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Is my sister BU or her HR department?

(85 Posts)
PiperChapstick Sun 28-Feb-16 18:00:16

My DSis returned to work affer maternity leave 6 months ago. Before she had her DD she worked 5 days a week. She wanted to go part-time (3 days a week) when she returned, but rather than officially requesting this, she told her boss she wanted to return on full-times hours, but use the annual leave she's accumulated + annual leave for the coming year (60 days in total) to take 2 days off a week (Monday & Friday) for 30 weeks. Basically so she could work part-time but get full-time pay for a while. Her manager agreed to the plan (he is a v close friend of hers though, he's godparent to her DD).

When she'd been back 5 months she put in a formal request with HR to go 3 days part-time, once her holidays had been used up. They've come back to her and denied her request. The reason being that the nature of her job means that it's extremely difficult to recruit someone who would fill in the remaining 2 days, especially a Monday and a Friday. They told her because she was happy to return full-time after maternity leave that they assumed she meant permanently, and had she just asked to be part-time before she returned they'd have looked upon it far more favourably and factored those hours into the business planning (HR weren't aware of the fact she was only actually in the office 3 days a week).

She is putting in a formal complaint about the HR team for discrimination (of what though I don't know!).

Maybe I'm having a bad day but I just don't have much sympathy and don't think HR are BU - I feel she took the gamble and didnt care much for what her arrangement meant for the business. Then again, they've seemingly managed with her being in only 3 days a week til now, and her manager agreed to the arrangement, so maybe SINBU?

CooPie10 Sun 28-Feb-16 18:02:26

Yanbu she's behaving like a entitled brat expecting them to bend over backwards for her. It doesn't make business sense to accept that arrangement.

Hasn't she already proved the job can be done in three days though?

Oysterbabe Sun 28-Feb-16 18:05:03

Bit she's only been there 3 days a week for months. I think HR are BU as obviously the business can cope.

monkeysox Sun 28-Feb-16 18:06:01

I agree with truth. She has proven the job can be done in 3 days.

noblegiraffe Sun 28-Feb-16 18:06:14

The business clearly doesn't need to cover her for the 5 days as her job can be done in 3 days.

She can accept a pay cut for doing the same job. HR would presumably agree to that.

HermioneWeasley Sun 28-Feb-16 18:06:32

Well, there's an argument to say that if they can cope with her being 3 days a week for 30 weeks, then it is perfectly possible, but maybe there are things that aren't getting done?

In any event they shouldn't just declare they couldn't get someone to cover the other hours - they need to at least advertise for a job share if they believe it is a full time role.

But I don't think it's professional that your sister and her boss are such good friends - it's an obvious conflict of interest and I wouldn't allow it.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 28-Feb-16 18:06:35

But the job can be done in three days, she's already made that abundantly clear by erm, working 3 days a week for months on end.

So it does seem churlish and petty for her request for part time hours to be declined.

FlappyRose Sun 28-Feb-16 18:06:52

It seems that the company has sound business reasons for declining her request. It wouldn't be unreasonable for her to be disappointed but I think it is unreasonable (and unprofessional, spiteful even) to make a formal complaint.

ScarletForYa Sun 28-Feb-16 18:07:27

Ha! Your sister is bu. Her line manager let her use all next year's annual leave?

Katenka Sun 28-Feb-16 18:08:03

They may have been able to 'cope' because they couldn't stop her taking annual leave. So would have had to have 'coped' at some point.

I think she is bu but so is her manager friend.

FlappyRose Sun 28-Feb-16 18:10:16

And she's using her annual leave to work 3 days at the moment. Presumably that is factored into the planning. If she drops to three days permanently she'll still accrue leave, meaning she'll actually be available to work even less. Perhaps that's what they can't allow for.

LIZS Sun 28-Feb-16 18:10:29

Just because it has coped short term doesn't mean that the job has been done to its full scope in that time. She could enlist her manager for support but may find he prefers to toe the official line. Did they have ft cover for her ml? Sibu to expect them to automatically suit her.

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Feb-16 18:11:06

What katenka says.

The business may not be able to cope if she does 3 days per week then has her annual leave on top of that whereas at the moment she is effectively doing 3 days but taking no annual leave.

PiperChapstick Sun 28-Feb-16 18:11:32

Hasn't she already proved the job can be done in three days though?

This was her argument and I think she does have a point - although I don't work there so not sure if some things aren't getting done or if other people in the team are picking up her slack

EdithWeston Sun 28-Feb-16 18:12:44

"(HR weren't aware of the fact she was only actually in the office 3 days a week)."

This is the crux of it.

Your DSis would be unwise to start a discrimination complaint at this stage.

I think it would be far more likely to produce the outcome she wants if she gets her line manager to write that this job can indeed be done on a three days per week basis without any ill-effect on the work of the department or on the workloads of immediate colleagues. This would remove the genuine business reason, and could lead to a reversal of the decision.

If, OTOH, it's actually been difficult and everyone is a bit fed up and just hanging on until the job was done on 5 days per week then the line manager will refuse to provide a statement along those lines. And if there is a good business reason, she is unlikely to win a discrimination case.

PiperChapstick Sun 28-Feb-16 18:12:45

LIZS they had a temporary agency worker covering her mat leave who left once she came back

CombineBananaFister Sun 28-Feb-16 18:12:58

You can't really put in a complaint for a denied request if there are sound reasons like it doesn't fit the business needs, but how do they explain her last 5 mths of being able to do the job part-time? Has this actually worked out okay with no issues do you know or was it just because she was friends with the boss and it has been inconvenient to the business? The AIBU depends on that for me

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 28-Feb-16 18:13:14

If I was her colleague i would be seriously pissed off

If she's now going part time then won't her leave be pro rata so she'll owe days?

queenofthepirates Sun 28-Feb-16 18:14:15

HR will have an enormous hurdle to explain how a job done in 3 days can't be done in 3 days. I'd throw in the towel now if I were them!

PiperChapstick Sun 28-Feb-16 18:15:12

I said that Not about her owing leave but she weekend to think she wouldn't have to confused

I have no idea if her part time hours have had an impact on the business (ie colleagues doing her work) I don't think she'd tell me if it did!

PiperChapstick Sun 28-Feb-16 18:15:30

*seemed not weekend!

LIZS Sun 28-Feb-16 18:15:51

If she has already used her forward leave up at the ft rate, even if she now went pt she may owe them back for the balance of the year.

Minisoksmakehardwork Sun 28-Feb-16 18:17:04

Could she offer to do compressed hours? Effectively a full time week in 3 days. It would mean a longer day but then she could still have the 2 days off and no drop in pay if the business model would facilitate it.

Unfortunately she should have been clear and officially requested part time hours before she returned to work. She's been allowed to use her accumulated leave, which I guess would be quite a lot. Hopefully she hasn't used all her entitlement that she hasn't yet earned.

She isn't wrong to feel aggrieved that she can't go part time. But she is unreasonable to think that it's anyone's fault other than her own for not following the correct process.

HairySubject Sun 28-Feb-16 18:17:59

If she is already doing the job 3 days a week then I think they are being unreasonable to say it can't be done. Surely she has proved it can?

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