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Work won't let me return part time

(10 Posts)
Smallmonkfish Wed 29-Dec-10 16:24:59

Hi all, so sorry to vent but can't stop crying.

Won't bore you with all the details but after the most difficult year and coming to terms with being in Holland rather than Italy if you get my drift, work won't let me go back 3 days a week.

So angry, another lady at my level worked part time before her kids were at school, but they say the role has changed since then and they need me in 5 days a week.

I was so thrilled when the nursery agreed to take DS on despite his special cares and them getting trained on stuff etc, but now this. Our last chance of normality gone.

DS has so many medical appointments, 6 consultants before the physio, OT, dietician etc, I just can't work more than 3 days.

Have the union involved now, but gutted any way. Can hardly see for the tears. Why is life so unkind?

IndigoBell Wed 29-Dec-10 16:27:45

Oh, that is awful. I don't know what the law is in Holland, but here in the UK they have to let you work part time if it is at all feasable.

They also have to let you have time off for 'dependent leave' which all of these appointments would fall under.

Really, I'm sure you don't need this on top of everything else.

proudmum74 Wed 29-Dec-10 16:48:39

Hi - we're in a very similar situation as you, if I'm understanding your Holland vs. Italy reference correctly. Initially my work refused point blank to allow me to work part time. At the time I was also really upset, angry by this as I'd worked there for 9 years and other colleagues had been allowed to work part time, although in fairness not at my level. As I work in a sector that doesn't have unions one of my friends advised that as a first step I extended my leave to 12 mths instead of 9 as initially intended and cut all communication for a few weeks. Have to say this worked & scared them into taking my request more seriously. We've now agreed to 4 days a week, with one at home + flexible hours so we can cover medical appointments etc.

Hope this helps & good luck!

anonandlikeit Wed 29-Dec-10 17:35:50

Is it a big company?
Has the decision been taken by your dept manager or by HR?

If it is a big comapny then they must ensure "fairness" and that they are treating you equally to other similar previous requests.
I am sure that you have already but, if no have a look at the company policy on requests for p/time working, consideration given to carers etc.
Also guidlines (can't remember which ones but your union person shd be able to quote) do state that requests for p/time & flexible working arrangements to parents must be given due consideration and be accommodated if at all possible. This is extended until the child is an adult where a child is disabled.

Has your boss just given you the easy answer or is it really the final answer.

What about job share?
My job could not be condensed in to 3 days but it does work well as a job share and infact it measn they get better cover when one of us is off on holiday or sick.

Job share had never been done in my role or at my level before BUT as it had been done elswhere in the company they had to look at it and it worked.

Honestly if you want to go abck to work, fight this decision, working ahs def saved my sanity over the last 8 years. Good luck

pinkorkid Wed 29-Dec-10 17:47:35 s/article4418895.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2 this link gives some info on a similar case where a mother with a disabled child successfully sued for constructive unfair dismissal when her firm wouldn't allow flexible working.

good luck

Smallmonkfish Wed 29-Dec-10 18:07:05

Thank you peeps, your comments help so much and my second glass of wine is seeing away the tears. DH looking after DS tonight!

For clarity the Holland/Italy reference was me being cryptic about the Welcome to Holland poem, ie coming to terms with having an SN child. No idea why I was being cryptic, think I've run mad!

Final answer not yet received but have been told they feel needs somebody in the office 5 days a week. I'd consider a job share but perhaps not practical to the role. They have a fairness and equality policy which the TU representative suggested they read this morning!

Thanks for link, will pass that on!

Just feel like it's a kick in the teeth after such a year when at first we didn't even know if DS would survive.

anonandlikeit Wed 29-Dec-10 18:43:06

Give the Job share some thought, I never imagined how it could work in my role as lots of research and meetings/discussions etc and lots of confidential info but it does work and my boss gets more for his money.

The alternative was to try and squash a busy f/time post in to reduced hours not good for the business or for me. But now he gets two of us with a combined weekly hours of 40.
I work 4 days, my job share works 2 days (but longer hrs) so we ahve an overlap which is good for hand overs and anything that requires more than just my brain.
We ahve a release ratio so only one of us is off at any one time. SO even if i am working on a particular projec the daily stuff gets dealt with while i'm away etc.

1percentawake Wed 29-Dec-10 19:53:47

It's like an additional kick in the teeth isn't it when work aren't supportive. Been there done that with my last job and ended up leaving when they wouldn't let me continue with part time. Got another, better and more flexible job which I'm still doing 3 yrs later.

They need to provide a concrete 'business reason' why you cannot work part time. I did think about taking it further with my last job but on top of the PTSD I had at the time, it would have felt like the last straw.

izzie123 Wed 29-Dec-10 20:08:30

I was in a similar situation to yours after returning from maternity leave. Loads of appointments all the time and no way able to work more than three days. I went through the internal appeal process and it may be that they would have offered something in the end. I looked for another job and found one with a small really flexible company and that was 5 years ago. So glad I did, I don't think I would have lasted long in my old company. I don't know if you work for a large company but if you do they may be able to offer more flexibility or they may be less flexible because it's all about HR policies and they can't make exceptions. With my current company we've always come to some arrangement that works for both when we have come accross difficulties because it's just a question of discussing it with my boss.
The new law about disability discrimination might help or at least scare them enough to make you an offer of a pay off.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Wed 29-Dec-10 20:15:49

I had this happen once and it was underdtandable, I was working with children with SN who needed routines and same staff daily, but when I came back from mat leave with dd2 it wasnt an issue.
I think they have to rpove it would not be possible to do your job part time and not possible to do it with job share. I think from what you said it should not be an issue, so hope the union kick ass. BUT remember if you had to fight to get part time, are they going to give you hell if you need time off with appointments?

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