when DD was 6 months. Requested 3 full days which they accepted but I have been alienated by management ever since. I was not even given the opportunity to interview for a post I had shown much interest in and had been interviewed for when a full-time employee, I am not told important things that happen on my days off and am then looked at in disgust by my line manager for not knowing these things. I think they will feel much better when I am gone however circumstances mean that's not an option at moment.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I (belatedly) wanted to add to this.

I applied to work flex-time when I returned from my mat leave with DS1 - my employer was a national company who were not keen - but agreed.

After DS2 I was working back in a managment role and my employers were very helpful. They agreed a job share and then shortly before I returned to work 'made' a position for me in my home town rather than a commute to work. This has worked out really well I do 3 full days a week and every other sat am. I am now an assistant manager which suits me as I have kept my grading but don't have full responsibility.

I am flexible when I can be so swap days for meetings, courses, staff holidays etc and work extra when the BM is away - all of this is with mutual agreement.

I think it is really tricky for employers.

AttillaTheHan Sat 13-Sep-08 21:43:36

I started off in my current job as part time (with 2 yr old ds) and 12 months later when a full time job in our team came up i applied for it and requested flexible working. This was accepted and I changed to a four day week. As a consequence the team as a whole miss out on having a team member every friday as they cannot advertise for 1 day a week as it is still technically my post. However I feel that I contribute more than some of my full time colleagues and I am very conscious that I am not in on a friday and therefore make more of an effort to be very organised etc.

I am now on maternity leave and am due to go back in nov. I have just applied for another change to my working hours and have applied for a 7 day fortnight. I work for a local authority childrens services directorate.

My Dh works for a national childrens charity and he has been granted a 9 day fortnight based on compressed hours. He found that whilst the organisation are in agreement with flexible working, the logistics of getting this past his line manager was quite tough as he had to justify his ability to make up the time etc.

In practice this arrangement has worked very well for us. It has its moments but we feel it is definately worth it. My dh now has a day a fortnight to spend with his children and I feel that I have a good work/family balance.

Hulababy Sat 13-Sep-08 21:55:11

I got what I asked for - every time I have asked.

1st - when returning to teaching after DD was born (6 years ag) - went from FT to PT 3 days a week.

2nd time - current job at prison (arranged about 2 years ago), changed PT hours so that on a Tues I finish 30 min early (30 min less lunch) and then Wd.Thurs I do 1.5 days hours equally, finshing at 2:10pm with just 20 min lunch.

3rd time (just started new arrangements this month; DD now 6y5m so above 6y old). Dropped half a day to go down to 2 days a week, now finish 30 mins early than normal end time both days (with reduced lunch hour to make up for it)

cwtchy Sat 13-Sep-08 21:57:24

After my maternity leave, I asked for flexible working and went back part time, 2.5 days a week. I work every Wed afternoon and two other days which vary, depending on DH's shifts. I tell work 4 weeks in advance which days I will be in. We don't need any paid childcare if I'm working this pattern.

I wasn't sure they would agree to it, but they have been fantastic..I'm in the Civil Service and my job is casework based, which I think has made it a lot easier.

scoobi6 Sat 13-Sep-08 22:03:39

When I returned to work after having dd, I switched from a 9-5 day to an 8-4 day. This made my commute much easier, and effectively extended the cover in our office by an hour each day. So was win-win.

Dh changed his working week so he does 4 x 10 hour days instead of 5 x 8 hours. He gets to spend one day a week at home with dd, and is still paid a full time wage. His employer also swapped his PC for a laptop so he can do some of his hours at home from time to time.

Its all good.

PavlovtheCat Sat 13-Sep-08 22:10:21

Yes, I asked for flexible working and I got it no problems. I work a few less hours a week, but not too many less, and I work compacted hours.

The only thing I did not get was the request to work from home for a set time (ie a morning) as there is confidentiality issues - they are overcomeable but I need an office, secure place to put files, and they have to do work station assessment etc and it just is not worth it.

DH has flexible working, when he started his job just over a month ago, he works 21 hours, and his boss said they needed him in all day monday and at some point tuesday afternoons and other than that, he could decide what other days/hours he does to suit his family needs.

It means we both have 1.5 days per week with DD on different days and she is in nursery for 2 days.

If we did not have flexible working, DH would have been unable to take this new job, in fact he would have had to stop working altogether as we would not be able to afford full time childcare nor would we want that.

vixma Sat 13-Sep-08 22:30:40

I feel this is hard to reply to as this is on mumsnet and although a wonderful sight, hardly any males come on here.What do others feel

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