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Before taking on a part-time contract...

Discussion in 'Part-time and job share' started by frustum, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Part-time working is great, but some things to think about before signing your contract, so you don't get taken unawares:

    1) 0.6 or 3 days? If your contract just states 0.6, the school could spread that across all five days of the week. Even if the timetable they have already written for next year has you working three full days, you don't have a guarantee about the next year. The timetabler may be very good, and there may be a 99% chance that it will continue to be 3 days, but if they leave and the new timetabler can't be bothered, you may be sunk if your contract just says "0.6".

    2) Which three days? And when will I know? So you get your nice MTW timetable, and then next July, you get handed a new timetable which has you working MThF. It may be no problem, but maybe your MSc course has teaching on Thursdays, or your childcare provider can't do Fridays, or your partner shares the childcare but works ThF in their school. There don't seem to be any rules on when you are entitled to be told your teaching days, so it might be worth trying to get something in writing. Some people do manage to get the days specified in their contract. Or you might be able to argue for specifying that any change of day must be by mutual agreement or with a certain amount of notice. I don't think there's much history of people doing this, but it might save a lot of potential future aggro if you can manage it.

    3) For those applying for flexible working, do make sure you are aware that the part-time contract is a permanent change to your contract, and you have no right to return to full-time later. (Occasionally people have negotiated a temporary change, but that is an exception rather than the rule.)

    There are some great timetablers around, who work hard to accomodate part-timers, and know who needs particular days and who can be more flexible. They try to avoid trapped time, and talk to staff as soon as possible to ask whether a change of day is an option. But there are people on here every summer with part-time timetable problems.

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