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To be thinking about reducing my working hours?

(18 Posts)
Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 08:47:47

I currently work two jobs over 7 days, totalling 50 hours. One is just weekends and is permanent and pays a good hourly rate plus bonuses. The other is Monday to Friday and is well paid but on a temporary ongoing basis.

It was never intended for this to be a long term working pattern, as I'm a single mum with a 6 year old, and my intention was to apply for permanent with the company I'm with during the week and then drop the weekends, however, due to some changes in the company, it's looking more and more unlikely that a permanent role will become available, plus I'm just not really enjoying the role that much.

I'm also stressed out to the hilt and feeling like the world's worst mother. I cry at the drop of a hat and I'm so tired it's beyond funny. I don't think this situation is fair on either myself or my son, and I'm spending a small fortune on wrap around childcare plus a dog walker for the poor dog who rarely gets a decent walk from me!

So I'm thinking of dropping the weekday job. I don't think my contract will continue much past Christmas anyway, and the weekend job (which I absolutely love) brings in the equivalent of working for 23 hours at minimum wage. It would, however, mean I had to claim a small amount of housing benefit, but that I'd also be saving £50 a week on fuel, £50 a week on childcare and £35 a week on a dog walker, plus I'd actually get to see my child occasionally which would be bloody lovely as I quite like the little fella's company!!!

So, would I be unreasonable to do this, knowing that I will have to rely on some state benefits? I'm thinking that being at home in the week would at least give me the chance to look for another part time job which would fit around school, and I know that if I carry on like this for much longer, I'm going to snap as I feel so bloody run down and sad sad

Northernexile Sun 21-Oct-12 08:50:25

It seems like the best solution to me, and from all the extra outgoings you list, I imagine that you wouldn't be much worse off financially.

FermezLaBouche Sun 21-Oct-12 08:51:33

I don't think YABU. Quality of life is important and you sound like you're grinding yourself into the ground. You'll still be working and contributing so I don't think it's unreasonable to claim some benefits. Many of my friends who work as TAs have to rely on some form of benefit or other as they pay is not great - it's just the way things are.

JeezyOrangePips Sun 21-Oct-12 08:55:52

YANBU, but just a wee word of caution - but it might not be needed.

Payroll will be using real time information from next year - which means, as far as i know, tax credits people will know exactly how many hours you work. So if you work less than the 16, your benefit entitlements may be less than you think they should be.

I haven't looked at it in depth yet, but I believe that is how it is planned to work.

Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 08:57:28

I'd be about the same income wise but would have more time to be a mum. I've always had the mindset that you work for a living and not rely on the government but I can see me being carted off in a straight jacket if this continues! Including travelling to and from work, I'm actually away from home for around 70 hours a week and its just not healthy for me or my child. I don't get much input from his dad (he has him at weekends as I drop him off) as he has no car, works nights and lives quite a distance away from us (my choice as I made the decision to move from a god awful inner city area with a school that ds was struggling at, to a lovely little village where he's thriving) so I feel like I'm *failing miserably* doing this all on my own and I can't do it anymore!

AThingInYourLife Sun 21-Oct-12 09:00:20

Sounds like the sensible choice.

Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 09:01:01

Thanks Jeezy. I'm only under by 4 hours anyway so planning on getting another part time job to make those hours up. I do 12 hours at the weekends at the minute so I'm sure I could do some cleaning or something in the week to fit in around school smile

JeezyOrangePips Sun 21-Oct-12 09:11:49

Well in that case - go for it. You will never regret spending more time with your child smile

Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 09:23:36

I actually might speak to my weekend employer and see if they will increase my contracted hours for a reduced hourly rate, so as I'm working 16 hours but earning the same. Wonder if that would be a possibility?

JeezyOrangePips Sun 21-Oct-12 09:27:06

Maybe ask about increasing your hours first, they might be willing to pay you for 4 more hours.

Then if money is an issue, offer the drop in hourly rate.

HappyTurquoise Sun 21-Oct-12 09:42:49

Sounds like you really need to drop the week job and look for something else. You would only be taking benefit until you get spmething else. You could probably get some pt cleaning fairly quicly anyway, and then you can think about whether there's something else you want to do long term. My DCs went to a community playgroup, where parents did bank work and quite a few friends got their first training in education that way, some went on to be TAd at very good schools and enjoy their jobs.

AuntieStella Sun 21-Oct-12 09:48:26

How long until your DS goes to school? A weekend working pattern means you would see very little of him. If it's a couple of years, then there's plenty of time. If it's a couple of terms, then you'll need to think about how much change you can take (or resign yourself to seeing very little of him).

Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 09:52:35

He's at school already. Weekends he goes to his dad's anyway as he doesn't get chance to see him during the week and I've worked weekends for the last 4 years anyway so we're used to it now. It's more the fact that I don't get time to do homework etc with him in the evenings or have time to do anything together other than eat one meal then it's his bedtime. I'd love a more flexible job during the week, but at the minute I couldn't take time off to interview for one!

wheresmespecs Sun 21-Oct-12 10:42:42

You don't sound happy, it sounds stressful, and you do have something of a choice, so I would have a very good think about giving up the less rewarding job. Or looking at it another way, what would be your reasoning for continuing as you are?

If it is just the reliance on benefit - it's not a lifetime's choice, is it, it's just what is best right now. And if it gives you some breathing space to think about and research other job options in the longterm, then that's good.

Another poster mentioned the 16 hours a week issue - I would look at this, and Universal Credit and see if you would be okay, as far you can tell. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of concrete info about UC atm but you'd have to bear it in mind. If you are confident you could pick up say a morning's work on a payroll to bump up your hours, then it's not a problem.

JeezyOrangePips Sun 21-Oct-12 10:44:01

You could always take on something like Avon for your four hours, if you needed to.

whois Sun 21-Oct-12 12:25:50

Working 7 days a weeks is extremely hard for anyone, let alone a single mum. Drop the week day job for sure, and like you say you will be able to find something with a few extra hours. Enjoy your son!

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 12:35:22

I don't know a lot about benefits but one thing to check out is whether you would be entitled to benefits if you give up your job voluntarily. I know this affects job seekers and JSA can be refused for up to 6 months if you left a job voluntarily. It's worth checking if this is the case for other benefits.

I think it might be worth sticking it out to Christmas and saving up a bit first. Christmas is only around the corner anyway so worth hanging on I think. However I think YANBU. Being a single mum must be hard but working 7 days too must be exhausting and frustrating that you can't see your son as much as you need to. Good luck sorting it all out.

Itsnotahoover Sun 21-Oct-12 17:21:28

Well I might be sorted on the 16 hours front as my old job have just said I can go back! They've potentially offered me a 6 hour contract with possible overtime, just need to confirm it with the store manager but we get on ok so shouldn't be a problem smile So excited about the thought of spending more time with my boy!

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