Advice & Support

Stressed over childcare: ask the expert

Stressed over childcare: ask the expert

I'm a first-time mum to a 15-month-old girl and am currently working part time two full days a week (9-4.30). My husband works shifts so he’s not very often home. My issue is the childcare for my daughter. It is becoming increasingly difficult and unreliable which is stressing me out every week. At the moment my husband’s aunt and nan shares childcare every Monday over my daughter, but times always vary according to my husband’s hours. Tuesdays is usually my mum, but she has a lot on her plate at the moment which means she can't do most Tuesdays. I've been told by my husband’s aunt and nan that the irregularity of hours on Monday is unsettling for my daughter which is stressing me out and I don't know how to stabilise this. I can't afford professional childcare, my current job is stressful and often keeps me running ragged all day, I rarely leave on time. I would love to find a job working from home, but feel I don't have the necessary skills (or I do but my confidence is at an all -time low) and I am profoundly deaf which restricts what I can do. I'm at my wits end.

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I want to work from home: ask the expert

I want to work from home: ask the expert

I am 17 and have a four-week-old baby so I would like to work from home if possible. I only have my level 1 in childcare and have started to do my level 2, but had to go on maternity leave. I'm open to doing something like childminding, but want to know my options. I've tried beauty services, but I'm too young to be an Avon representative.

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Hours to change: ask the expert

Hours to change: ask the expert

I have worked for the same company for over two years on a part-time basis for three days. I've had set days for the last 18+ months. I've just been told I have to now work a late shift also up to 8 o' clock. When I applied closing time was 17.30. I have no childcare for a different shift. My rota only says my amount of contracted hours - nothing about set shifts or my shift changing. Just my hours are to be agreed and advice on overtime. Any help?

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Asked to stay later: ask the expert

Asked to stay later: ask the expert

I work for the NHS and have a contract and job plan. I have 4 young children and use both childcare and parents to enable me to work full time. My job plan states I finish work at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. It takes me 15 minutes to get home. My childcare finishes at 5.15 on Fridays. I have been informed that I must attend a meeting away from work on a Friday afternoon which ends at 5.15pm By the time I travel home it will be 7pm. My childcare cannot stay late on that particular day and every other avenue to help me has been unsuccessful. My employer has made it quite clear that I must attend this meeting. I do not know my rights or what to do as, obviously, my family will always come first. I do need to keep my job though.

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Facing temporary relocation on return from maternity leave: ask the expert

Facing temporary relocation on return from maternity leave: ask the expert

I am due to return to work in 9 weeks’ time after maternity leave and have been told I need to travel to another store for some "refresher" training.  Although the other store is not that far away I have explained to my boss that due to childcare issues and the fact I don't drive, this would be awkward for me. I have asked if I can do some keep in touch days which I was told I would need before and during my leave, although this never happened, but my manager says no as he thinks it’s too close to Christmas, I have asked if I can't just train on the job, but he says no as he thinks I would just "get lost" and "come  unstuck" which quite frankly I find a little insulting since I'm a fast learner and I have even been told I will always have another member of management working with me to begin with anyway if I did get stuck!  Any compromises I suggest he has said no and insists that me going to another store is standard procedure/policy which I know to be untrue after speaking with our head office. I am really not trying to be difficult and otherwise can't wait to get back to work, but is my boss being unreasonable? What if I refused to travel? Where do I stand?

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