Will a part time arrangement work? Not sure what to do?

(7 Posts)
zombiemumlife Thu 11-Apr-19 07:26:23

My son is just 7 months. My boss was eager to get me back and I felt obligated to agree an arrangement. I am fairly senior so it wasn't appropriate to get a temp in so things have been on hold.

I've worked around three days in the office per month since he was born to keep on top of essentials and worked OTT right up to the birth. I am good at my job and take my professional integrity seriously.

It's an ambitious organisation and the type of place where people work late / weekends and send a lot of emails to prove how much they work! I am the only woman with a baby and this is really unchartered territory for them.

I thought hard about what I was willing to commit to a couple of months ago when we had the discussions about me coming back. I suggested formally working 6 days per month (spread across the last two weeks of every month) but my boss negotiated another day. I agreed on the basis that I would have some flexibility with working from home and my hours.

Then last week I was organising my emails and meetings for when I was back in (whilst technically off!) and rejected a meeting on a day I was planning to work from home.

Then got a condescending email saying I had to come in 8-5 on my working days and that I needed to be aware of how this will look to people. I felt very put out by this as this was not what we agreed, he is still young and I could have technically just not come back at all but have been working hard to balance things and keep stuff ticking along.

It felt like a complete u-turn to our previous conversations and with only being the week before I go back in my partner is now going to have to pull a sicky to watch him and the plans i've made have had to be changed.

Feel anxious and unsure about going back now and if it is maybe better to just have an all or nothing approach? i.e. go back full time at 9/10 months? Any advice welcome! Maybe I am being unreasonable?

OP’s posts: |
Dyrne Thu 11-Apr-19 07:52:09

Was this all formally agreed? If so, just produce the emails and reply “as per agreement I will work from home sort from XYZ days”.

Although your boss sounds like a twat; I think you may have muddied the waters by agreeing to work so often on your maternity leave (for free!).

When do you go back? If time, put in formal notice of your intent to extend your maternity leave.

If you go back too soon; put in a formal flexible working request. They will probably have every business reason to reject you only being in the office physically for 6/7 days a month, as surely someone senior is needed in more often; but if you ask for 2-3 days at home a week it might be granted?

Dyrne Thu 11-Apr-19 07:52:37

*apart, not sort!

PotteringAlong Thu 11-Apr-19 07:53:42

Are you being paid for these days? And getting maternity pay?

zombiemumlife Thu 11-Apr-19 08:23:38

Dyrne, that's good advice - thanks.

Pottering Along - no to maternity pay for this.

I agree that I have muddied the water by working at home on and off when technically off. I regret this now, as maybe this has created confusion amongst people within the business and contributed to the reputation concerns they have.

I had a good relationship with my boss before so I don't want to go down the route of being challenging yet. But I did say that I may have to reconsider and that if they are uncomfortable with this arrangement I can cancel my meetings and not come in next couple of weeks and go with more or an all or nothing approach at a later date. The response was that they said for me to come in and see how it goes so I could renegotiate afterwards.

I just feel like this is so sloppy and confusing for me to get my head around!

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Fri 12-Apr-19 08:07:32

I think if you’re no longer getting maternity pay then they class you as back at work. You need to have a proper chat with your boss I think.

AntiHop Fri 12-Apr-19 09:17:32

Sounds tricky op. It was unfair that they took advantage of you by not paying you when you did those days. Did they give you a decent maternity package?

It's good that they've let you work from home and part time. But I think you need to have a clear arrangement with them. I have worked compressed hours since I returned to work 4 years ago. We had a very clear agreement about my working arrangements eg what would be the circumstances that would mean I'd need to change my day off, which luckily rarely happened.

I am surprised however that you're expecting to work from home whilst looking after your baby. As a manager, I wouldn't accept this, except in occasional circumstances.

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