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Dear theo: flexible working

Discussion in 'Independent' started by emski1, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Theo
    I am currently on maternity leave after having a baby in September and intend to return back to work at some point in the Summer term of 2011 (am not sure the exact date at the moment). Anyway, before I took up my post the school had a very unsettled year in regards to my subject (as I am the sole teacher of my subject) and had a number of supply teachers which resulted in a big drop in results that year. Although I improved the results dramatically, the head was obviously concerned about finding someone to do my maternity cover as there are still parents who remember the turbulent year and it would be bad publicity for a private school if a similar dip in results was seen again - however, I yesterday discovered that he has given my replacement a full years contract ending September 2011, so my first concern is that I am not sure how that would work upon my return.
    Also, I was hoping to put in a request for flexible working (to go from full time to three days a week) and have had an informal chat with the director of studies who organises the timetable who thinks its very feasible it will be granted as come September 2011 an extra member of staff would be needed to cover the additional pupils coming through anyway. I was, however, hoping to go part time from September 2011 not when I return from maternity leave in May/June time as for the Summer term my mother-in-law is able to childmind full time for me, whereas this arrangement would change in September and I would then need to use a nursery -- my question is can the school insist the changes be started from the end of my maternity leave rather than from my request date (as they are doubling up on staff members with my replacement being kept on even after I return so this would be a big area for them to cut costs)? And would i get to pick up my classes for the end of the year, or would my replacement be entitled to "finish off" her year? It is all just making me feel a little insecure, particularly when she has expressed an interest to all necessary people (HOD, director of studies, head etc) that she wishes to stay on if possible.
    Thanks
     
  2. You can request this, but must be specific about your request in your Application letter for Flexible Working. You must state your return to work chosen date, and then request for 0.6 to commence 1st September 2011.
    When you return to work, they are initially obligated to give you what you had before (full time position) so your flexible working request would only apply to the change to 0.6.
    Also you can include a statement like "a 0.6 position including three full days..." if this is what you would prefer.
    If they approve the request then they have to give you 3 full days and cannot try to make you do half days to the equivalent of 0.6. An important point to keep in mind when trying to arrange child care as it's often easier to find care for whole days rather than half days.
    Good luck.
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    A long reply here, but I hope that you think it is worth it! Glad to hear about the new baby, I like you people having lots of little ones to fill the schools and then later to pay for my pension when they grow up.
    You have the right to request - but not the absolute right to be granted - flexible working.
    You can ask for it at any point up to the 16th birthday, so if you ask for it from September, then it could begin then, not in May. Say that you will return from mat leave on such-and-such a date, and that your request is for the flexible working from 1 September.
    Returning to work for the end of the summer term, your timetable would be whatever the school decided to give you. You are employed as a teacher, not as a "teacher of year10 for period 5 on Monday" etc etc. This may mean that you are not given the absent exam classes, but a full teaching timetable, if they so decide, although as you are the only teacher of the subject there's probably not a lot of flexibility for them to give you classes and then take them away from a part-timer to save money.
    I have copied below a formal letter for you to send in. But I would be a little cautious about following Teachy's suggestion:
    If you state 3 full days only, this can give them the possibility of turning your request down on the grounds that 3 full days cannot be accommodated. You would therefore have to continue full time or resign. I would state a preference for this, but not make it an absolute condition, unless you are sure that you would wish to go ft or resign if not.
    Here is my general advice on flexible working. Best of luck - and give that baby a tickle from me.
    There is a formal procedure involved in asking to change your part-time hours, and I suggest that you do it, very formally.
    Here is my standard-answer-that-I-prepared-earlier on requesting p-t as a parent:

    You have a legal right to make an application (but only once per year), and have it seriously considered, but <u>not </u>a right to have it granted.

    If the request is turned down, it must be for an <u>appropriate business reason</u>, and they must tell you what the reason is so that you can appeal against it.

    First stage is to put your request in writing to the Head; the Head then has 28 days to hold a meeting with you to discuss it.

    NB You can see from the letter that the onus is on YOU to show how it can be managed, YOU have to identify any possible drawbacks for the school and say how they can be overcome. If you just say there are no problems, and then they identify some and turn your request down, you haven't had a chance to show a possible solution. So make sure you think it through carefully, both the problems (normally to do with communication between the two halves) and how to solve them.
    Here's the sort of letter you should write. Nice and formal - shows you want a formal - and legal - reply!

    Dear xxx

    I would like to apply to work a pattern that is different to my normal working pattern under my right provided in law. I confirm that I meet each of the eligibility criteria as follows:

    * I have responsibility for the upbringing of either a child under 16 or a disabled child under 18.

    * I am the mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster mother or father of the child, or married to or the partner of the mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster mother or father of the child

    * I am making this request to help me care for the child

    * I am making this request no later than two weeks before the child's sixteenth birthday or 18th birthday where disabled

    * I have worked continuously as an employee of the company for the last 26 weeks

    * I have not made a request to work flexibly under this right during the past 12 months

    The proposed new working pattern that I am applying for is &hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;

    This will affect you as an employer in that &hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;. This impact on you as an employer can be lessened or removed by &hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;&hellip;

    I understand that according to the legislation, you will hold a meeting with me to discuss this within 28 days.

    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.
    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  4. Thanks for both your replies. I am pleased to report that my 3 days have been accepted, although with the condition that it begins from when I return in May, which I am prepared to do to be able to stay at my school (such a lovely place to work/teach). My maternity cover is going to do the remaining 2 days as well as a couple of other subjects to fill up her timetable, and as she is staying she is going to stick with the timetable she has been doing all year and I will do a bit of cover/filling in which should be a nice way of settling back into school (particularly with it being an independent, so cover is hardly what it is in state [​IMG])
    The little one is such a joy - would recommend it to everyone!
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Excellent! A really good outcome.
    Give the baby a tickle from me.
    Best wishes.
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.
    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     

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