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Negotiating part-time hours

(16 Posts)
DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 13:01:44


I'm currently negotiating my return to work with HR. At present we're talking informally about what I want and they can accommodate.

I've asked to go from full-time to 3 days per week. They agreed this.

I asked for tues-wed-thurs. They asked if i could do wed-thurs-fri due to people often wanting fridays off. I spoke to the childminder we want to use and agreed wed-thurs-fri.

I asked if i could amend my hours from 8-4 so I could pick up DD from childminders at 5pm. Work have said ok for this to happen wed and thurs but would like me to work till 5pm on fridays again due to people booking this day off or wanting to leave early.

I really don't want to agree to this but was wondering the best way of discussing this with work.

Our childminder has said she prefers to finish work at 5-5.30pm as she has her own children. I think she may agree a 6pm pick up at a push but I don't want to do this as I think picking up DD at 6pm is too late considering her bedtime is at 7pm (usually has tea at 5.30pm). I also want to see DD for more than one hour at the end of each day.

I know other people at my work who finish at 4pm - some because of childcare, some for reasons such as transport or it is preferable to them and they've had it agreed for some time.

What is the best way of politely saying working till 5pm doesn't work for me and getting work on board? Any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.

housesalehelp Fri 09-Nov-12 14:06:00

to be honest - and I hope that I don't sound unsympathetic -they have been really really flexiable already - I would give it a go - and could your other half leave early on a friday maybe - then see how it works out - once you have been at work a few months ask to review it
-maybe that is the way to talk about it i- say its not ideal for me - but I will give it a go? I expect that you will find there is nothing that happens between 4-5 on a friday and you can go back to them and say that - but I think some flexiabitly on your part would be appriciated?

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 14:57:28

You're right to an extent housealehelp - they are being flexible and I do appreciate that. If need be I will do the hours they ask but I thought it might still be worth trying to negotiate for my preferred hours.

They have said that there will be a review after 3 months to see how things are working out.

My DH is going to be dropping DD off at the childminder. It's more difficult for him to do the pick up though as his contracted hours are till 6pm.

I think I have already been flexible (agreeing wed to fri instead of tues to thurs). What is annoying me a bit rightly or wrongly is that I know several people who finish at 4pm already so there is precedent. Without getting into a 'my need is more worthy than yours' arguement I do feel i've got valid reasons for asking them to consider again a 4pm finish.

As I said I'll accept the hours if I have to but was just wondering the best way to phrase it to HR to see if there's any chance of getting the early friday finish.

mamhaf Fri 09-Nov-12 15:04:30

They have given very strong business reasons for why they need you until 5 on Fridays and have been very flexible otherwise.

Personally I wouldn't push it especially with jobs at such a premium - you have childcare and an hour won't make a difference to your dc.

flowery Fri 09-Nov-12 15:07:09

Sounds like they have been pretty accommodating already.

Where's your manager in all this? Ultimately it won't be HR's decision and it's a bit unusual to be negotiating with them directly.

Does your manager support your desire to leave early every day or does he/she prefer you to do later on one day?

mamhaf Fri 09-Nov-12 15:07:45

Other people don't set a precedent btw - each flexible working request has to be in the context of the current business environment.

So, it's first come first served effectively, which is why they can't let you take Fridays.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 15:08:06

Ok - I'm getting the message that they are being very flexible but I have to be honest...i still don't see why at this stage (talking informally) I shouldn't ask the question. If they say no, fair enough but surely that's the worst they can do?

flowery Fri 09-Nov-12 15:10:44

You can of course ask the question, no harm in that. The best way of getting what you want is to get your manager on board supporting you. As has been said, others leaving early doesn't set a precedent to allow you or anyone else to do it I'm afraid. Otherwise everyone who is allowed to work 4 days a week would have Fridays off, or similar.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 15:11:45

Sorry - x-posted.

I think HR are liaising with me as I don't know which team I'll be going into. I guess I could speak to the ops manager but I'd rather not that's a whole other thread!.

mamhaf - i see your point re: first come, first just very annoying (i know i'm being a bit U on this but getting that extra bit of time at the end of the day to spend with DD is very important to me).

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 15:13:50

Thanks flowery. I guess precedent was the wrong word to use. Most of the 4pm finishes that occur at the moment are 'informal arrangements' and knowing some of the reasons behind them is v v annoying.....

TakingTheStairs Fri 09-Nov-12 15:17:58

If they are going to review it after three months, then I'd take what they're offering. During that three months, I would work very hard to demonstrate that it won't have a negative effect if you finish at 4pm on a Friday.
If it turns out that they do really need you there until 5pm on a Friday, then you'll just have to deal with that unfortunately, but you may be able to show them that it will be okay for you to leave at your preferred time and then you'll both be happy.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 15:26:05

Thanks for all your replies - it has helped me get things in perspective. I think i've got a fair bit of anxiety about going back to work at all so any 'issues' re my return is making me panic a bit.

If i do have to take on work's proposed hours how do I demonstrate within the 3 month trial period that leaving early won't have a negative effect..? I don't think telling them I do nothing in that hour bar spin round on my chair and go on mumsnet will do the trick... grin

mamhaf Fri 09-Nov-12 15:45:59

What is the nature of your work? Do you, or someone else, need to be on hand to deal with clients and colleagues?

As someone who works ft i have to say it can be frustrating to try to deal with other departments where badly thought out flexible working means no-one is there after 4pm when core business hours are until 5.30.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 15:52:27

I'm a corporate underwriter. I work for a large firm (approx 60 people in our office). Most of the people who work in the office are underwriters. We're non-customer facing but deal with broker via the phone...I guess the main issue would be phone calls coming in during that hour.

Iirc friday between 4 and 5 is possibly one of the quietest periods (as I assume our brokers also like to finish early!) but a certain number of people do need to be available should a call come in.

Other than that it's fairly straightforward to organise your work to suit yourself i.e. we work on policy renewal up to 3 months in advance so you know ahead of time what is going to need doing and when.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 09-Nov-12 15:58:59

I'd accept the proposal graciously and say that you would like to review the Friday 5pm finish at the 3 month mark.

During that period keep a note of how many calls and how much work you do between 4-5. Tbh what you have got is good - you had 3 days a week agreed and to leave early on two of these. You and your DD will survive with a short period together on the Friday particularly as you will then have 4 days together.

If its really a non goer for you then could your DH negotiate his hours somewhat and get in earlier on his non drop off days so he can finish a bit earlier on a Friday?

DawnOfTheDee Fri 09-Nov-12 17:53:51

Thanks theoriginal. I'm going to ask the question but will accept the proposed hours if the answer's no.

Would like to point out I am coming in early to make up for the early leave!

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