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To think her childcare issues don't take priority?

(243 Posts)
MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:36:39

I've been in my current role for a few years. In our team, there needs to be one senior person during opening hours. We have core hours, no shift work. I work 4 days a week and I do this due to health reasons. I applied for this flexible working request and it was accepted as I am disabled as per the Equality Act.

My fellow senior was full-time and we used to rub along well, discussing holidays and negotiating well. She's now left and my new colleague also works 4 days a week. In her previous team, she had the same non working day as me. Manager sat us down yesterday and asked us to agree between us how we work it out or they will have to make a decision for us but they want us both to be happy. I'm not very assertive in real life and I felt totally bamboozled by her and she was going on and on at me about how she arranged childcare to be like this. She wasn't being horrible by the way, just not really thinking about me. FWIW, I have a child too, so I am not unsympathetic.

In terms of contracts, we are both contracted to work X hours per week. There is nothing in our contracts that specifies our non working day.

She text me today, saying she didn't want to put me under pressure (!) but her childminder cannot take or collect her children to school on that day and she doesn't know what to do. I get that she's worried. She's not an unpleasant person at all.

I want to speak to my manager and say that I think I should get priority. I have physiotherapy on my day off and I was getting so ill but having this treatment plus a break in the working week was giving me enough time to recover and be for work when I am there,


EtonMessi Sat 13-May-17 20:38:58


It doesn't mean you're necessarily in the right, but you're not automatically in the wrong either. You both have good reasons.

Zampa Sat 13-May-17 20:39:46

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable. It's difficult for both of you.

Have you explained your issues to her? That's vital.

Can you work this day until she sorts out alternative childcare?

If a compromise can't be reached, it's going to be put in the hands of your manager, I guess.

Mummysh0rtlegs Sat 13-May-17 20:40:19

What are your reasons for not moving your non-working day?

Sirzy Sat 13-May-17 20:40:58

I don't think either of you are wrong, but something has to give.

Can you change your physio day?

Taylor22 Sat 13-May-17 20:41:33

Neither of you are right. Neither of you are wrong.
You're both equal in your issues.

I feel bad for your managers. They're stuck in a rock and a hard place.

toobreathless Sat 13-May-17 20:41:50

Personally I think your health trumps her childcare.

Plus you were there first and I would not expect to come into a team and others working patterns to be rearranged to accommodate me.

HeyCat Sat 13-May-17 20:41:56

Well it's difficult to balance those competing needs, so I think you both need to try and find a solution.

It sounds like she's tried by speaking to her childminder.

Have you talked to your physio to see whether another day would be possible? Or is the real issue that you need a break at a specific point in the week? If the issue is the timing of your break, would your doctor back you up on that so your employer has evidence that you have this specific need?

Mummysh0rtlegs Sat 13-May-17 20:41:57

Ignore me, I missed the last sentence.

MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:42:30

My reasons are that I need the break in the week because I can't keep chugging on forward without a break. It was making me feel really unwell and this is directly as a result of my chronic illness/physical disability. I also have physiotherapy, although this is less of an issue as I'm willing to move this.

I don't want to put her in an awkward position. Childcare is such a PITA and can be such a worry. I'm a mum and I totally get this. I use paid childcare too, so it's not like I don't realise the stresses of being a working mum.

WateryTart Sat 13-May-17 20:42:54

I think you should both put your reasons for keeping the day to your manager and let her decide. You both have good reasons.

Let the manager manage.

MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:42:57

Sorry, cross posted. smile

DeadGood Sat 13-May-17 20:43:25

You don't sound particularly sympathetic to me, actually.

She has tried to move her childcare; and she can't. Have you tried to move your physiotherapy day? Have you even told her what your reasons are?

MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:45:12

I do think manager (who is only trying to be fair) is probably the most unreasonable as it's his job. It's what he is paid for and I think he just had to make a decision.

The reason why I was going to talk to him is because, legally, they have to make reasonable adjustments for me and Occy Health suggested this a while ago. However, I don't know if I'd need another referral t review this. I suppose it all hangs on whether what I am asking for is "reasonable" in the eyes of the law. I really don't want to make a big thing out of this if it can be avoided. As I said, I like my manager and I really do like my colleague.

cookielove Sat 13-May-17 20:45:40

Neither of you abu, not sure how to resolve it though!

DearyDearyDeary Sat 13-May-17 20:45:47

YANBU. Why should a change in others positions/work patterns impact you?

EtonMessi Sat 13-May-17 20:45:56

deadgood the OP also said that she can't manage working 4 days at a stretch.

NoSandPlease Sat 13-May-17 20:46:00

Can you change your physio to a different day? Are there any other reasons you don't want to have your day off on a different day of the week?

If her child is settled with the CM, it may be hard to find another one at short notice. If I was moved to another team and told I had to change my day off (and my child's nursery day) I would have to find a new nursery as the under 5s room is full on the other days. That's a huge hassle and upsetting for the child. IMO a child takes priority over a physio appointment (provided that appointment can be rearranged to a different day).

DeadGood Sat 13-May-17 20:46:06

Just seen your update. I assume your day off is Wednesday. Why would Thursday not represent a break in the week too? Then you would go back knowing you only have one day before the weekend.

MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:46:23

Dead sorry but I don't think you read my post above. It isn't just about my physiotherapy (which I can move). It's about needing a break for my health. I didn't want to add too much in my OP which was my mistake obviously.

HeyCat Sat 13-May-17 20:46:58

Ok so I'd suggest talking to your doctor and asking for a medical note confirming that you need the break on that day.

ultimately I think your medical needs should take priority.

MyFairyKing Sat 13-May-17 20:47:52

Thursday isn't going to help matters because we have a meeting that we need to both be present for. I could ask but I think it'd be a no.

NoSandPlease Sat 13-May-17 20:48:24

Just saw your need break middle of week. Can you split your day off eg have Tuesday pm and Thurs am off instead of Wednesday?

GU24Mum Sat 13-May-17 20:48:32

Neither of you is being unreasonable but if your colleague has changed roles and you haven't, I think they'd be on shaky ground forcing you to change your day. Sensibly, they should have said to the other person, "congratulations, we are offering you promotion but that job has a working pattern of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday".

So, if you don't want to change, I think you should say that to HR. It's one thing to say that this is your existing role and work pattern, another to say you should have priority (though essentially that's what you are saying but less confrontationally). I'd make it clear to them asap that this is what you want else they may think you aren't bothered. On a practical level though, is it feasible for you to change your day? Not saying there's any reason you should but if you currently have a Weds off, could you swap and have Thurs off instead?

Bishybarnybee Sat 13-May-17 20:48:46

Is your day off Wednesday, then? Would it be too much for your health to do three days on, one day off, one day on, weekend off?

I do get that if you are trying to break up the working week it is better to have two x two day chunks, otherwise the "orphaned" day would feel a bit strange.

But if you are up to it physically, many people love working a four day block with a long weekend to recover.

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