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AIBU to think part timers should get a better deal

(155 Posts)
Frazzledme Tue 01-Dec-20 21:09:31

I've worked part time when my kids were small but it was so s* I've gone full time now. As a job the pay tends to be crap, there are hardly any jobs to pick from and I've worked in a few teams where they could never get over that I was into my job and wanted to do well. Where I work they're quite big on inclusion and diversity but if I ever mention anything about making things better for part timers and having more flexibility it's like tumbleweeds going past. I'm ok with my hours now, but some people might want to change if they have kids etc. I'd like to use my experience to improve things for others. Is there something I'm not getting why people are so funny about it?

Also I know some people see it as a choice thing, but it's not really. If it costs more to work than not work with childcare then part time hours often make sense. No tax to pay so hourly pay goes up.

Thinking of doing an article for our group magazine to highlight how things could be better. Is this a good idea? What sort of things should I include?

Or should I just think "I'm alright jack" now I've got my cosy full time job again and people seem to like and respect me.

OP’s posts: |
GhostCurry Tue 01-Dec-20 21:29:36

YANBU, this country’s stance on part time work is indefensible. Anyone who wishes to work park time is essentially relegated to working in a school or retail. It’s pathetic and it is forcing women out of the workplace. Employers should be held accountable and made to provide decent part-time roles.

KatyN Tue 01-Dec-20 21:34:25

My experience of part time has been very different. I had a career, went on mat leave and returned part time.
Since then I have applied for and got Theo full time posts. Part of the salary/terms negotiations were that I would work part time.

I work in a specialist area of IT, the roles don’t exist part time so I could only apply ft.

KatyN Tue 01-Dec-20 21:35:05

Two not Theo.
Also my husband works part time too.

Nicketynac Tue 01-Dec-20 21:44:37

Some workplaces grudge sending multiple staff on training courses e.g. Mandatory training. School hours can be an issue depending on the nature of the job - if the work continues, it can be difficult/impossible to recruit for a few hours in the afternoon. Or someone wanting fixed hours for childcare reasons while others have shifts can be seen as unfair.
I work in a family friendly department of a huge organisation but other departments won't allow part-time roles above a certain grade. I have heard complaints that some people always want night-shifts or weekends so they can watch their kids, but these shifts are paid at a premium. (Conversely, other staff hate night shifts and are happy to give them up)

Dreambigger Tue 01-Dec-20 21:48:52

Yes I agree, I work part time for the NHS and have been completely sidelined and overlooked since being part time. I'm fighting a losing battle to try to overcome the negativity towards part time staff.

JaceLancs Tue 01-Dec-20 21:53:42

Try the voluntary sector
All my staff are part time
Most of them are quite flexible too
Mixture of office and WFH

Cocomarine Tue 01-Dec-20 21:53:48

My large company is full of well paid people at middle levels (some at very senior, but not many) in interesting jobs, with career profession - who are part time.

What do they all have in common?

They took the time to get to that level before going part time.

Margaritatime Tue 01-Dec-20 21:56:58

I think an article is a good idea but don’t just focus on traditional reasons for working part time e.g disability.

With state pension age rising the number of older workers who may want to go part time is likely to increase. Once the mortgage is paid it can be a way of easing into/ preparing for retirement.

Part time can also enable people to study. Reverse term time can be a good option for employers to have guaranteed resource over traditional holiday periods.

Also look at other flexible working options such as compressed hours over a week or fortnight etc.

Hardbackwriter Tue 01-Dec-20 21:57:55

In my (incredibly anecdotal) experience it makes a huge difference how part-time you're talking about. Where I work there are lots and lots of people in fairly senior positions who work four days a week (including me) but people (women) who work less than that are definitely overlooked and mostly at a more junior level.

FlyingPandas Tue 01-Dec-20 21:58:02

The problem is that despite paying lip service to the so-called 'family friendly policies', the vast majority of commercial businesses are not. At all.

I attempted to go part-time following maternity leave in my original job and I nearly had a breakdown. Essentially so many part-timers are expected to do exactly the same role they did when full time, on the reduced part-time hours. The idea of adjusting a role to include a actual job share, or to make it a genuine proper part-time job, is just beyond the comprehension of many employers so it seems.

For, working part-time in my original professionally qualified role was basically: same job, half the money, twice the stress. Utterly unsustainable and I resigned within a year of returning from mat leave.

Frazzledme Tue 01-Dec-20 22:03:31

Thanks @Margaritatime I've already done a draft and didn't just focus on any one experience i.e mothers. I got some bad feedback about it though so feeling a bit like giving up. The feedback wasn't very constructive but it came from someone I trusted to show it to so feel a bit stung. It was 900 words and she just said too long. I'm not sure if that's because she's not keen on the topic or it genuinely is too much. Can be a big topic as people here have mentioned. Anyway I appreciate your reply, thank you.

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Frazzledme Tue 01-Dec-20 22:05:38

@FlyingPandas same for me really, a real low was just after my dad died, I came back from compassionate leave and they heaped work on but I had full time colleagues lazy as anything. Anyway left a month after that. It's busy working full time but at least I have the bank balance to show for it and less time being stressed.

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BexR Tue 01-Dec-20 22:05:51

I'm part time. I went from full time, proved my value, they agreed I could return part time after maternity.

I realised I've essentially put my career on ice. I can live with that. I love being there at school pick up so hopefully will continue that for the primary years.

It's hard to see opportunities come up and having to miss them. But I've decided to focus on personal development and training so when I do get back in the full time market my cv will be great.

InTheLongGrass Tue 01-Dec-20 22:08:42

My request for reduced hours was declined. As a result I left a job that made me well above average salary (and consequently paying for childcare and a cleaner), took a 5 year break, and am now working on half the national average salary (in a school, so FT when I'm working, but only 3/4 of the year).
It is a complete waste of my training and degree (which the government paid for ) but i spent a year trying to get back into industry, and failed, but got 2 offers immediately on taking a mass pay cut. My new employer is delighted - or at least that's what my bosses boss said when they popped in to say my name is already being mentioned as someone who is making a positive contribution.

Noti23 Tue 01-Dec-20 22:11:32

I feel like I get a good deal working part-time. My colleagues don’t earn that much more than me after tax- I don’t earn enough to pay tax. It depends on your salary. Also, my company is very supportive and great with flexible working. It’s one of the big 4 accounting firms and they encourage everyone to be respectful and kind- every single person I’ve worked with, from partners, line managers and entry staff have all been kind and respectful towards me as a low grade, part-time, new starter. You should keep working to change your company’s ethos. It can happen.

mumwon Tue 01-Dec-20 22:14:32

over 40 years ago I worked in an accounts department of a small company there was a mum there who worked school hours only & not school holidays -they employed students in the holiday to cover - it worked well - no problems
I wish they could do this for more people now

SquidInALid Tue 01-Dec-20 22:16:28

Yanbu it's contrary to EDI policies which many companies vocalise loudly.

It's poor business sense because well qualified, experienced parents are being forced out of careers, often to be replaced by inexperienced full timers.

Mangofandangoo Tue 01-Dec-20 22:22:48

I work part time in a public service role and love it. My team are really flexible and the benefits are great. Every role we have is open to part time and job share applicants so it's absolutely not fair to say the only part time roles are in shops

ceeveebee Tue 01-Dec-20 22:27:53

My experience of working part time is totally opposite- I’ve worked 4 days a week in three different large companies now over the past 8 years, and have always been paid well and felt valued. I’m now a member of the leadership team in a FTSE100 business, there are 3 part time members of leadership team (including one man) so think it’s about time from the top which filters down to the rest of the organisation.

Frazzledme Tue 01-Dec-20 22:30:07

@BexR it's great when companies do that although where I was it didn't matter how talented you were, they worried more about setting a precedent than anything else. My value went out of the window when I got pregnant - working for other organisations I realise that nothing I could have done for that company would change how I was seen by them. I'm better off now but don't want to pull the ladder up for others. Plus I think that people should be able to move part time between roles and companies, not everyone is that lucky to get the right manager and right employer.

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feistyoneyouare Tue 01-Dec-20 22:32:14

Anyone who wishes to work park time is essentially relegated to working in a school or retail.

Sometimes not even there. I used to work for [insert name of well-known retail chain] (admittedly in an admin role, but still) and part-time hours were virtually impossible to negotiate. Those who were part-time were constantly leant on to go full-time. I ended up having to leave because they wouldn't let me go part-time after health issues made full time a no-go. The company's core values were well and truly stuck in the 1980s.

Frazzledme Tue 01-Dec-20 22:32:22

@ceeveebee thanks. I work in the public sector and do miss the private sector. Although some companies are terrible like my old one, I'm finding the public sector is so slow to catch on and the turnover of staff so low that it's not a very dynamic or progressive environment.

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charlieclown Tue 01-Dec-20 22:36:22

My experience is not your experience either. I am a part time senior manager, just about to be a full time chief exec. I think there are opportunities out there, but as pp said, it is all a whole lot easier if you build your career before you seek part time. I took long mat leaves but always came back, even if it was only 2 days a week, which means my cv looks fine.i am a champion of (all types of) inclusion in our organisation

Sewsosew Tue 01-Dec-20 22:36:31

I usually work part time but I’ve found it hard to find anything. I usually work contract/agency.
I am far more productive working a short day knowing I have limited time, most businesses would rather you sat around doing nothing for long stretches and be in full time.
I’ve even told places I have nothing to do and they can cut my hours and they won’t have it.

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