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AIBU to seriously be considering giving up work and going back on benefits?

(114 Posts)
Datingbarb Mon 06-Jun-16 20:21:35

I'm a single mum of 4 and have worked since my 3rd dd started school 5 years ago

I then ended up having my 4th dd 18 months ago.

Originally when I started my job I worked set days, hours every week which kept my childcare to a minimum, I never worked bank hols/weekends etc and I wasn't expected to, when they employed me they knew I was a single mum and everyone was happy.

After my maternity I again went back on 2 set days /hours and that was it, but slowly things started to change, (new general manager), was asked to do extra shifts when they were short and slowly I then began doing weekends/bank hols and I'm now finding myself put on every weekend and getting hardly any weekday hours

Because I now never know from one week to the next when I'm working I'm unable to sign up to do anything with dd, I would love to take her to a swimming class or baby dance group but just can never commit to those couple of hours a week, plus I know how fast they grow and I desperately want to be with her all the time (she was a lovely shock/surprise baby when I thought I wouldn't have anymore and I'm so lucky to of been given the chance to do it again, dd also has delayed speech and I can't help feeling like it would improve if I could get her out to groups/spend more time with her.

Also despite the fact I really enjoy my job (at the moment) I know that's going to change, new GM is making lots of changes and because of these and the way things are going 2 people I work with are leaving which is basically going to leave me to pick up all the slack as one of the three of us have to be on every shift, so I'm going to be expected to work every weekend which I just can't do, I'm finding myself paying babysitters (as can only use childminder weekdays) to have my kids so I can work.

My childcare is so expensive and I'm dreading summer hols.

I have been doing workings out all day and I reckon I will only be 40 a week worst off if I stop working

Would it be really unreasonable for me to give up work (maybe just until after summer or when dd starts nursery) and go back on benefits?

SaveSomeSpendSome Mon 06-Jun-16 20:25:54


Everyone would love the choice to do things with their children but they cant because they work! Thats life!

It sounds like you need another job who are more flexible with you.

What would happen if you refused to work the weekends?

ssd Mon 06-Jun-16 20:29:23

that sounds really hard, but the way things are going I dont know if leaving work is the answer.....I'd find out what you would get on benefits first before considering giving up work

purplefizz26 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:29:42


Benefits ( should be) are for people unable to work, or short term for people actively looking for work that have been left out of a job.

Not for people who just want to be at home with the kids but can't afford to financially support that decision.

pointythings Mon 06-Jun-16 20:30:18

It is much easier to find a job if you have a job, so if I were you I'd be looking for another job that fits better around your family. I totally understand how the transformation of your working pattern has made your life hard, however walking out and going back on benefits will ultimately make things harder still.

There's also the fact that if you intentionally make yourself unemployed, you won't get much.

Babyroobs Mon 06-Jun-16 20:30:45

I think it depends how easy you would find it to get another job when you want to.

eyebrowse Mon 06-Jun-16 20:31:33

You should probably talk it through with your boss rather than just leave. They might be able to improve things for you as they might be keen to keep you if a lot of staff are leaving

RubixCubes Mon 06-Jun-16 20:32:18

Did they not give you a flexible working agreement?

As long as there is no end date that would be your contracted hours by default so just give them 4 weeks notice of returning to that.

FledglingFridge Mon 06-Jun-16 20:32:52

You'll get nothing if you give up or do something to get sacked. You'll spend summer walking to foodbanks with 4 kids.

Medusacascade Mon 06-Jun-16 20:34:02

You aren't going to get reasonable answers asking that question on here. I'm a single parent with two children and trying to work a job has been impossible. Not just being single but having additional weekly medical appointments every single week with one of my children. I've been self employed for five years now. It's the only way I could do it.

It's sounds like a job that once suited your family now no longer works out. Ywnbu to look for something else.

And in all honestly, there's not much difference between weekly working tax credits at full rate and income support.

EveryoneElsie Mon 06-Jun-16 20:34:42

Please contact ACAS.

Until people start standing up to these work place tyrants things will just continue to get worse.

Babyroobs Mon 06-Jun-16 20:36:10

Pointy - I think if you make yourself intentionally unemployed and you have a child under 5 you get the same benefits as someone who is unintentionally unemployed. And with 4 kids that will be quite a substantial amount.

LetsSplashMummy Mon 06-Jun-16 20:36:11

Is looking for a new job not a better option, or moving to a different part of the company under a different, better manager? It doesn't really sound like you have tried bringing this up at work or have said that you can't do certain days in a more assertive way. You could even look for something completely different, like child minding maybe, so you can be with your daughter.

There are surely other options to try first, quitting with no plan other than benefits is not really your only choice. Your post makes you sound quite passive, you might find it scary to stand up to the GM or find a new job, but it will be more rewarding than hiding away.

MrsSpecter Mon 06-Jun-16 20:36:33

I would 1) try and see if you can get your boss to give you set hours again and 2) look into earning from home as a self employed person where you can fit it around your family.

Datingbarb Mon 06-Jun-16 20:37:18

I don't mean long term just poss over the summer at least, they way things are at the moment with work patterns my childcare is out of this world, I'm paying childminder which I get help towards with tax credits plus I'm also Having to pay a young girl cash which I don't get any help with.

At the moment I'm on a zero hour contract but as the 2 people are leaving they are really pressuring me to sign a contract once I have done that they can put me in to work whenever they want (hotel industry could be any mix of shifts) and I really can't do anything about it.

My childcare bill has gone from 42 pound a week to £145 was last weeks shock

AndNowItsSeven Mon 06-Jun-16 20:38:19

Actually benefits are there so that live parents with preschool children can choose to stay at home with them.
It would cost the government more to pay tax credits for childcare than £75 a week IS. That's even taking into account and tax the lone parents pays.

MrsSpecter Mon 06-Jun-16 20:38:51

You want to quit your job for the summer and then what? Get it back again? confused

Kennington Mon 06-Jun-16 20:38:59

I would speak to your employer before jumping. They may well be more flexible when presented with the facts. They probably value you and don't realise.
You may children are only little for such a short time you may soon live to regret quitting work.

KayTee87 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:39:49

Yabu - I'm sure most parents would like more time with their children but it's not possible because they're working. I will be going back to work full time after my maternity leave even though I might not want to. As someone else said if you give up work voluntarily you might not be eligible for benefits anyway as they're for people who can't work or can't find work.
If you could do it without claiming benefits then of course you're not being unreasonable.

Babyroobs Mon 06-Jun-16 20:40:13

Of course, and many 2 parent families also chose to have one parent at home and claim top up benefits too.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 06-Jun-16 20:40:49

Op will be able to claim IS as its a choice with under fives.

Marynary Mon 06-Jun-16 20:40:51

You won't be eligible for benefits if you give up your job. You need to look for another job where you aren't expected to work weekends. You have done very well so far to stay in employment despite having four children to look after so don't give up.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 06-Jun-16 20:41:37

Yes she will!!

RubbleBubble00 Mon 06-Jun-16 20:41:42

I would negotiate a bit harder as its sounds like they really want you. Ask for set days during the week and offer perhaps one weekend a month as a compromise.

ExitPursuedByBear Mon 06-Jun-16 20:42:35

Is your ex providing for the children?

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