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Flexible working application meeting - Any ideas what questions they will ask me??

(17 Posts)
peachsmuggler Mon 27-Oct-08 11:47:50

Have put in application to return from ML, 3 days a week. Have a meeting next week to discuss and just wondered if anyone had any idea of questions they are likely to ask, as don't want to be caught on the back foot.

skewputt Mon 27-Oct-08 12:08:18

Were you full time before and cutting down, or is it flexible hours? The type of job will have a bearing on it of course but things like - how will this affect the service you provide? Will your change in hours place any additional pressure on your colleagues? How will you manage your workload over the reduced period? A lot of it will probably be quite practical stuff.

Good luck!

peachsmuggler Mon 27-Oct-08 12:22:23

Yes was full time. Am pretty sure I could do it part time, but worried they might be against it!

flowerybeanbag Mon 27-Oct-08 14:03:21

Yes, practical things, hopefully you will have addressed these in your application so it will be a question of discussing your proposals, so nothing you won't be prepared for.

5 days to 3 is quite a reduction, are you proposing a job share or similar? If you are saying that you can do the exact same job in 60% of the time with no additional staff being recruited you will need some concrete proposals for how the other 40% of the workload will be removed - tasks that don't need doing, or can be done differently. This should not involve you specifying other people who can do some of it.

heavy Mon 27-Oct-08 14:35:05

We were given these as reasons for refusing an application for flexible working so I guess the questions will be aimed at trying to prove/disprove these points:
. burden of additional costs
. detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
. inability to re-organise work among existing staff
. inability to recruit additional staff
. detrimental impact on quality
. detrimental impact on performance
. insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
. planned structural changes

peachsmuggler Mon 27-Oct-08 16:49:07

No not a job share. I would have to say that the extra work would be absorbed by rest of the team but I think this is completely feasible.

peachsmuggler Mon 27-Oct-08 21:27:43

heavy - yes have seen that list. Basically it means that if they don't feel like giving you part time, then they don't have to as that list could be used to prove anything really...

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 28-Oct-08 14:23:23

Flowery is right, off loading two days work onto colleagues wont go down well - either with your employer or them so you need to consider other avenues.

flowerybeanbag Tue 28-Oct-08 19:15:17

I would certainly advise thinking very carefully before suggesting that your colleagues can and should do 2 days worth of your work so that you can reduce your hours. However feasible you think it might be, you are basically suggesting that your colleagues have spare capacity, which they may not agree with, and you will be eroding some goodwill. Goodwill from f/t colleagues can be really important in making flexible working arrangements operate successfully. At the very least I would suggest reducing the amount of workload that will have to be absorbed elsewhere to an absolute minimum, and addressing the problem as much as you can in other ways that have minimal or no impact on anyone else. The idea is to demonstrate that this arrangement will be good for the business, or at least will have no negative impact.

Workingfamilies website is great if you haven't seen it, there's an online guide to flexible working and some good factsheets to give you ideas.

ruddynoraaaaaaggggggghhhhh Tue 28-Oct-08 19:21:16

you need to be talking about increasing productivity, becoming more efficient etc. not that those other people will do it. otherwise it just sounds like the others haven't had enough to do all this time.

can you talk to your colleagues about a way it could work? so a re allocation of tasks for example?

you can also talk about how having reduced hours will make you less stressed so better able to be more productive at work.

failing that, be prepared to compromise ie can you do 4 days or do a day at home or maybe do compressed hours???

peachsmuggler Tue 28-Oct-08 19:36:30

I think I would be far more efficient and productive over 3 days and will mention that. However was not particularly busy in my job and was always asking for extra work, so am pretty sure I could do what I was doing before in 3 days but this is not a very tactful thing to say really.

peachsmuggler Tue 28-Oct-08 19:42:39

I should say also that my job has not been covered while I am on ML as they have been unable to recruit a suitable replacement.

Libra1975 Wed 29-Oct-08 20:04:30

peachsmuggler, I am in a similar position, I want to go back for 3 days post ML and my work load would not have to be absorbed by my colleagues as I never really had a 5 day week workload but I am not sure how to say this tactfully/diplomatically so if anyone has any ideas.....

findtheriver Fri 31-Oct-08 18:16:11

I think you need to tread carefully here. If you are saying that what was a full time job can really be done on 3 days then there are a lot of implications for existing full time staff! And in the light of the job not having been covered at all while you were on maternity leave - what if this argument is taken to its logical conclusion and someone suddenly decides that your job isn't really necessary at all?

OK, I'm painting a pretty black picture here! But the point I'm making is, be prepared and be really honest about how you can make the job work effectively. I've seen people go for flexible working arrangements before and occasionally seen them talk themselves out of it. If you decide that after a baby you only want to work 3 days, the temptation is to try to talk yourself (and your employer) into believing that the job could always have been done on 3 days. The main thing to remember is that the situation has to work for your employer. Good employers want to be family friendly, but not at the expense of the job, or of other employees. They aren't going to be interested in creating new hours to fit around you if it doesnt work for them.

Sorry if that sounds tough - but you need to know how to approach the situation.

pumpkinsmuggler Fri 31-Oct-08 18:35:29

Thanks findtheriver all good advice.

The thing is I know plenty of people who have gone back to qwork part-time when there were absolutely no questions asked. Their bosses just accepted it and allocated the work elsewhere. It does seem to be so much related to how the particular organisation feels about flexible working.

I think i will go for the increased productivity angle, due to working less days, as i think this is both positive and realistic.

wobbegong Fri 31-Oct-08 19:27:30

I do hope pumpkin that you will have "absolutely no questions asked". Though, maybe I am a pessimist: that sounds unlikely. Otherwise why have a meeting?

I know two people, including my DH, who have recently had their applications for flexible working turned down. Out of the blue, and even though there was plenty of part-time working and a massive precedent and plenty of policies in their companies.

pumpkinsmuggler Fri 31-Oct-08 19:38:41

Oh I know I won't have no questions asked and can totally imagine them turning me down. Will just have to see. They might see it as a good chance to get rid of someone without paying redundancy!!!

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