Q And A
I am 38 and have 3 children. My youngest is 3 and will not start full time school till September. I have been staying at home for the last 6 years as it was impossible to combine work and children. Childcare is so expensive in London - it would be just pointless for me to go to work. Now though I would like to return to work, part-time or flexible, something that works around the children and home. I have done some accounting courses throughout the time at home and thought I would be able to find something in this field. Unfortunately, everyone wants experience - something I don't have so I decided to volunteer in an accounting practice - even that wasn't easy to find. Now 8 months down the line I am still unable to find a permanent flexible job. I've tried job websites, checking companies online, even cold-calling - with no joy.
Answered by: Linda Whittern
What you’ve done as regards updating your qualifications, skills and work experience has been extremely worthwhile and sensible; it might already have netted you a job if the jobs market… View full answer >
I would like some advice for my husband. I have an 8-month-old daughter and returned back to work 4 days a week back in December. To avoid paying high childcare costs my husband had informally spoken to his manager about changing his working pattern (was working Mon-Fri, but wanted to change to work Thur-Sun) so that he could look after our daughter whilst I was at work. He 'informally' informed them of this back in October and it was agreed. He has been working this new pattern since December, but was called into a meeting last week as they said it could not continue! He explained the situation regarding caring for his child and the right to request flexible working and they have now asked him to fill in a formal request. Can they now change their mind as we hadn't put in a written request or received their agreement in writing back in October? View full answer >
Answered by: Tracey Guest
I am currently on maternity leave and have applied to reduce my hours from full time to 25 hours a week. Another colleague in my office who does the exact same job as me has also asked to reduce her hours and even though no decision had been made on her application when mine went in, she has had her hours accepted on a tempory 3 month trial yet I have been refused mine. They have said that the hours left from me reducing and those of the other colleague (which amounts to 20 hours) does not warrant the cost and effort of training up a new employee part time and that we do not have adequate space within our department for another worker- even though there is adequate space and another colleague who also only works part time only works mornings so could desk share. They also said that we wouldn't meet targets if I went part time and that work could not be rota'd fairly. Why weren't these reasons also said to my colleague? They went on to say that while I have been off on my maternity leave, my work has been covered by my team leader which has meant that some of her own work has not been done and this is another reason they are refusing my request. I feel this is unfair as firstly I am not even there as I am on maternity leave and secondly, how they have arranged to cover my maternity leave is nothing to do with me, and if they haven't managed to fulfil some work then why have they agreed to my other colleague's request to go part time? They said that applications to go part time are "first come first served". I made it clear before I went on maternity leave that I would be wanting to return on a part time basis as we cannot afford full-time childcare and my husband is away working all week so I am our daughter's sole carer through the week. I feel when my colleague made her application, I should have been contacted to discuss my situation. If I cannot return full time which I cannot and therefore have to leave if my appeal is lost then they would have to pay to train up a new recruit anyway so how would that reason about the cost of employing hold up on appeal? Furthermore if they did employ another part time member of staff to do the 20 hours then all the other reasons they have used to refuse my request would be solved. They have also stated that when doing training it is done on a full time basis (which I knew about) and so part timers take the extra hours worked flexibly - they have said that I could not do this as it would impact even more on other staff members and stop us meeting deadlines, but how is it ok for the other part timers to do this but then refuse me the same right? View full answer >
Answered by: Louise Taft
I work as part of an outsourced organisation on behalf of our client. Whilst on ordinary maternity leave I was contacted by my employer and advised that the client had changed the working hours for my role from full time over four days to full time over five days. I was told by my employer verbally if I would be interested in completing a new role they had created which I could continue at four days a week when I returned (I returned after five months). I was told there would be no other change to my terms and conditions. I have returned to the new role and now have to "hot desk" as my desk has been taken or work from a different location, I have had no reintroduction and have been left to sit at my desk and not really involved at all. My new role is now an overhead role and no longer funded by the client which could leave me at risk in the future of redundancy. I have requested training in my new role and told there is no current budget available. I have been missed from organisation charts and in my opinion sidelined into a lesser role. My previous role has continued over five days a week with the person who covered for me whilst I was away. I realise this may be a slightly different situation as the client made the request and my company supply staff to him - but I was hoping for some advice on how to handle this situation. View full answer >
Answered by: Tracey Guest
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