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To be pissed off about return to work?

(21 Posts)
luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 08:18:48

I have been on MAT leave since September.
Due to return in June but wanted to add holidays accrued to extend leave. April comes and goes with no contact from work so I email HR to be told they weren't expecting me back until September as I am "entitled" to a year off (obviously with 3 months unpaid!) No one had discussed or mentioned the extra 3 months of when I applied for MAT leave, I definitely did not put on the forms I wanted to take the additional leave so not sure where that came from.
Anyway, I filled out all forms to return to work including holiday requests to extend leave and flexible working request to go part time. About two weeks after submitting the forms I hadn't heard back so made contact and was told my holidays had been approved but still waiting for flexible working to be approved. I chased up again a week or so later and it still hadn't been done. It has now been 5/6 weeks since submitting forms and I still haven't heard. I am due back in work the first week of August. I contacted my manager and said I needed to inform nursery of days etc and she said the request would very likely to be approved and to go ahead.
I am not too happy about making arrangements without confirmation but don't have much choice. I emailed nursery a week ago to confirm what I had already put on forms but move the date back a week and change dates for my sons to match. Not heard back! Sometimes I feel like the universe is telling me not to go back not much choice in the matter but actually it is just that these organisation are crap at communicating. Work are having a bit of restructuring so yes HR are busy but seems as they are financially a bit buggered it should be an easy decision to cut my hours!
Surely they are taking the piss now?

FanaticalFox Tue 20-Jun-17 08:28:35

I'd send an email/recorded letter something saying "as it has been many weeks and I've been told by my manager that my request will very likely be approved and I absolutely must arrange nursery NOW at risk of not finding a space I now have no choice but to work on the assumption that my request has been approved but for some reason not yet communicated to me, unless I hear back from you within the next 2 working days I will assume you agree with this statement. If i do hear from you within 2 working days but my request is then declined I will be forced to take this further as i will have already begun nursery arrangements". Basically this will probably just make them say oops shit we didnt approve this, thats fine just approve it! This is what i would do but I am quite assumptive and abrupt! Tends to work though.

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 08:53:32

Thanks fox, I was going to give them until the end of this week but actually they have had 37 days so far! I think I will email and be blunt.

thatstoast Tue 20-Jun-17 09:00:08

They are allowed to take 3 months to make a decision.

www.gov.uk/flexible-working

Also they must assessment that you are taking a year off, unless you tell them otherwise. This usually requires 8 weeks notice from you.

thatstoast Tue 20-Jun-17 09:00:50

They must assume...

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 20-Jun-17 09:02:12

Did you discuss a return to work prior to leaving?
If not an employer has to assume you are going to take the full 12months and if you wish to return earlier you need to give 8 weeks notice. So they are not wrong to assume you would be off till September.
They should reply to a flexible working application within 28 days so yes they are over this target, but maybe trying to find a way to make it work.
I would contact your manager explaining you need to confirm nursery and arrange settling in hence the urgency.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 20-Jun-17 09:02:50

Cross posted with toast.

Saiman Tue 20-Jun-17 09:06:11

Its up to you to tell them when you are returning.

And they are allowed 3 months.

I actually think alot of this is actually your responsibility

Redsippycup Tue 20-Jun-17 09:12:04

My understanding is that it is illegal for them to contact you asking if / when you are returning.

Unless you are going back dead on 6 or 12 months then you have to give them at least 8 weeks notice. (which you obviously have done)

I am organising my return to work right now - it's horrible sad

All my dealings have been with my senior manager, she has liased with HR and kept me in the loop. Are you sure your manager hasn't got an email sitting in her in box? Could you contact HR directly to find out what's going on?

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:15:14

My line manager knew I was planning to return in June and said to expect contact in April. I waited and heard nothing so contacted them myself. My manager has also said it is pretty much guaranteed that they will accept as I have requested 2 days a week so a 3 day post should be easy to fill if they need to.
I mentioned to HR when leaving that I would likely return part time and asked how I did this and was told I needed to give 8 weeks notice, same for returns to work.

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:16:18

Redsippycup, I have contacted HR directly and they said it was pending and they would contact when sorted. That was 3 weeks ago!

7461Mary18 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:21:44

I took 2 - 5 weeks off per baby and I can tell you it was an awful lost simpler, then went back full time. Financially it works well too.

Saiman Tue 20-Jun-17 09:22:36

Had you given them you rtw date in writing? Before you emailed HR to say uou hadnt heard anything.

Or had you line manager confirmed in writing they would contact you?

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:29:03

I sent the rtw forms to HR. They have confirmed they have had them.
Mary, full time won't work for us.

flowery Tue 20-Jun-17 09:38:26

"My line manager knew I was planning to return in June and said to expect contact in April. I waited and heard nothing so contacted them myself."

If you notified your line manager in writing of your return date and HR weren't aware that's at least partly your line manager's fault. If your maternity policy doesn't specify who you need to notify, then you've not done anything wrong by notifying your line manager. if it says notify HR then that's what you should have done.

There seems to be a misconception here that HR decide whether you can go part time or not. That won't be the case. If your internal flexible working policy hasn't been followed in terms of timings/meetings etc, then do complain about that, but where is line manager in all this? Has he/she notified HR that your proposed new hours are acceptable and asked them to issue you a letter confirming the amendments to your contract?

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:46:27

Flowery, to be perfectly honest my line manager is a lovely lady but a little crap at the job. Her job is currently at risk and it is , I think, her manager who will be making the decision on my return hours not my manager.

flowery Tue 20-Jun-17 09:51:42

Ok there's your issue then. If the team is in a state where your line manager is at risk and may or may not be made redundant, making a decision about your part time hours is more likely to take longer, while your manager's manager together with HR work through what structure the team will have, what responsibilities need to be covered and how this can be done.

That's not to say you shouldn't chase them, but a restructuring involving your team does complicate matters. Ask your line manager whether it will be the senior manager who will make the decision and whether it is acceptable for you to contact him/her directly.

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 09:53:45

Thanks Flowery, I will get in touch.

ChildishGambino Tue 20-Jun-17 10:19:42

Do you have any KIT days (keeping in touch)? I've had a few and it's so much easier to get things done when you can speak to the department directly. I've got meetings arranged with my manager, potential new manager, HR and my mat leave cover, as well as my team. They really help - if you are allowed them I'd take them and get things sorted this way. I'm entitled to 10 days and will get paid for them too.

luckylucky24 Tue 20-Jun-17 11:21:15

I am entitled to them yes but I wouldn't have any childcare to use them. Also the team is such a mess right now I am not sure they would be beneficial.

ChildishGambino Tue 20-Jun-17 12:52:34

Fair enough it might be worth having one so you can speak with HR or make an appointment to actually sit down with them. I'd take the baby if you have to but you need to know what the situation is so that you can take further steps.

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