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Assessing employee's application to work part-time- i feel like a traitor!

(8 Posts)
fruitcorner Thu 25-Sep-08 22:23:14

I work p/t - used to work f/t before children is same job - I have now been asked to assist with assessing another employee's application to come back from mat leave and work p/t. "Management's" view is that she needs to come back f/t or not at all for all different sorts of reasons. I am now feeling like a gender traitor in that I will be arguing the case against working p/t and saying to her that she can't come back whilst I smugly sit there in a p/t job Anyone else been in similar situation?

TreeHuggerMum1 Fri 26-Sep-08 10:13:19

I used to work full time and now I do a 4 day week, I interview and employ staff and I hate to say it but the people I took on this year I really had to consider how many kids they have versus how many days they work. Have to think of sch hols, sickness etc... A few kids are manageable, and I took on one woman with three but when you see someone with a brood of kids you do worry. Not quite the same situation but I feel awful but you do have to think professionally and not with your heart.
Also, all but one of my female staff have children and the only one who works full time is the one without kids. The others either work 3 or 4 day weeks and we all manage just fine.

ForeverOptimistic Fri 26-Sep-08 10:15:41

Do you feel that the job cannot be done on a part time basis? What about if she came back part time on a 3 month trial basis?

Simplysally Fri 26-Sep-08 10:18:28

Would you feel diffently if you were assessing a man applying for pt work for the same reason? If the job can be done pt then fair enough but if it needs ft hours then you have to put your employers interests first, surely? If the role goes pt would someone else not need to cover the extra hours?

lou031205 Fri 26-Sep-08 11:01:44

TreeHuggerMum1, I would argue that you were thinking discriminatorily, not professionally. You had no right to know if they even had children, let alone how many, and should not have considered that when dealing with applications.

Having said that, fruitcorner, you need to decide if your colleague has reasonable grounds and it fits with the job. It isn't about her gender.

rookiemater Fri 26-Sep-08 12:46:42

I have been in the position of having to consider staff flexible working applications whilst working p/t.

You just have to be dispassionate about it, but also if you are the manager, which presumably you are, then also slightly dispassionate about what "management" wants.

Often they are prejudiced against p/t working as they see it in its traditional format e.g. 3 days a week with no negotiation. I work 4 days a week and I think my work are getting a bit of a bargain as I deliver more or less the same as I did f/t at 80% of the cost.

You have to consider the proposal from all angles, and correct me if I'm wrong but as its a return from mat leave I thought you had to be seen to work extra hard to try to find an acceptable solution to all parties.

lalalonglegs Fri 26-Sep-08 13:42:10

Even if it is a full-time role, is there no room to consider a job share or compressed hours? Management sound as if they're being very inflexible but, ho hum, what's new. If only women could understand that having children is a hobby and should only be done outside working hours...

flowerybeanbag Fri 26-Sep-08 19:56:44

Will you be arguing the case that she needs to come back full time? Or will you be looking at her application carefully, considering everything she's put, thinking about all the concerns that management have mentioned to you (do you agree with them?) and making a decision about what you want to recommend about what's best for the business?

You can then speak to whoever in management and explain why (if) you genuinely think the application would work, or can look at compromises and trial periods as an option.

If you've been asked to assist with assessing the application, presumably that means your opinion after analysing that request and the general circumstances, is valid and useful? You can certainly put forward an informed view and suggestions to try and influence the decision if you think the role can be done part time.

Treehugger you were being discriminatory making recruitment decisions based on how many children people had and whether you thought they therefore would have more absence, that's very disappointing to hear.

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