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Can I insist my employers let me increase my hours?

(6 Posts)
PuppyMonkey Fri 18-Sep-09 14:39:19

I've been working for my current employers five years. It was a full time position when I originally started. I took maternity leave and decided to come back three days a week - employers were fine about it all (especially as they usually get five days worth of work out of me in the three wink).

Anyway, have been doing three days for nearly two years now. Had always intended that at some point I would come back full time once again. Prob when DD2 is three and gets those nursery vouchers (that will be next April). And the other week I mentioned this to my line manager. I actually said I would like to come back FOUR days a week preferably, if not the five. She said she would ask, but the big bosses were being "very tight" at the moment and she didn't hold out much hope.

Am I right in thinking that since I was originally full time, I can INSIST on being full time again???

I know times are tough and there have been some group wide redundancies (although my dept wasn't affected). On the other hand, my employers have recently taken on someone new in my dept on a temporary contract - which was up this week. Doing exactly the same job, btw. She reckons they will just keep her on indefinitely (still tbc though). Now I wish her well and everything, but my point is if there's any extra work to be had, I should have priority shouldn't I?

Can I insist they give me my extra hours or is it not that simple????


flowerybeanbag Fri 18-Sep-09 14:41:48

No you have no right to insist on extra hours.

Once you've made a flexible working request and had it accepted, those are your new permanent contractual hours. The fact that you happened to work more hours a few years ago doesn't mean you get first dibs on any extra hours going in the future, or that you can up your hours when you want to.


PuppyMonkey Fri 18-Sep-09 14:44:56

Thanks Flowery! Ah, well - at least I know now!

ilovemydogandmrobama Fri 18-Sep-09 14:47:22

No, you cannot insist, but by the same token, it's cheaper for an employer to increase an employee's hours than take on a new employee.

So, if you express an interest, perhaps make a deal where you could take on a bigger work load until April and then you go full time?

elkiedee Sat 19-Sep-09 00:24:20

I think you've nothing to lose by saying that you'd like to increase your days next year. If you're already doing 5 days work in 3 but being paid for 3, I wouldn't offer to take on lots of extra work now, but it might be worth thinking about whether there's a business case to put to them for things you might be able to take on if you came back full time, or did 4 days instead of 3.

You've no automatic right but they've not offered your temporary colleague a permanent job, have they? They could keep her on for 6 months and then see what they need or can afford then.

PuppyMonkey Sat 19-Sep-09 07:27:58

Thanks all. Will have a proper word with them next week.

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