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If you were my manager would you think I’m taking the piss?

(162 Posts)
Napqueen1234 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:07:25


I’m a teacher on mat leave with DC3. Obviously it’s been a crazy time for all of us and it finally feels like it’s settling down and I’m due back to work in September (originally going to take 6.5 months mat leave +A/L). I applied as per the flexible working policy recently to reduce my hours from 0.8 WTE To 0.6 WTE which has been approved. However I am now considering extending my mat leave until mid nov. This is so I can settled my other two DC into their new settings and have a bit of time with DC3 before going back. I’ve written a v apologetic email to my manager asking if it’s possible to extend and the reasons for this. I also offered to use any KIT days to come to important meetings/briefings at the start of term so I’m ready in Nov. Would you think I was messing around? I feel anxious in these covid times of job security etc and don’t want work to see me as being difficult. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:09:31

When is your mat leave due to end and the AL start?

Would the HT have time to backfill your position from September?

Joopy Wed 15-Jul-20 14:09:52

Who would cover your class? Would the school have to recruit someone or is there someone who could step in temporarily?

Kassandra1 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:11:11

You're entitled to change your return date as far as I'm aware but that does seem like a pretty huge change to drop on a school that is finishing this/next week?

Whattodo121 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:11:25

It’s quite late notice in terms of covering lessons for the start of September-our timetables have been issued this week. Are you primary or secondary? Did school have a cover person who will be able to continue? I don’t think they’ll be cross as you’re within your rights to request it, but I think it will be a bit of a headache to sort out from a staffing POV so there may be some eye rolling about it.

Shelby30 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:11:54

I wouldn't see it as taking the piss as you are entitled to take a year off. More notice would be nice but again you only need to give 8 weeks I think to any change in your mat leave.

TinySleepThief Wed 15-Jul-20 14:12:39

Who would cover your class until November? It's very late in the day to be recruiting someone. I understand why you want the extra time but yes I would imagine it will annoy them.

Ellisandra Wed 15-Jul-20 14:12:42

Honestly? I would think, “FFS, you always knew your children were going to whatever setting in September, so now with 7 weeks to go, you drop me in the shit about changing from Sep to Nov?”

How much that bad feeling lingered, would depend on my existing experience of you. Great employee with positive track record - I’d have my 30 seconds huff and puff to myself, recognise that life comes before work, and then get on with sorting out cover in Sep. If you were a poor performing pain in the arse, my bad feeling would last longer!!

PotteringAlong Wed 15-Jul-20 14:16:33

Yes. I’m a head of faculty in a secondary school and regardless of what I might say to your face the conversation at home when I’m letting off steam would start with “is she fucking joking me?! It’s the last week of the summer term and she thinks she can give 2 working days to extend her mat leave?!”. And then I Would pass it up and they would decide. But I would be cross.

It’s not the coming back in November that’s the problem. It’s the ridiculous lack of notice to sort out september that’s the problem.

converseandjeans Wed 15-Jul-20 14:21:55

I'm not HOD but agree it's a bit late to decide. I don't know how they will find someone to cover for you? Admin staff who deal with recruitment may be out of office now for a few weeks.
I personally wouldn't do it but you're within your rights.

LakieLady Wed 15-Jul-20 14:24:36

I wouldn't see it as taking the piss at all.

There have been huge changes since you went on mat leave, and it's entirely understandable that you feel you need more time.

Hardbackwriter Wed 15-Jul-20 14:28:28

If you were planning to be using annual leave to get paid over the summer, are you not officially back this week? And so, in fact, giving zero notice?

Somethingorotherorother Wed 15-Jul-20 14:28:55

Id absolutely think you were taking the piss. Surely you always knew your kids were going to nursery in September? Why on earth are you only thinking about settling and timing now!?

Term here finishes in 2 days, that gives your manager literally no time to find someone to cover for you. In their shoes, I'd be mightily pissed off and it would absolutely colour my opinion of you going forwards.

dontgobaconmyheart Wed 15-Jul-20 14:29:01

Due to the timing and inconvenience of it at the last minute I don't think you can reasonably expect those in charge to feel positively about it OP. The school year is about to end and it leaves a mess for others to sort, at the start of an already charged situation with lots of unknowns in September-so why would they think well of it? MAT cover and a teacher swap 2 months after the new school year after what's happened this year with covid is obviously not ideal, and again, it is what it is. You must do what's best for you and your family, others also want what is best for theirs so parents may not be pleased. You can't control that.

I struggle with anxiety over similar things and tie myself in knots for weeks worrying what people think or if they think badly of me so get how you feel but there is an extent to which you do have to accept we can't expect others to think positively of us all at times, and especially when we've inconvenienced (even if its accidental or inadvertent)them or done something that makes ourselves look disorganised. That doesn't make it a personal deeply held grudge that might affect your life long term, though. I'm sure it will be fine.

Hardbackwriter Wed 15-Jul-20 14:31:08

I actually don't think you're within your rights unless I've misunderstood the situation - it's less than 8 weeks to the start of September even if that is your official return date, so I think you have just left it too late unfortunately. The school could agree anyway but it would be a huge act of goodwill.

I assume you've thought about this but just to check - you know you will only get paid mat pay, not your salary, over the summer if you do this, don't you?

justasking111 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:33:46

It is what it is in these strange times, you can of course ask for this change. You have put your cards on the table now it will be considered and you may be let go, but you may not.

Anon22 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:36:04

But you recently decided to reduce your hours from 0.8 to 0.6. Why didn't you consider this then instead of leaving it until the last few days of term?

Why return mid November - with only 4 weeks until you break for Xmas? Surely it would be more useful to either go back after half term or after Xmas?

I think your request this makes you look unprofessional, flakey and unreliable.

Hardbackwriter Wed 15-Jul-20 14:37:27

She won't be let go for asking! They may not be thrilled and they may say no but, aside from how discriminatory it would be, how would sacking her for asking solve the problem for the school?!

CinnabarRed Wed 15-Jul-20 14:39:46

Yes, I would think you were taking the piss.

PotteringAlong Wed 15-Jul-20 14:40:40

Also, when is your actual return to work date? Because I assume it’s Monday rather than the beginning of September?

You’re out of time with this one.

Monkeynuts18 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:42:51

As @Hardbackwriter says I’m not entirely sure you’re within your rights to do this. You have to give your employer at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intention to change your date of return from mat leave. When does your mat leave end and your annual leave start? Because you should give notice 8 weeks before the end of your mat leave not 8 weeks before the end of your annual leave. (And obviously there’s no stopping and starting mat leave. You can’t finish mat leave, take some annual leave then restart mat leave again.)

You can always ask though. But yeah I would probably think it was taking the piss if you didn’t follow the statutory procedures for extending mat leave.

user1471530109 Wed 15-Jul-20 14:42:59

Annual leave? In teaching 🤣?

Jaxhog Wed 15-Jul-20 14:44:31


SimonJT Wed 15-Jul-20 14:47:28

Hang on a minute, some people think teachers get annual leave?!

No I wouldn’t think you were taking the piss, I have had colleagues I manage extend maternity leave. You do have to give eight weeks notice of a change in return date though.

RhubarbTea Wed 15-Jul-20 14:48:03


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