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NHS Returning to work can't cut hours

(30 Posts)
Sammythecrab Fri 10-Feb-17 10:09:26

I have 2 part time jobs and will be returning to both after maternity leave.
I want to cut my hours from 2 days to 1 within the NHS. Locally several other staff members have made this change, but I am not being allowed to do this.
Does anyone know if there is anything I can do?

flowery Fri 10-Feb-17 16:00:30

Have you put in a formal flexible working request for the reduction in hours? I would imagine the NHS have a structured procedure for consideration of those requests, with an appeal process etc.

SecondsLeft Fri 10-Feb-17 16:04:29

Its very rare at my place these days for them to allow people to do less than 3 days, partly because with all the mandatory requirements of the job (training, meetings, cpd etc) it is impractical and means the individual is either overstretched or not contributing enough to the team.

Babyroobs Fri 10-Feb-17 17:38:21

there is no way my NHS employer would allow anyone to do one day a week, it would be unheard of ! People have a huge battle to get down to 2 days. Are you sure the people doing one day are not on bank contracts or similar?

Sammythecrab Fri 10-Feb-17 19:19:31

I haven't put in a formal request yet, union rep suggested (off the record) to come back, claim childcare won't work and then apply.
I'd rather be upfront and honest about it, but that doesn't seem to get you anywhere!
The others are defiantly on perm contracts and not bank, but it was 3-4yrs ago they made the change.
Our trust now won't employ anyone below 2.5 days a week. I'm lucky to be on 2 days really.
I can totally see why thy don't want me to, but it's annoying when there are others doing what I want!

Sammythecrab Fri 10-Feb-17 19:20:44

*definitely

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Fri 10-Feb-17 19:27:21

I have recently reduced my hours in the NHS but had an uphill battle involving union support. I am doing more than one day a week too. Never in a million years would they have agreed to one day a week I'm afraid as PP say.

To answer your question though as flowery said have you put in a flexible working request? This would be the way forward where I am. If you do this, make sure you use the right form and chase it. My manager ignored my initial request for nearly a month as I hadn't used the official Trust form hmm.

felinewonderful Fri 10-Feb-17 19:29:00

I currently work 2 days with the NHS and would love to do 1 day. I haven't even asked as I don't think they would ever agree, people act in amazement that I only do 2 days as it is! I might try it. I think you can appeal if your request is turned down?

Moreisnnogedag Fri 10-Feb-17 19:35:39

I think it may be very very hard if they no longer employ anyone on less than 2.5 days now - they are likely just to turn round and say that the service can't support that as evidenced by the change in recruitment procedure. Is there anyone who would want your extra hours and you can present that as a solution? I'm interested to know what you do - I can't think of anyone who does one day a week!

FormerlyFrikadela01 Fri 10-Feb-17 19:42:38

My trust does minimum 2 days a week as I discovered this week in my return to work meeting. According to my manager they cannot justify the costs of mandatory training and CPD for people on very part time contracts. I imagine it's the same reasoning in your trust.

HelenDenver Fri 10-Feb-17 19:46:30

That the rules have changed since prior staff got it seems fair.

Can't you do one of the contracts 2 days instead of both 1 day?

Amaried Fri 10-Feb-17 19:49:24

Think you are on a loosing battle with that request tbh.

anyname123 Fri 10-Feb-17 19:52:38

Your probably best picking one of the part time jobs and just doing your 2 days there. I have managed staff in the NHS and it would be an absolute nightmare having someone do one shift / day a week. By the time they did stat man training, had appraisals, took annual leave etc I wouldn't have got any work out of them at all!

flowery Fri 10-Feb-17 19:58:08

"I haven't put in a formal request yet, union rep suggested (off the record) to come back, claim childcare won't work and then apply."

That's very odd advice. So your union rep recommends you find suitable childcare for the two days a week, return to work on that basis, then put in a flexible working request, which could well take a month at least, claiming that the childcare you have arranged isn't working, even though it is and will have to be for the duration of the request, and even though that will very clearly make no difference at all as to whether your request can or will be accommodated. Interesting!

I don't recommend following that advice. Put in a proper requesting explaining how it would work, but I wouldn't be optimistic if I were you.

Sammythecrab Fri 10-Feb-17 20:01:50

Yeah, think I'm going to have to choose one job over the other.
Great pay but boring or less pay and interesting.
I'm the main breadwinner and have a much higher earning potential than my husband. Other option is for him to work part time, but I want to be at home more than he does.

lougle Fri 10-Feb-17 20:03:39

I once had a 5 hour contract in the NHS (it was just what I needed at the time with a very small baby) but I think it was pretty much the Holy Grail and almost unheard of.

Sammythecrab Fri 10-Feb-17 20:05:01

@flowery I don't really like the advice either, and practically can't see how it'll help/work out.

lougle Fri 10-Feb-17 20:06:47

I remember, every so often, a nurse would make furious whispers about how they were sure I couldn't possibly keep my NMC registration with that contract. I'd smile patiently while they went off with their calculator, only to find that I could indeed meet the requirements, as the last nurse who'd expressed their concern had found.

anyname123 Fri 10-Feb-17 20:14:32

lougle I worked with a nurse who did 7.5 hours per week, term time only. As lovely as she was the poor thing never really had a clue what was going on as things changed so quickly she'd come back from the summer to a new Sister / Dr / whatever, but she held on to that contract for all she was worth bless her! smile

P1nkSparkles Fri 10-Feb-17 20:29:21

You probably have very little chance of going back 1 day per week (as pp have advised) but I just wanted to highlight (as I'm also currently on mat leave from the NHS) that with most trusts you have to return to work in some capacity within the trust for 3 months or repay all the pay that you received while on Mat Leave.

Eminado Fri 10-Feb-17 20:42:34

anyname is 7.5 hours per week term time only financially viable? Geniune question.

jelliebelly Fri 10-Feb-17 20:43:27

Doesn't anybody work full time in the NHS??

daisydalrymple Fri 10-Feb-17 20:51:58

op I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious at to what your job is, would you mind sharing or is it too identifying?

My mind is boggling at what you could possibly potentially do for one day a week (albeit with another part time job), that makes you the main bread winner???

(Genuinely interested and i ask as ex-NHS (16yrs) am not NHS bashing!)

anyname123 Fri 10-Feb-17 21:24:34

Eminado she had a high earning husband and worked for pin money (her words), I imagine though being the top of a band 5, and probably not hitting any tax / NI thresholds she would take home £400 a month, not bad pin money!

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 10-Feb-17 21:43:03

jelliebelly yes of course, but many people work part-time because if you have caring responsibilities at home too working full-time in a full-on caring capacity is more than exhausting, especially as many roles are overstretched and as often nights and weekend shifts need to be factored in (just getting to spend time with children can be an issue with rotating shifts especially once they start school) As people tend to return to full-time work later on in their career it's actually an effective way of retaining expensively acquired skills, instead of parents ending up leaving completely when they have children, as some other employers seem to prefer (despite what they may publicly claim). As still the majority of nurses are women I'm also guessing that there would be an even greater shortage than there is now if part-time work wasn't widely available. It's not always quite so easy to obtain in the smaller teams in more specialised areas/professions of the NHS though.

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