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What are my rights....long hours culture/ law firm

(6 Posts)
Circa1840 Fri 16-Sep-11 16:06:34

My role is 50% events and this means lots of travel to venues all around the country, presenting and hosting dinners etc. Most events involve overnight stays in hotels and lots of travel which would just not be possible now with a baby. I am contracted to work 9-5 and my question is, can I go back to work and stick to these hours on the grounds I have to pick up my child from nursery?

My ideal scenario is that I can say I am unable to do my job because of the hours so I should be compromised out of my role. I am entitled to a 'return to work bonus' after returning for 6 months so would like to not lose this. I am happy to just go back for the 6 months, do 9-5 regardless and then resign. Or if they want to include the bonus in my agreement then all the better.

I hope this makes sense. My question in a nutshell is, am I entitled to work just my contracted hours? If, it is not working then is it my employer who will need to come to some 'arrangement' with me to terminate my employment.

Thanks for listening...I hope it all makes sense.

rookiemater Fri 16-Sep-11 16:23:11

You will probably get much more learned advice than me, but I would say it depends on your contract and also on your role profile.

If your contract states that irregular hours may be required because of the nature of the role, then I would think you would find it hard to state that you cannot work overnights etc because it is an essential part of the job.

I do feel for you, normally I would say have this discussion up front, but see what you mean about the bonus.

SheWhoMustNotBeFlamed Fri 16-Sep-11 16:30:51

I think if your contract states 'reasonable overtime' then you don't have a leg to stand on. I would also say, have this discussion upfront and see if you can be moved into a comparable but more static role. Going back for six months and frankly not doing your job seems hugely unfair on your employer and colleagues.

promomum Fri 16-Sep-11 16:49:36

Someone else will know more about this than me - but isn't there legal protection for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace (if you are bf)? Not sure what that would mean in practice though.

NoMoreWasabi Fri 16-Sep-11 16:59:41

I do sympathise with your position. However I’d expect that your contract would, after the 9-5 bit go on to say something like whatever other hours your employer requires of you. As such insisting on 9-5 and no travel is not going to work. Unless you have particularly special circumstances then doing the job isn’t actually impossible (if you employed enough childcare, expensive as it may be) but I can understand you being reluctant. I can’t see they will be willing to “comp” you for you not wanting to do your job any more so you might want to have a grown up discussion about whether you are able to move roles to something that is at least more office based.

flowery Fri 16-Sep-11 19:38:59

I imagine your contract says something about hours necessary to do the job. In any case, if your role involves travel and extra hours and you've been doing that for ages and accepted those conditions then it would be difficult to claim you weren't obliged to do those to fulfil your role.

How do you think you would manage to do this role in 9-5 anyway?

Bottom line is if you don't want to do the job as it is now, you have two options. You can put in a flexible working request to make changes to the hours/working arrangements, or you can resign. If you think the role could be done in fewer hours and with no travel, put in a flexible working request to that effect.

I think it might be beneficial to think of it not as you are unable to do the job, but that you don't want to. You could choose childcare that fits the job, or if you have a partner he could look after the baby when you are away. But you'd rather not do those things. That's a very valid decision and I think lots would agree with you, but it's a decision you've made.

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