Both me and DH going 90%? Anyone done this?

(5 Posts)
Dollywilde Tue 11-Feb-20 11:24:32

Hi all. Currently pregnant with DC1 so this is a while off yet, but DH and I are thinking about next steps for working patterns once we’re both back after DC is born.

DH and I both work for great employers which offer good benefits and I think will be pretty amenable to whatever we put forward. Both jobs are professional services based in Central London. We earn exactly the same salary to the penny so there’s no obvious person to take an income hit!

Our initial plan was to both go down to 4 days a week so 80% of salary for each of us and DC in childcare Tues/Weds/Thurs. However at the moment that looks a little tight financially as we’re hoping to move house (currently in a flat) once baby is born. We’re both in line to take the next step up the ladder career wise in the next year or two, and would probably try and negotiate 4 day weeks as a part of that when it comes. In the meantime, we’ve been thinking about whether a 90% arrangement would work - with each of us having an alternating Friday off and DC being in childcare 4 days a week.

I was just wondering whether anyone had any experience of this? I have a few people in my office who do 90% with an afternoon off a week but they’re generally parents of school age DC and obviously for us, paying 4 days a week childcare is more efficient in exchange for a 10% household income drop. Are there any pitfalls I’m missing? DH will be making the most of his 3 months fully paid SPL (envy) when I go back after 9 months ML, so hopefully we’ll both be confident about looking after DC and there shouldn’t be any concerns on that front.

Everything I’ve seen about 9 day fortnights is based on compressed hours but we’d both rather take the hit on income than commit to contractually longer days with a new DC.

Any advice welcome, I appreciate we’re in a lucky situation with equal income and flexible workplaces but I’ve not seen anything about this set up before and wondering if there’s a reason for that!

OP’s posts: |
bmachine Sun 16-Feb-20 23:07:35


im also london based and i worked 90% for a while - i structured it by working long hours to allow me to have Mondays off fully

- i'm currently working 4 days a week but to be honest wish i had stuck with 90% as I am staying late to fit in all my work/logging on at home anyway but without being paid for it!-if your work is the sort that cannot be confined to only 4 days and that often runs into overtime i would suggest your long term goal of 80% will end up like me...a situation where you are working 90% but only being paid for 80%!

I have been trying to convince my partner to do what you are doing as i think it would be a nice arrangement that would mean we both get paid almost full salary- little one gets benefit of one day a week with parents and neither of us looks like we are lacking commitment to our jobs

i tried 9 day fortnight but with my work load/ life/child admin/commute and stressful central london job- it just wasn't working for me -90% was a good balance and like you salary was important because we also aspire to one day..maybe..possibly own a house in london (is this even possible?!)

sorry to not directly answer your question but i thought my experiences migth be useful

CalleighDoodle Sun 16-Feb-20 23:10:24

If work go for it do it.
When i had dd i went back at 9 months and dh had the rest of the time off. For a brief time he was part time 80% and i was ft.

bmachine Sun 16-Feb-20 23:14:29

i would highly recommend however at 9 months staggering your return a bit if you can with your employer (not go back full time immediately)

- i returned after 10 months and found going back full time a really hard adjustment physically and mentally - baby still wasnt sleeping great and i was also locked in loo for my whole lunch time expressing and painfully engorged on my long commutes home only to just miss bedtime feed :*(

HoHoHolly Mon 17-Feb-20 00:20:38

Some nurseries offer a discount for the 5th day pw so it might not save you as much childcare cost as you'd think.

My DH worked a 9 day fortnight and loved his days at home. I would 100% recommend you both having days with DC. It really makes you both appreciate that it's not really a holiday! I found groups helped me whereas DH found them difficult, so I would let each parent find their own rhythm rather than committing to a class for DC on the day off.

Watch out that you actually do both get a reduction in workload rather than just doing the same work for less pay. Also there's an argument for asking for a greater reduction in hours now, because it's easier to increase your work hours later (they'll probably bite your hand off!) whereas it can be hard to reduce hours further once you're already PT, especially for blokes. And yes, I know gender shouldn't matter...

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