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To be annoyed when part time job adverts say holiday and sickness cover is essential?

(29 Posts)
NewNameForSpring Sat 08-Mar-14 12:52:08

Surely the whole point is that you can only do part time work that is why you are applying for a part time job confused

How are you supposed to arrange to work extra hours for someone's fortnight of holiday, or worse, someone's sudden sick leave?

I assume most people, like me, work part time to fit around children. But even those without children are likely to have other fixed arrangements when they are not working, could be anything.

It seems wierd to have a part time job but have to be available for full time hours? Am I missing something? Can you tell I'm getting fed up with looking for suitable work? grin

missymarmite Sat 08-Mar-14 12:56:35

Well, I do think it is a bit rubbish. Most people would probably say YABU because you don't have to apply for it if you don't want it. However, in reality, in today's job climate, many people don't have a choice. Unfortunately it is an employer's market!

EEatingSoupForLunch Sat 08-Mar-14 13:12:34

I haven't seen that, maybe it's more common in the sector you're in? I would suggest applying and being clear what your availability is. I had a colleague who worked part time and our manager (who had no children) would occasionally ask if she could change her days. She would answer, only if you pay my extra nursery fees - he never did and she never worked different days!

Sickofthesnow Sat 08-Mar-14 13:13:10

I was hired for a 15 hour per week job a few months back to fit around DH's work.

The second week in the manager and another staff member were on holiday and I had been rota'd in for 30 hours per week for a fortnight without so much as even being ASKED if I could cover! They assumed I was available and would be more than happy for extra hours as everyone else was.

Add to that the manager had trained me on stuff all, and the other staff took it out on me, I got to the end of week 3 and quit.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 08-Mar-14 13:36:20

I work in a small team and we've just recruited. We need someone flexible who can cover the odd days sick/training or whatever otherwise we couldn't function.
We've found having a cross-section of ages works best for us; parents with school age children always want August holidays and those that don't want to travel outside peak times. Most people are fairly flexible, and if they can't cover then so be it.

elliejjtiny Sat 08-Mar-14 13:39:09

When I was a student I asked for an application form for a Saturday job in a shop. The woman I asked said they didn't employ students as they wanted staff who could cover sick/holiday leave during the week. I was happy to cover when I didn't have lectures but that wasn't good enough apparently. My sister told me that she'd had similar problems getting a job. Later I found out that she'd told all the potential employers that she'd be going home for all the uni holidays/study weeks and wouldn't be able to work on those days!

SunnyRandall Sat 08-Mar-14 13:44:02


Dwerf Sat 08-Mar-14 13:47:47

The ones that annoy me are the part time ones that say 20 hours of week, you must be available between 6am -10pm Mon-Sat and 8am-8am Sunday.

Sure, I'm going to boot two kids out of bed at 4am to drop them at a childminder's to travel an hour and a half to work... and I doubt they'll mind being picked up at 11pm, I mean they don't need to be in bed before midnight, surely.

(And this, dear jobcentre advisor, is why I didn't look very impressed with the suggestion I apply to Aldi)

BackforGood Sat 08-Mar-14 13:51:43

Not an advert I've seen very often, but actually, I think it's good they are making it clear in the first place.
Lots of people can only work outside of school hours - people who are at school, are students, or are working already in v. PT jobs such as dinner supervisors. Then there are those who want work when their partner is home from their work, so they aren't paying out for childcare. Then there are people who might only need a few hours work a week and don't mind when they do it.
Just because it doesn't suit what you want to do, doesn't mean it's unreasonable for the employer to be looking for a person who can fit in with what they need, so, yes, YABU.

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 08-Mar-14 13:53:11

Trouble is, smaller businesses especially are still constrained to their timescales, possibly for customers when part of the workforce is off, especially if off sick. They don't run a business to work around you, you are there to (reasonably) cover the business needs and the possible needs. They're sensible to take on staff that can do that, and to save time by advertising that up front.

flowery Sat 08-Mar-14 13:59:13

It's not weird to have a part time job requiring extra hours occasionally. If they needed someone full time they'd say so, they need only x hours most of the time, but where there is a shortfall, that's when they need extra. I know it's not convenient for you, but that doesn't mean there's anything weird about what they are asking for.

Lots of people want part time, rather than "can only" do part time. Lots of people can occasionally work extra hours even though they couldn't do it all the time.

If the employer doesn't manage to find people willing and able to do those hours and with the flexibility, they won't be able to fill the role and will need to rethink.

nkf Sat 08-Mar-14 13:59:30

It's always going to be easier to get work if you can work lots of hours and/or are flexible. Or if you used to be full time and they know you are great and you negotiate your hours down. Coming in from the outside makes it harder. But of course you know that. Good luck with the job hunting.

TheWomanWithTheMysteriousLump Sat 08-Mar-14 14:03:03

I can see why it's annoying, but presumably there are some people out there who want to work a limited number of hours per week but can be flexible about which ones. Maybe they have no dependents and simply want the extra time to work on their own projects, or maybe they are lucky enough to have a family member who can be very flexible about caring for their DC.

As long as the employer is happy to exchange a restricted choice of employees for that flexibility of hours then it's a win win. It becomes a problem when a) the employer isn't upfront about it and tries to spring it on someone who can't afford to work random hours or b) the bloody job centre tries to force you into it even though you really can't afford to be that flexible.

Meepers Sat 08-Mar-14 14:05:42

YANBU it's bloody annoying.

I can see why they do it but it still get's on my nerves.

NewNameForSpring Sat 08-Mar-14 14:13:56

I agree with it being good that at least they are up front about it. Also that it is hard for small concerns.

However, I just don't see who these people are who can suddenly drop everything to put in the extra hours. Even if you don't have children, you might do voluntary work, be doing a course, god, anything at all. It's like they can't imagine that you might just have a life outside the job. And if they can then they don't care.

Even if you had a family member (I wish) willing to step in with child care then that person is suddenly expected to shelve their plans.

It is the gall of expecting you to be available whenever they snap their fingers that gets to me I think, as some of you illustrated ie the Aldi scenario.

Thank you all for your thoughts though. Interesting as ever to read other views.

KateSpade Sat 08-Mar-14 14:33:38

I work 12-5 mon-fri & I am always getting asked to cover the morning shift of 7.30-12. I do it if I am able, but I feel like saying to my bulling boss 'one of the good reasons of working part time, is I can book my appointments/sort DD out/do whatever in those hours so NO PISS OFF'.

I wouldn't mind, but the girl I am covering for refuses to work for reasons I will never understand, for example 'I cannot work Wednesday as my husband needs a lift to work that day and would never get on the bus' and 'will you come in early as I have to cook my husband dinner this week'

And if I did covert hat extra hour, would I get a break? Would I balls......

truelymadlysleepy Sat 08-Mar-14 14:38:22

I've been thinking about this and why we don't have problems.
We all work between 9-5 doing various hours and if someone has a hospital appointment or whatever we just swap shifts. We all get on well and willingly help each other, but if one person refused to help I could see the whole system would crumble.

BackforGood Sat 08-Mar-14 15:32:31

However, I just don't see who these people are who can suddenly drop everything to put in the extra hours

Well, my ds works shifts in a shop. He's also doing A-levels. Normally, he does around 6hours on a Saturday and 4 hrs on a Sunday. However, he loves it when he gets a call asking him if he can do 4pm-8pm on a Thursday, say. Then of course there are the school holidays, when he loves being able to pick up hours and hours of extra work.
This of course suits the parents of young children who prefer not to work in school holidays.
It's not just him though. Everyone in his shop - it's a big shop - even the people that work as a full time job, work flexible hours. A lot of them love the fact they can stack up their hours over one month, and then take a week or more where they don't have to work. Nobody has to worry about how much holiday they take, as they are allowed to 'bank' hours - a real bonus in retail where getting Saturdays off is often difficult. I think there are a lot of advantages to being flexible, both for the employees and the employers.
If you worked in his shop (from what I understand, this is obviously 2nd hand through my ds) there wouldn't be pressure to work more than you wanted, or on days or at times you didn't want to, but there would be the opportunity to work more hours on weeks it was convenient to you.

nkf Sat 08-Mar-14 15:51:07

Some people might be looking for work, any work and be glad to take up extra hours.

DrCoconut Sat 08-Mar-14 15:56:55

I've always thought a student parent job share would be perfect. Student does the holidays, parent does term times.

Chunderella Sat 08-Mar-14 16:28:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 08-Mar-14 16:59:18

Wondering if my DS works in the same chain as Back's DS. Is he expecting a March bonus? My DS loves his weekend/holiday job there.

QwertyBird Sat 08-Mar-14 18:15:22

Oh... I misunderstood that in ads. I thought it meant that your part time hours could be on different days to cover holiday / sickness confused

expatinscotland Sat 08-Mar-14 18:17:29

Plenty of people who apply for part-time don't have kids and are happy to pick up extra hours.

AlpacaLypse Sat 08-Mar-14 18:19:30

DrCoconut That's exactly the system we use!

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