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Please can someone explain this to me? At the moment I feel like jacking the whole thing in.

(8 Posts)
KingCanuteIAmAndTheDMCanFOff Fri 14-Aug-09 10:21:18

I have worked for several years in an industry that is tough to break into, it is very knowledge based and I am proud of my achievements so far, however, my job is coming to an end thanks to the economic climate. I have to find a new job so I have started looking.

The first thing I have done is look at working FT or PT and what I can reasonably expect to earn if I take the next career step. Turns out I can earn around £20,000 to £25,000 - which is great - several times what I have been earning in my pt role up to now. There are loads of jobs and I am ideally suited to them, there are not even that many people applying for them!

All good so far? Yes, until I went to "entitledto" and worked out what my total income would be.... I can work 40hrs a week, pay a nanny etc and be £21 per week better off than if I work 16hrs a week at minimum wage. A lousy £21 per week shock

So why on earth should I bother putting in all the work and effort I will need to put in to get this new job off the ground, lose all that time with my children and run the risk of employing someone for that kind of return? I may as well get a minimum job at asda or somewhere and be able to attend sports days, plays, pick up from school etc.

The only thing I stand to gain from it is having a "career" well, how important is that really?

I am seriously hacked off.

dollyparting Fri 14-Aug-09 11:35:02

It is one of the consequences of living in a country that has a social welfare system.

We have a minimum wage. We believe that people should receive support if their income is below a certain level. We have a commitment to try and bring children out of poverty, which offers additional benefits / tax credits to families with children.

In any system there is always a point at which the gap between income and additional support is going to be very small.

But what is the alternative? Less support for those who need it? Fewer benefits for parents who can only get a low paid job?

I would rather live in a country that has a social welfare system than one that doesn't.

My personal view: I am glad that I am lucky enough to be educated (by the state) and trained for a job that is well paid and interesting. I pay tax and I receive no support. Perhaps I could take a job on less hours and less pay (and loose very little at the end of the day), but maybe someone else needs that job and does not have the choices that I have. This country is in massive debt, with unemployment rising every week and we can only afford to pay for social welfare because we are part of society where some people contribute more (financially) than they benefit. But I like living in country where schooling is free, where healthcare is free, where old people get a pension, and where vulnerable people are supported.

I do not criticize anyone who would choose to work the 16 hour option, if circumstances change and I am made redundant, I will be glad an option like that is there.

MrsBadger Fri 14-Aug-09 11:41:58

presumambly because if you take a 16hpw minimum wage job the prospects / opportunities it will offer you over the long term will be significantly less appealing, less lucrative or indeed non-existent compared to the 40h career-step job

a 'career' may not seem important now, but in, say five or ten years when you are perhaps nearly 40, the kids are at school and you are still doing 16h for the minimum wage, how will it look then?

and (boringly but relvantly) how will your pension look?

OrmIrian Fri 14-Aug-09 11:48:25

How important a career is depends on where you see your life going in 10yrs time. I have always worked since my babies were born. At times I resented it and it hasn't always been easy but the benefits have become very clear now when all my DC are at school and my eldest at secondary. I have an established well-paid job and excellent conditions in a company that is fairly flexible with regard to time off/working from home when I have child-care problems. I can't imagine having to start again after a break. I've seen how hard it has been for friends.

"Turns out I can earn around £20,000 to £25,000 - which is great - several times what I have been earning in my pt role up to now. There are loads of jobs and I am ideally suited to them, there are not even that many people applying for them!"

How true would the above be in 10yrs?

stealthsquiggle Fri 14-Aug-09 11:53:01

Does it have to be a nanny (antisocial hours, etc)? Only that may well be the most expensive childcare option...

(and yes, I agree with others, the point is that the equation will shift significantly as your children get older, and it may (or may not) be worth the extra work for no extra money to be in a position to take advantage of that when the time comes)

KingCanuteIAmAndTheDMCanFOff Fri 14-Aug-09 15:59:24

Dollyparting, I am not criticising anyone! I am saying that, for me, there is almost no reason to go for a higher paid job - none at all. I do take the point about pension but trading off a pension against being able to pick my children up from school each day, attend their performances etc? Well, to me, it is a no-brainer! (again, no judgement on others, this is totally applicable to me and I know everyone is different).

As for a nanny, this is the only option that fits in that I have older children as well as younger ones. Using after school care etc would mean leaving my older children at home alone for several hours every night of the week - not an option I am happy with. THe nannies I have been in contact with are either fully or partially teacher trained so will be able to offer support in terms of homework and schooling. All my dc are at school now so that part is important. After school clubs do not offer homework support, do not transport your dc to various activities or prepare them tea!

Also, I have done the whole full time working single parent thing before - work, clubs, housework etc etc etc - it was hell, if I am doing it again I would want a nanny-housekeeper who can spend some time on the house before the end of school so I don't have to spend my little time on housework.

Oh and the other point about nannies - I can employ a full time nanny for less than the cost of full time (ie holidays too) after school clubs!

I do realise that now is the point at which I can realise the work I have put in so far. I do understand the importance of healthcare and pensions but it is just so silly!

It is great that people on low incomes ar supported but it seems to leave people on a bit higher income comparativly poorer IYSWIM (and I would never suggest cutting benefits they are barely livable as it is).

I have just worked out I will actually be even worse off than I thought as I will have to pay full council tax which I don't on minimum hours/minimum wage.

stealthsquiggle Fri 14-Aug-09 16:07:22

Is it the only option, KingC - is there any way you can continue to work PT without losing the effort you have invested to date and reverting to minimum wage job?

KingCanuteIAmAndTheDMCanFOff Fri 14-Aug-09 16:16:01

Not really stealth, I have been lucky enough to have carved myself a little niche by working full time, working hard and being good at what I do grin wink

Seriously though, there just are not jobs like mine in my industry, it was a very unique situation, one I have not seen elsewhere and one I was very lucky to fall into. The industry just does not do part time jobs, well, support staff can be part time but nothing above that and support staff are minimum wage and get treated far worse than your average asda customer would consider treating a checkout worker IME.

The other thing is that it is almost impossible, as a support worker, to convince someone you are able to go higher - this is another place where I have been lucky in my currentjob,my boss believed in me, supported me and trained me.... very rare qualities in a mysogonist, snobbish industry, going back to part time support work would undo all of that - possibly more than going elsewhere!

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