Please talk to me about condensed hours

(11 Posts)
nightandthelight Fri 15-Apr-16 10:07:15

Currently on maternity leave and need to return to work in October when the maternity pay ends. DH does not earn enough for me to not work (£24000) plus I want to keep a foot in work for when DS is older.

It is unlikely that I will be able to drop many hours so I have been thinking about condensed hours and was wondering whether anyone had any advice on how it works for them?

Ideally I would like to work four days a week but would those days then be too long? How long do people tend to have right their DC after work before they go to bed?

nightandthelight Fri 15-Apr-16 10:07:51

With their DC not right their DC!

Highlove Fri 15-Apr-16 13:49:24

I work condensed hours but am lucky that it's pretty flexible. I'm contracted to do something like 9.5 hours per day but if DH isn't about (travels for work a lot) and I have to do drop-off and pick-up then I tend to do a fairly standard 8 hour day, have a couple of hours with DD before bed, then get my laptop out after bedtime. It's not ideal but the flipside is that extra full day off work with her, so worth it. And keeps nursery costs down.

I think I'd really struggle to do this if I had to be in the office the whole time though. I certainly wouldn't want my DD in nursery for that long (11hours) every day - she'd literally get home, have a bath and go to bed.

DesertOrDessert Fri 15-Apr-16 13:59:53

It depends on your commute. If you home, nursery and work are 5 mins walk from each other, 4 ten hour days is possible. If you've got 45 mins commute on each end, it's a very long day, and you are very unlikely to get much time with baby.
How would drop offs / collections work between you and DH?
Doesn't help with nursery fees, but 9 in 10 is more common, so an extra hour a day instead of 2 hrs.
I did 5 days in 4.5. It only takes one thing to need you leaving early, or go wrong and things get very difficult.

MrsA2 Sat 16-Apr-16 07:29:23

Is there any way you could just do four normal days and make 80% salary work? Would your employers go for it? If you can at all, I couldn't recommend it enough. I so value my extra day at home with DD but also get a good hour/1.5hours with her every evening. I think I'd sooner give up my full day with her than not see her at all in the evening. Good luck, it's all a massive juggling act isn't it.

nightandthelight Mon 18-Apr-16 12:27:02

Work, home and nursery all close together but I am worried that I wouldn't get much time with DS in the evenings. DH about to be interviewed for a job that would enable me to go down to 3-4 days a week without condensing hours so fx!

ApplesTheHare Mon 18-Apr-16 13:27:24

I thought about condensed hours but with my commute (45 mins each way) I'd barely have seen DD and there just wasn't enough of a time 'buffer' to fit in all the extra chores that come from having a baby/toddler that I didn't have to factor in while working maternity leave. I went to 4 days instead but when you include tax changes that come with a lower wage, our annual cost of living increase and childcare vouchers it works out that I'm taking home about 85% of my old salary anyway. Something to think about!

Of course the biggest benefit has been getting a mummy-DD day once a week, not being overstressed from working too many hours so enjoying the parenting time I get with her, and plenty of wraparound time with her throughout the week smile

ApplesTheHare Mon 18-Apr-16 13:27:49

P.S. good luck whatever you decide to do!

Acorncat Mon 18-Apr-16 22:22:10

I sort of condensed my hours by doing 3/4 of full time over 3 days rather than 4. It means I don't get much time those evenings, literally just bath and getting ready for bed. He's home from nursery before 5 so it doesn't matter so much that I'm home later. I do wonder if I should have requested to finish a couple of hours earlier one day a week, but even the pay for those 2 hours adds up. I found my salary didn't drop as much as I'd expected as by earning less and by using childcare vouchers I pay a lot less tax than I used to! It's tough, and shorter days would be great but fewer long days are definitely better than more short days, especially with childcare costs.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 18-Apr-16 22:28:26

I used to work full time in 4.5 days and it worked well - I had Wednesday afternoons off and it was a nice break with dd. I made up the work in rhe evening. the other days I'd be out of the house 8-5/5.30. It was a rush getting dinner and then getting dc to bed. There's no way I'd want to work longer days and in my workplace they wouldn't let you do 5 days in 4 - the timetabling is too difficult.

These days I don't do condensed hours, i just work 3.5 days. It's good.

attheendoftheday Sun 24-Apr-16 11:44:33

I am full time condensed into 3 13.5 hour days (with an hour commute each way). It is not as bad as it might sound, and the extra time it gives me with my dc is wonderful. Dp is full time condensed into 4 10 hour days a week (again with an hour commute each way).

When the dc were tiny we worked opposite each other, which wasn't ideal as we never saw each other, but worked well for the dc. Now I've rearrange my hours so the dc are with a wonderful childminder 2 days a week and we have weekends off together.

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