How do I write this letter/ approach this issue?

(11 Posts)
Looby4 Mon 04-May-15 18:27:52

I work FT for a management consultancy doing project management for clients. Last year I was new in the job so had to work all summer holidays except for the two weeks that they honoured which had been booked.

I felt really sorry about this, as we couldn't visit friends, go to museums/ days out and I was very busy even in the evenings.

Having built up a bit of credit and been promoted twice in the last year, I need to make some changes because I feel very guilty about my 4 DC aged 9-15.

I need to write a letter to my Line Manager. He's very approachable, so I'm not sure a letter is the first line of attack, but he would need to take my request further up the line, so I thought I'd speak to him and write a letter to.

I either want to:

1) Work a 3 day week permanently (would be nice, but I think would be refused as I lead a team, and clients would not be happy)

2) Work a 3 day week during the summer hols this year, taking unpaid leave for 2 days each week between 20th July and 7th Sept (am away on 2 weeks leave during August anyway)

3) Continue FT, but have an unspoken agreement that I can actually have the days off if I want to to take the kids out, spend time with them, but catch up in the early mornings, evenings and weekends. (Preferred Option!)

Should I ask for 3) verbally and see if he agrees? I can promise to return clients' calls and handle anything urgent, but leave all other e-mails and written papers, accounting and project reporting to the evenings/ early mornings/ weekends?

Should I set out 1 and 2 in a letter and then add 3 in when I speak to him?

Having spent a year becoming one of the boys (company is almost 100% male except for the PAs), I don't want to look mumsy and show a chink in my armour, but the thought of the holidays is stressing me out. My DC are refusing to go to Holiday Camps except the 9YO and I am worried about leaving them to either sit about the house all day, or be out and about while I am more than 1 hour away.

TIA

niceandwarm Mon 04-May-15 18:34:01

Could you suggest working from home for one of the days?

PeppermintCrayon Mon 04-May-15 18:42:29

Two things. Firstly, does your company have an official procedure for requesting flexible working?

Secondly, I think you need to recognise that the summer holidays aren't a holiday for everyone. You're talking as if they are.

Looby4 Mon 04-May-15 18:46:50

Yes Co. does have official procedure, but my LM might be surprised if he suddenly gets the request through the online system, so need to discuss it.

Thanks; I do realise school hols aren't a holiday for everyone, and gladly cover for others during their leave. As a parent, I'm probably in the minority in current job.

flowery Mon 04-May-15 21:31:42

(3) sounds way too woolly. "have an unspoken agreement that I can actually have the days off if I want to to take the kids out"

How many days off are you actually talking about there? As many as you like? Would this be holiday days?

Talk it though before writing a letter, but if (3) is your preferred option you need to be way clearer about what you actually mean.

I'm intrigued that you seem confident that the reason you "only" got two full weeks off last summer is because you were new in the job. Surely no more than two weeks off in a summer is perfectly normal? Do most people where you work take longer off in the summer then?

Unexpected Mon 04-May-15 22:25:25

Surely most people only take two weeks off in Summer? Because you need the rest of your holidays for all the other school holidays, half terms, INSET Days, etc etc.?

Do you actually want more than the two weeks off which you have booked or are you worried about what you will do for childcare? If it is the latter, how about using an au pair just for school holidays or advertising for someone like a TA or pre-school worker who may have time free and be glad of the extra money?

ScotsWhaHae Mon 04-May-15 22:30:23

I'd say option 2 is fairest.

Having some kind of ad hoc 'I'll take time off when it's sunny or the circus is in town or I fancy the new exhibition at the museum' type agreement isn't really workable.

chairmeoh Mon 04-May-15 22:33:10

Your post rather reads as though you feel hard done by that you were only allowed to take 2 weeks leave last summer. Apologies if I've misunderstood.

Is compressed hours an option in your role?

Koalafications Mon 04-May-15 22:38:54

I work for a very flexible, family friendly company and option 3 sounds a bit too wooly even for us!

I think you need to position this much better with your employer. Your OP comes across a bit... well, 'entitled' and I don't really like that word.

Noeuf Mon 04-May-15 22:45:47

Well they don't have to say yes to any of this so what's in t for them? I know you can ask for flexible working but the making up time around the kids says way too unbalanced.

ToodleooAndPeekaboo Tue 05-May-15 08:35:39

Option 3 would be a recipe for disaster in my experience. If agreed to your line manager would have to keep it on the quiet or everyone else - rightly - would want access to the same ad hoc flexible working (which would most likely be chaos). Your colleagues then suddenly can't get hold of you on certain days/you take eight or 12 hours to reply to emails and you start becoming known as flakey, people start asking 'what's going on with her? Is she demotivated/looking for another job/doing childcare at home when she should be working?'. Then when someone inevitably finds out about the arrangement there are grumblings about unfair it is that the only woman with kids gets special treatment (however grossly ironic that might be), you are treated as less committed, your credibility damaged and your Line Manager embarrassed to be put in the position of making an arrangement under the radar.

I'd alert the line manager that you'd like to do either 1 or 2 and you're thinking of making a flexible working request but wanted to check out with her/him what would work for the team/business first. I wouldn't embarrass you both by asking for 3 to be perfectly honest.

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