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childcare issues and work finish times

(23 Posts)
chasegirl Sun 13-Dec-15 16:20:11

For the last 2 years I have worked part time finishing at 4.30 as childcare (school afterclub) finishes at 5.30 and my commute is 45 minutes minimum. Work are now saying I have to work till 5 once a week as my original contract states that is my official finish time. I have not been able to find alternative childcare there are very few childminders around and none of them pick up from dds school (it's only a small primary school).

Can my employers do this? Am in a union who have said they cannot as custom and practice may apply but I am reluctant to just get up and leave at 4.30 as I need a job.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

2ndSopranosRule Mon 14-Dec-15 16:56:34

Apply for flexible working formally with a 4.30 finish time?

rookiemere Mon 14-Dec-15 18:50:52

Do you have any written documentation or emails showing how the 4.30 finish time was agreed at? Do you get paid less for your reduced hours?

chasegirl Mon 14-Dec-15 20:09:56

I do get paid less for my reduced hours. We already had flexible time so could arrange hours within the team but my immediate boss agreed my hours informally and I have worked them ever since.
I could ask for my hours to be fixed but they are very unlikely to agree to this as they are insisting everyone work till 5 (busibess needs apparently) regardless of childcare- just have to 'sort it out'.

rookiemere Tue 15-Dec-15 16:10:21

I'm not sure what the answer is I'm afraid. Do you have a union at your place - may be worth getting their advice?

What age is your DD - could you arrange to swap pick up with another parent in return for you doing a different day?

Camembertie Tue 15-Dec-15 16:11:51

Can you work form home that day so you are available and working until 5 just not 'at' work?

chasegirl Tue 15-Dec-15 16:51:43

No chance at all of working from home.

I am in a union. They say raise a grievance and just get up and leave at the time I need to. The thought of doing that is terrifying tbh.

There are some sahp I could ask but it would be once a week till 6pm which is a massive favour - possibly too big. Once in a while as an emergency would not be a problem but every week? There would be threads on here about me :-)

DesertOrDessert Tue 15-Dec-15 17:02:34

Does DD's father have any chance of being able to collect them from school once a week?

RB68 Tue 15-Dec-15 17:05:05

Someone may be willing to do it with a return another night, but do have a back up. You may find someone will do it for a small amount of money as well like a babysitting service

RB68 Tue 15-Dec-15 17:06:00

Alternatively see if you could negotiate 4.45 for 2 nights although there is traffic risk with that

chasegirl Tue 15-Dec-15 17:35:52

No chance with dds dad am a lone parent.

If child care isn't registered with ofsted I won't get any help with costs from tax credits. Have seen some baby sitting services but don't think they have to be registered with ofsted. My job is not highly paid either. I feel like I am just coming up against problems whatever way I look.
Swap maybe possible (but I am concerned that could run into problems eventually and I would be back in the same situation). Will ask around.

My employer is supposed to be child/family friendly too. Never had this problem before and I have worked for them for years.

Chchchchangeabout Tue 15-Dec-15 17:47:12

Worth checking with babysitters if ofsted registered - might be an off duty nanny or similar?

vvviola Tue 15-Dec-15 17:54:34

How close is the Afterschool club to your house? And are there any local teenagers who would be looking for babysitting work?

When DH worked from home for a while this year we had trouble with school drop-offs for a couple of months due to meetings he had. In the end, I switched some things around, but we had looked into getting a teenaged friend of the family to walk the DC to school on her way to the local secondary.

Would that be an option? A local secondary school student (or childcare student) who would pick up, walk home & wait until you got home. Babysitter as opposed to childminder, and only a short while, so shouldn't cost too much?

chasegirl Tue 15-Dec-15 19:02:38

I don't know any teenagers but hadn't thought of that. Might be worth asking other parents if they have a spare teenager.
Am also looking for another job now

EBearhug Wed 16-Dec-15 08:43:26

If you've been doing it for two years, I'd have thought it would be worth looking into whether custom & practice come into play - I don't know, as I'm not an expert,. Did your union mention it? What are they advising should be the grounds for your grievance?

Ellypoo Wed 16-Dec-15 12:29:08

Try CAB or ACAS for some free advice - I would have thought that the custom & practice would come in to play here as you have been doing it for 2 years, and you have flexible working within the office anyway, and are paid less for the reduced hours. They might be able to help you to word a letter prior to raising a formal grievance.

flowery Wed 16-Dec-15 13:42:26

"Dear employer

Further to our recent discussions regarding your proposal to change my working hours I have taken some advice and I understand my consent is required to make changes to my terms and conditions of employment.

As I have been working these hours consistently for two years, these are my established terms and conditions, regardless of the fact that different working hours were specified in my original contract. Unfortunately I am not prepared to give my consent for the proposed change at this time, therefore I will be remaining on my existing working hours.

Yours sincerely


Your Union should have written that for you. You don't need to raise a grievance, you need to point out that consent is required and refuse to give it.

chasegirl Wed 16-Dec-15 16:45:49

Thank you. That letter looks brilliant. There has been no discussion about it have just been told. I will ask my union rep about custom and practice and see what they think about sending that letter. I think they suggested raising a grievance because it goes against custom and practice (not 100% sure tho).
Will see what they say tomorrow

ratherworriednow Wed 16-Dec-15 17:05:22

Check if you have legal cover as part of your home insurance - I have had free legal employment advice from mine in the past.

maggiethemagpie Mon 04-Jan-16 19:17:49

Er....they don't need your consent to alter your terms and conditions, they just need to go through a fair consultation process and justify any business decisions to impose the changes.

You may be able to stall this a few weeks but if they can justify the business grounds for making these changes they can terminate your contract after a period of consultation, and re offer it you on the new terms.

You'd then have to go to tribunal to prove your case that their actions weren't justified, and it costs £250 to lodge a claim and £950 to proceed to tribunal.

What are their reasons for the sudden change back to 5pm?

flowery Mon 04-Jan-16 19:53:47

Er... in the absence of consultation (which the OP's workplace are not doing), they do need consent, as a starting point.

If they can't get consent after seeking it, yes there are ways to possibly force it through depending on the details of the change desired. One of those ways includes termination and reengagement, which is risky depending on the details.

But the best advice to someone in the OP's situation (ie with an employer attempting to just impose a change on them without any consultation), is to state that consent is needed and that it is being withheld.

That will force the employer to look at the other options for making a change to terms and conditions, which they may find very off-putting unless the change is very important. If it's not business critical and they were just trying it on, and they get the sense the OP is not going to be cooperative, they may back off entirely.

maggiethemagpie Tue 05-Jan-16 18:58:43

OP- yes they can do this if they have a good enough reason, what your post does not tell us is what their reason for wanting you to work until 5 is. most employers if they really want to put through a change of this nature and have a good enough reason to insist on it, would find a way. However as flowery says if their justification is weak, they may decided 'not to go there'.

kathrunneth Fri 08-Jan-16 22:37:15

It just might be one more thing to try but I know of some teachers who will take a child home after nursery (to the child's home). In one case, the child stays on for 15 mins at school while the teacher tidies up, or they read together. Then they walk/drive to the child's home and meet the parent there. Of course there is some extra cost but it's only an extra half an hour perhaps if you can find a teacher who might help you out?
Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

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