What value do you place on working part time?

(42 Posts)
Jellybean81 Wed 27-Jul-16 20:01:10

I've just had a year of mat leave with my pfb. Due to redundancy risk I put feelers out there and I've just received a job offer for a 3day a week role. It's doing what I'm specialist in, with a great company but the pay is about 33% less than equivalent full time role. I'm in the running for a few higher paid full time roles but haven't had interviews confirmed yet.

It would be a squeeze to get by on the reduced salary but we'd manage if we cut back.

I guess my question is what value would you place on those extra 2 days with dc? Or do I turn it down and keep looking?

Blueberry234 Wed 27-Jul-16 20:04:57

I work 2 days, we scrimp to get by on this but I love the days off with my youngest as I will never get this time back. I will increase to 4 days once he starts school

leccybill Wed 27-Jul-16 20:06:11

In my honest opinion, money isn't everything and you'll never get the time back with your children when they are young so enjoy it.

I know people say it as a bit of a cliché but it was true for me. I worked 3 days until DD was in Year 1, just gone back full time. Absolutely no regrets.

Outnumb3red Wed 27-Jul-16 20:08:28

I went PT after my first DC. Went FT after DC2 was 17mo and absolutely hated it. Didn't feel financially better off after having to pay nursery fees and felt I was only coming home to put the kids to bed. Got another PT job a few months later and feel much better. I work 3 days a week. DH condenses his hours and works 4 days.

BackforGood Wed 27-Jul-16 20:11:46

It's HUGE. Gives you the best of both worlds.
You get to spend some time with your dc, and yet you 'keep your hand in' / keep skills up to date at the job you have trained for / qualified for / become experienced in.
It's absolutely perfect when your dc are young or your parents are old and struggling or, tbh, when your dc are teens.

Chasingsquirrels Wed 27-Jul-16 20:15:27

Is the total pay 33% less or is the FTE 33% less?
If total is 33% then it's more "per day" as 3/5 is 60% and you'd be getting 67%.
You'd actually benefit more as a percentage of take home as a bigger percentage of your income would be tax free.

Based on my FTE I guess I value being part time (25 hours) at just under £20k. I could do more now as my kids are older, however I don't want to.

PoshPenny Wed 27-Jul-16 20:16:01

For me personally it made all the difference. When I was f/t (admittedly with a very demanding bitch of a boss) I would get home and I had nothing left for my kids or husband. We all suffered as a consequence. All solved by going p/t. However mine were older (at school) and I do feel it's more important to be there the older they get, babies needs are simpler generally. I'd be minded to try and be f/t for now with a view to going p/t a few years down the line.

Palomb Wed 27-Jul-16 20:16:24

I do 25 hours in a reasonably flexible role and it's perfect for me. Things like beig there for star assembly's, the ability to arrange to start late or finish early on a particular day if on of the kids needs me for something, Drs appointments, hairdressing, dentist etc!

My ds beams with happiness when he knows I'm picking him up from school rather than after school club.

Kids are only young once, this time is important.

Jellybean81 Wed 27-Jul-16 20:19:02

Wow, looks like a no brainer!

Guess the company are in a strong position as part time roles are so sought after but I do feel they're taking advantage with the low offer. Right now I'm leaning towards taking the job as the work life balance in favour of time with my son is the right thing right now and a job is better than no job wink

CPtart Wed 27-Jul-16 20:23:10

I do 20 hours over 3 days and it's fantastic. Parenthood is hard, anything that can make my life easier is worth it as long as we can manage financially. Especially if you plan more children. My DC are 13 and 11 now and I have no plans at all to increase my hours. Covering school holidays, sickness, teachers' strike days, snow days etc etc etc throughout the school years is a massive headache. Working pt means far less days to cover over the course of a year. You might not think about that now but plan ahead.

Jellybean81 Wed 27-Jul-16 20:24:34

The fte is at least 33% less than the other roles that I'm looking at. I have tried to negotiate and been told that's all they have in the budget. I'm desperate to get my career back on track after moving into a lower paid less stressful role to get pregnant in the first place. The company is big and would look good on my CV and the time with baby would be great but what if I can't make up that 33% down the line?

sunnydayinmay Wed 27-Jul-16 20:28:01

If I'd gone back full time, I would've cracked. Part time means that I'm still enjoying my career, but can juggle housework, and time with the dcs.

When they were toddlers, I just had time for trips to the park, or library. Even the odd trip to the petting farm.

When they are at primary school, you get to spend time after school talking about their day, reading, play dates.

When they are junior/secondary school, you become a taxi service!

milpool Wed 27-Jul-16 20:30:22

If you can afford it, do it.

I work 4 days and I really appreciate the day off I have in the week.

ASAS Wed 27-Jul-16 20:31:55

If you're doing 3 days won't .7wte (or 33% lesser salary) be fair and consistent? Or do you mean it still less pro ratad? Either way do it. You won't miss the money.

I went back .7 but negotiated a slight increase in salary which I was amazed I got. However, at the minute they want me to go for a promotion, still at .7 but I'm not interested as the increased stress won't be worth the increased salary.

Cliched indeed but wait til you get those days with your child. You'll measure things differently.

Good luck.

Jellybean81 Wed 27-Jul-16 20:42:47

I guess long term it would be a good fit as they're happy for me to spread the hours over 4 days which would enable me to do drop offs/pick ups once baby starts school. Feels a long way off but judging by how fast the last year has gone he'll be off to uni tomorrow grin

SlightlyperturbedOwl Wed 27-Jul-16 20:47:01

P/t really really works for us. It was great in the nursery years and really good in primary as you have a bit of both worlds, work and home. I have worked 3 days a week since I went back to work with DS1. Had to move just before DS2 came along but was extremely fortunate to move into a related field in our new location 3 days a week. P/t on weekday daytime only is vanishingly rare in my profession, so despite my now drastically inflation-eroded pay and often completing as much work in 3 days as some of my slower colleagues do in a week, I'm still here. And as a pp said, due to the tax threshold it's not as painful financially as it sounds. It's been so good for my sense of well-being and for us as a couple and a family, due to being able to deal with the niggly day to day home running issues more easily that if we can afford one of us will aim to work part-time always. Our plan dream is for both of us to work 3 or 4 days a week only once the mortgage is eventually paid off, though that is still a long way off.

DoinItFine Wed 27-Jul-16 21:16:00

I don't know.

Taking a 33% salary cut now seems like a decision you can't take back.

You only have one child. Childcare shouldn't cripple you (yet).

Future maternity leaves will be paid on the basis of the next salary you negotiate.

I would not accept yet and try hard for a full time job at a good salary.

Full time work with one child is really not so hard.

Negotiating a decent salary as a mother is hard enough without agreeing to work for 70% of your rate.

Jellybean81 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:45:30

Good points Doinfine, taking a 33% lower fte does put me in a weaker negotiating position when it comes to my next move.

In terms of career it could make sense as it gets me back on track with a big company, but that's definitely undermined by the low wage on offer.

As far as childcare, family have agreed to look after baby this year for less than a childminder would cost, but this is only for a year and I've seen enough threads to know the arrangement could collapse. On the new wage I don't think we could afford to pay full price childcare and our huge mortgage. As someone else said upthread I'll also be worse off if I plan to take another mat leave while in the role. But I agree those extra two days a week at home would be priceless.

I'll speak to the recruiter tomorrow and explore whether they can bridge some of the 33% with bonus or share incentives. Any other ideas of what I can ask for instead of a higher base salary?

Thanks everyone for your perspectives - I'm sure it's coming across how thoroughly confused I am now!

DoinItFine Thu 28-Jul-16 00:39:08

I wouldn't say the extra two days at home will be priceless.

It will be two days looking after a toddler and doing housework.

So tiring, boring, thankless.

Then you go to work. Your workload is almost the same as FT, you just have less time to do it.

You are immediately treated as being less serious about your job thatln anyone FT, you have to constantly prove yourself.

You still have to leave early and take all sick days off because now your job is the less important one. You're always working, but you're not the breadwinner.

Do yiu have a really great husband who hasn't ever expected your maternity leave to be spent attending to his needs?

Because otherwise you'll be giving up earning power and pension contributions to do the lion's share of all the domestic shitwork.

Working part time can be great.

But it has a very hefty price.

Understand that price.

Parenthood is a long road.

You are the least compromised you are ever going to be as a mother now - returning from mat leave with only one child and no record of taking time out.

If you have free childcare for a year with family, why would you use less of that?

The option to drop hours is far more available than the option to negotiate a good full time salary after you've willingly taken a cut of almost a third and gone part time.

If you want more kids soon, I think you would be crazy to take that kind of pay cut.

This is a big company.

But they are offering 70% fte?

With no room for negotiation?

It sounds like they are lowballing you for working part time.

Is that the company younwant to be with as a working mother?

AndNowItsSeven Thu 28-Jul-16 00:49:43

Looking after a toddler isn't tiring ( not just the one) boring or thankless , at least not in my world.

pitterpatterrain Thu 28-Jul-16 01:03:24

So if you went up to FT with them later down the road they also pay lower than you would expect in the industry for your experience?

I didn't think they could pay part time employees less per hour than full time (I had a debate with my company on this when negotiating .8 FTE when they wanted to pay me less than 0.8 involved ACAS pitching in)

I like my day off - although I am also studying so rare that all of my days off are with my DD

It gives me more balance and ability to get perspective either as FT hours and travel expectations can be high

I can't actually see myself going back FT unless we face significant financial pressure - I would prefer to stay .8 or .9 and use the hours to be more flexible

salsamad Thu 28-Jul-16 01:06:16

I went back to a stressful job full time when my DS was 4 months old (it was the late 90s when maternity leave and pay were shocking).
I hated it, started hating the job I had loved and could not concentrate or focus. I was elated on Fridays and upset on Sunday's and lived for holidays.
I muddled through for 18 mths becoming more and more unhappy, eventually ended up going off sick for several weeks with stress and anxiety.
I made the decision for me to go part time (2.5 days) and though financially it was difficult at first it was the best decision fro both me and my DS.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 28-Jul-16 07:37:42

So the job itself pays less than others in the industry (and the one you already have) and on top of that you are going part time.
So your pay will actually by 67% x 3/5 of what you were on?

To me that's different, have you actually been made redundant? Can you negotiate part time in your current role? How likely are the redundancies?

BikeRunSki Thu 28-Jul-16 07:45:43

I am a big advocate of p/t working. I went to 3 days a week after my first mat leave, and will be increasing to 4 days when youngest starts school in Sept. Professional role that I'd been in for a few years before the DC came along.

However, I've always been paid pro rata to the FTE rate. I would not accept less than pro rata FTE salary. That is not helpful to anyone, and massively undermines the significance of parents/mothers in the workplace. Are their HR dept aware of this discrepancy? I'm not sure how it can be legal if it is the same role, but fewer hours.,

Sorry if I've missed any details, juggling DC, packed lunches, cat and a tedious discussion of Star Wars....

dothedab Thu 28-Jul-16 07:49:27

I found it difficult to work full time after I had children. I negotiated 3 days a week in the same role and I loved it as it helped me stay on top of things at home.

However I lost 40% of my salary which after a year or so started to make a big difference. Also I was treated like a second class citizen at work, not being involved in decisions, snidey remarks from full-timers and sometimes I felt I was playing catch up if something important had happened when I was off. Also it affected my career longer term and I definitely missed out on promotion and other opportunities at the time and never really caught up again despite returning full time after a few years.

I think it's worth it over all but have a long term plan in mind. Also it depends how old you are and where you are in your career. I think it's easier to take the time out when you are younger.

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