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(32 Posts)
Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 12:08:30

I am due back on the 24th august. I can only work mon-wed at 12 hours a week which is my contract hours. The only childcare we have is mil who will only have the boys Monday and Wednesday. DH has got Tuesday off. This is what I worked before I went on Mat leave with ds2. But from what my manager says it doesn't look like he'll agree. So I am stuck.

I have no one else to use for childcare and we can't afford for me to stop working. Plus deep down I think I want to go back for those 12 hours. Some adult company would be nice and a lot of my friends work there.

As that is what I worked before do they have to let me do it again?

Thanks

RibenaBerry Fri 07-Aug-09 12:43:35

Kayzr- could you explain a bit more? You say that 12 hours a week are your contracted hours. Was this what you were working before you went off? Also, were you working those hours Monday to Wednesday, or at different times/days.

Generally, you are entitled to go back to exactly the same job you left (there are slight issues if you took more than six months' leave, but I will leave those on one side for now). Your employer cannot use your return as an excuse to change your job.

However, if you previously worked 12 hours spread out differently - for example you worked Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - you would need to put in a flexible working request. Come back if that's the case and people can help explain the process.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 12:47:34

When I started 5 years ago I was put on a 12 hour contract. It has always been that but I used to work up to 39 hours a week before having the boys.

I worked Tue-Thur before mat leave but MIL can't have them on Thursdays now and my driving lessons are on Thursdays.

I have had more than 6 months as Mat leave is now 9 months.

RibenaBerry Fri 07-Aug-09 12:51:30

In that case you don't have an automatic right to work those days and times and will need to put in a flexible working request I'm afraid. I'm afraid I'm just on my way out, but others (Flowerybeanbag, if she's around) may be able to help you in the meantime. I'll check back later/over the weekend and give you a full answer if no one else has had a chance. Also, the directgov website has some useful background reading.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 12:52:46

But I didn't need to put one in after having DS1 so has it changed? I went from working 6 days to working 3.

flowerybeanbag Fri 07-Aug-09 12:57:30

What Ribena said. Even though you want to keep the number of hours the same, you do want to change the way you work those hours, and you don't have the right to automatically make those changes.

You will need to put in a flexible working request to do so. Have a look here, and here on directgov, and also at this handy factsheet to find out all about it and get guidance on putting a good request together.

CMOTdibbler Fri 07-Aug-09 12:58:20

Thing is, your contract is 12 hours. When you worked more than that, it would have been effectively as overtime. So by reducing your hours you only went to your real hours.

Theres nothing obliging your work from asking you to work the days you have previously agreed

Could you get a childminder for the hours on a Thursday ?

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 13:04:56

We can't afford a childminder and I am not changing my driving lessons.

I am going to see what my manager says first.

RibenaBerry Fri 07-Aug-09 20:20:20

Kayzr, bear in mind that there's no right under flexible working law to changes not related to childcare. I would therefore strongly suggest that you don't mention the driving lessons as the issue why you no longer want to work Thursdays.

Also, and I'm sure you were only being so blunt on here and would phrase it more carefully to your manager, saying "I'm not changing my driving lessons" is probably not the best way to encourage them to be helpful. Better to be a bit more concilliatory.

Thanks Flowery grin.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 21:09:50

I'm just going to say that I have no childcare on Thursday which I don't. My supervisor thinks it should be ok. They are very very short staffed so hopefully my manager will be ok.

ruddynorah Fri 07-Aug-09 21:11:27

how will you do your driving lessons without childcare?

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 21:22:07

My DH does a half day on Thursday.

RibenaBerry Fri 07-Aug-09 21:43:52

The childcare explanation is def the way to go smile.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 21:50:30

Yeah. I was planning on going back Tues-Thurs but MIL decided she would rather have them Monday instead.

Also last time I went back my HR manager said I didn't need a flexible working thing as I wasn't requesting school time hours. But after reading that info it seems I do. Will see what manager says. Hopefully he knows about it.

jkklpu Fri 07-Aug-09 21:53:56

Erm, driving lessons sound like the least of your worries: what difference would it make to change your lesson to a day when you do have childcare cover? If you're doing 12 hours over 3 days, surely an extra hour (or 2) for a lesson on top of work should be compatible with your DH being off on a Tuesday, for example.

The principle of flexible working is that there's flexibility on both sides (I've been doing it for >3 years).

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 22:00:41

But I will be working different hours every week. So that is no good for me. The hours change every week. So I could do a Monday morning one week, then the evening the following week and then the afternoon the third week.

ruddynorah Fri 07-Aug-09 22:16:49

you don't 'plan' to go back on a certain work pattern (as much as you may want to). you have a discussion with your boss about what's viable on both sides. normally this involves filling in a formal flexible working request so that everything is recorded and kept as evidence. if your boss has a simple yes answer to your request or they actually request you do a set of hours and you say yes then there may well be no need for a formal form filling in, you'd just be issued with a new contract.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 22:22:34

Well that is what I did after having ds1. I told my manager I only had childcare for 3 days and they just said ok. No forms or anything.

theansweris42 Fri 07-Aug-09 22:25:18

bear in mind what's been extended to others at your work too - you are entitled to be treated the same as others. Agree that before any formal request needs to be made, you should talk toyour manager who may just agree it with you without recourse to formal process. Whatever is discussed, make notes.
Good luck

ruddynorah Fri 07-Aug-09 22:26:14

yes. when i came back after dd i was asked by my manager to do a set of hours, and i was fine with those. no forms, just a new contract.

i am aware though that after this dc this may not happen. and i may need to follow the flexible working request procedure. this means i may need to be flexible on my side too, have options and alternatives in mind. think of solutions for the company, not just what i want.

your dh can out in a flexi request too, so his hours can fit better with childcare to allow you to go to work.

NorthernLurker Fri 07-Aug-09 22:31:25

When you say you can't afford to pay a childminder do you mean your salary wouldn't cover it or that you wouldn't be left with what you condsider to be a sufficent amount of money after paying it?

Imo you are in a very fortunate position to have your mil available as she is. Your employer has no obligation to help you out with that further though you can ask them to through a flexible working request as mentioned below. If that doesn't work out then you either make a financial loss on you working - as many people do - because they gain other things from the job or you walk away with less than you earny previously or you quit. Working when you have children costs in all sorts of ways and don't kid yourself otherwise.

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 22:31:30

He has already done that. We work at the same place. He has Tuesday off and early shift on Thursday so I can have my driving lesson. But he didn't do a flexible working thing either. Just asked his supervisor for him to have Tuesday as his day off.

This all seems so confusing this time round. But then again they are very slack for rules and laws. My old supervisor couldn't be bothered to do my risk assesment when I was pg with ds2 because I had done one with ds1 so she didn't think it was nessacery(sp)

theansweris42 Fri 07-Aug-09 22:34:28

doyou have reason to think work won't agree?

Kayzr Fri 07-Aug-09 22:34:50

Our salary wouldn't cover a childminder. There would be no point to me working. We looked into it as my mil isn't that nice to me. A childminder would be better but not a chance. I can't give up work either. We wouldn't be able to pay all our bills if I stopped working.

ruddynorah Fri 07-Aug-09 22:36:07

that isn't the same kayzr.

i mean your dh putting in a flexi request to allow you to work too, so you both work around your available childcare..not driving lessons hmm this is not the same as asking your boss for a shift swap or whatever.

have you looked into childminders? would you be better off if yo had a childminder but maybe worked more shifts? how old is your other child? if they're 3+ they'll get some free childcare in a preschool setting. i'm not sure how much you've looked into things.

if your dh's boss is so flexible can you see what your boss will offer you then see what his boss will offer him to match in with it?

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