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Flexible Working Request

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by gld202, May 23, 2016.

  1. gld202

    gld202 New commenter

    I'm hoping someone can give me a bit of advice.
    I have been on maternity leave since December and I'm due to return in July. I met with the headteacher a couple of weeks ago to discuss returning part time and she gave me a form to fill in.
    I have not returned the form yet as she said they wouldn't be making any decisions until after half term so I didn't rush (I know I should have done it as soon as possible)
    She has just rung this morning to say that they will not be able to offer me 3 days but will only offer me 2. I think she was trying to make me put in my request for 2 so she doesn't need to do anything.
    Anyway - I have a friend/colleague who has also requested to go part time from September for 3 days. She is not on maternity leave. I know this has not been granted officially but the head basically told me that she would be doing 3 days therefore I would have to do 2.

    I am concerned that I cannot afford to go back 2 days a week and I suppose my question is really - is it fair for her to agree to 3 days for a colleague who has not been off and then refuse mine? Surely I'm being discriminated against as I've been off. Or can she say that as my colleague put her request in first hers was granted?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.
  2. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    This is a very difficult situation and I sympathise with you.

    This happens often when more than one person is on maternity leave and one comes back before the others and requests part time. (Been there!)

    All you can do is assume you are in a queue according who made requests first and put in your request for 3 days citing financial reasons etc. Then wait and see what happens in the formal request and appeal if necessary. I suppose getting your request in earlier may have made a difference but then again it may have not.

    Are you going to request that your part time hours if accepted will start from September so you can get paid full time during the hols? Or return on the first day of the summer hols? Work the system a bit!

    Let us know how you get on please xxx
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Is this for a job share with your colleague? You could argue for splitting the week down the middle so you would at least see the other teacher to hand over.
    As far as being fair is concerned, you have requested part time, the head is considering it - which she must do, but I don't think offering 2 days is unfair. As I understand it she doesn't have to offer you part time at all if it doesn't fit her view of what the school needs. You can certainly make your case for what you would prefer but she is under no obligation to offer you that. You'll need to think creatively about how the third day would benefit school. If she really wants a job share, with a 3day:2day split what could you be doing with your 3rd day that would save her money in other ways. How is PPA organised, can you offer a specialism that is needed?
  4. gld202

    gld202 New commenter

    Thank you very much for your replies and for your understanding.
    I should just clarify that the other girl is not off on maternity leave. She's just decided, as she can, that she wants to go part time.
    I completely understand that it is not unfair for her to offer me 2 days - what I meant really was - is it fair for her to grant the other girl the 3 days she asked for but offer me only 2? It feels like I'm at a disadvantage because I've been off?
  5. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    As unfair as it may seem they look at each request on an individual basis based on school/company needs. So, if there was one part time opportunity available, the first person to request it would be likely to get it, it doesn't mean they would create another part time post if someone else then requested one.

    Usually it has to fit in with someone else's hours so it doesn't get messy. It still sounds like it's not all formally applied for or agreed for either of you so quickly get your application in and ensure you keep copies of all correspondence in case of appeal. Remember though as others have said, if it all turns a bit nasty between you and school they could just refuse your application and make you return to full time. Have you done a full financial analysis of your incomings and outgoings on a two day week's salary? I was surprised when I worked mine out that it was actually better for me than 3 days (childcare costs). Then you could look out for 3 day a week jobs elsewhere?

    Sorry if not very helpful, I know what it feels like and we really don't have any rights other than to be able to make a request once a year. X
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Could you do some other kind of work for one day? Either supply or something completely different? Might be interesting!
    Coolgiraffe likes this.
  7. gld202

    gld202 New commenter

    Hi, thanks again for your replies.
    I got my form in and have been for a meeting today.
    They said they are going to agree to me doing 3 days if I work 2 days in 1 class and 1 day in another. I have said I'm happy to be flexible if it means they can accommodate me for 3 days.
    However they are saying that the change of contract has to start on the date I am returning (in July) and not on 1st September. I don't think this is right as anyone else asking for a reduction of hours would not have it start in July. Surely I am entitled to have my holiday paid as anyone else would?
    Again, any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you
  8. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter

    Ooh they really are trying it on aren't they? Do you think you will be placed straight into the class for two days and one other day in another class pattern when you return in July, or do you think they will just use you as cover elsewhere? Seems cruel to expect you to start new arrangement before you want to. Maybe union advice would help with this one. I'm really pleased you got what you needed though, that is a huge relief xxx
  9. gld202

    gld202 New commenter

    Thank you.
    Well they want me to work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and I'm due to return on a Monday so not sure how that would work.
    They haven't told me what they plan for me to do in July.
    I will contact the union, but thank you for your help.

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