Request to reduce hours turned down, though colleague had hers accepted

I am a teaching assistant at a secondary school on a term time contract 8am to circa 3.30pm and have been told that I cannot reduce from five days a week to four days a week to help look after my parents who have several health problems. A colleague who is a higher level teaching assistant working 10am-2pm four days a week asked to reduce to three days a week as she was finding it difficult getting her home life balance right. Essentially she supports some of the same students as I do, in class and in the same way but at different times in different subjects. Do I have any grounds to challenge the decision?

I would advise that you should put in a formal request if you are not getting what you want from informal discussions. The only issue would be that the formal request can only be submitted once every 12 months, so you will need to consider how long you think you need the change of hours for. If it’s only going to be for a short period it might be worth trying to speak to your manager or HR to voice your request again.

The other lady’s request might have been a formal one and that is how she managed to get it approved or it might have only been for a short period. One request is often different from another and can be approved due to certain circumstances. I would advise that you go back to your manager/ HR and get some more information then look at putting in the request formally.

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