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I was refused part time after maternity leave but now colleague has been allowed!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by funkyyay, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. funkyyay

    funkyyay New commenter

    I returned to work fulltime in September after 6 month maternity leave. I had requested part time 0.9 ( working from home for my ppa and unpaid for the other half of the day) this was refused.

    I gave my request in writing with many options and reasons to benefit the school and children. Some of my ideas have been taken on board but I have not been given the part time that I requested.

    Now I have found out that a colleague is returning to work in January part time!

    Can the head teacher do this?

    I am so frustrated and annoyed at this.

    Please help.

    Many thanks.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    We do not know, of course, exactly what the colleague asked for and was granted, so it might well be that Yes, it is acceptable for the Head to grant her request and not yours.

    Certainly 0.9 is tricky to staff - where do you get a part-timer for half a day? That might have been the reason for not accepting your request. Did you mention this problem in your request and come up with a solution? The emphasis must be on you to show how it could be possible to grant your request.

    Did the school tell you the reason for not allowing your request?

    These are the ONLY legal business reasons for refusing your request

    ● The burden of any additional costs is unacceptable to the organisation.

    ● An inability to reorganise work among existing staff.

    ● Inability to recruit additional staff.

    ● The employer considers the change will have a detrimental impact on quality.

    ● The employer considers the change would have a detrimental effect on the business’ ability to meet customer demand.

    ● Detrimental impact on performance.

    ●There is insufficient work during the periods the employee proposes to work.

    ● Planned structural changes, for example, where the employer intends to reorganise or change the business and considers the flexible working changes may not fit with these plans.

    Which one of these did they cite as the reason? You may be able to challenge your decision with help from the Union.

    But you cannot claim just on the fact that someone else has been granted something that you were not - the situations may be different.

    Best wishes

  3. funkyyay

    funkyyay New commenter

    Thank You for your reply.

    The reason for 0.9 is I suggested having ppa on a Friday working from home and not work Friday afternoon. Therefore a whole days cover would be required. However the school have taken on my suggestions and realised me all day Friday! Morning for management and I work from home in the afternoon. So they are paying another teacher all day and if my request was successful then they would be saving 1/2day pay as wouldn't need to pay me.

    They quoted the following reasons.

    Request would have a detrimental effect on ability to meet consumer demand.
    There would be inability to reorganise work amongst other staff.
    Detrimental impact on service quality.
    Detrimental impact on performance
    Detrimental effect on planned structural changes.

    However as previously mentioned my suggestions were used but the change in contract not agreed.

    I just don't see how this can happen.

    Thanks again.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Since those are the reasons they gave and the wording matches the legal specifications as outlined by TheoGriff this suggests to me that they have considered the matter very carefully and constructed a response accordingly. This response would appear to fulfil the criteria in HR terms and would mean you would not succeed in any attempt to challenge them.

    Let TheoGriff analyse your post (3) and see if she agrees with me. If she thinks differently then I defer to her as she is the final arbiter on these boards.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Is it that the school have decided that they actually want you 'in school' for the management time? What position do you have? Is it that they want their management team to be around all of the time? In case of emergency/Ofsted visit? Don't know the legality, but I do see how it could be construed as being better for service quality, sorry.

    Aside from that, if you didn't appeal at the time, I see nothing going for you. You are simply not privy to the details of the other staff member's employment. You are maybe comparing apples and oranges in comparing yours and this other person's role.

    I know this is a pain for childcare, but as you are talking about half a day I wonder whether your issue is worth pursuing. Whilst you have not got the morning off, by not being timetabled there is a bit of flexibility
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, disappointing for you, but as @grumpydogwoman says, this seems to be a proper and considered response.

    It seems to me that this is likely justfiable by a need for you to be available in school for 4.5 days, with no appropriate cover being available for those duties. Basically they are saying, in their reply, that you are too valuable to them!

    And many would believe you fortunate to be allowed to work from home on Friday afternoon - that's a very special concession in my view.


    Best wishes

  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Reading it again you seem to have done well. They have said that they can't have you working part time but are prepared to let you work from home and essentially write a timetable to suit you! Evidently you have at least had preferential treatment on allocation of PPA. Like Theo says, many people would bend over backwards to get PPA on a friday aft so they can go early.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, nobody was allowed to go off-site for PPA at my last school. It certainly isn't an entitlement.
  9. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Yes of course, the Headteacher can do what they like to benefit their school.
    I see your side and their side of the story.
    0.9 is technically full time and therefore they probably would have declined it on the basis that they did not feel that it was necessary to take a cut your hours down.
    I can also understand your frustrations especially with the fact that your colleague was approved and you wasn't. Is this colleague a member of your department? If yes, talk to your line manager/ HOD, if not, consult a member of SLT and express your concerns.
    Get your union involved too.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If your colleague had similar duties to you and made a similar request, then you have a case. If not, then I don't think that you do. There is not supposed to be a blanket rule for an organisation. Each case must be looked at fairly to see if that part time request could work for that job. Which will work for some and not for others.
    CWadd likes this.
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I'm not sure how getting the Union involved with help. Decisions made regarding other people's employment is confidential and will probably not be disclosed. You could ask, but I doubt you'll get the response that you would like.
  12. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Consumer demand?
    Service quality?

    Please tell me this isn't a teaching job in a school.
  13. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I'm sorry to hear your request has been declined and the disappointment this has caused.
    Indeed I'm not sure how a unions involvement, if they are willing to pursue it at all, would help your issue.
    You could have a polite conversation directly with your head teacher and politely raise that you are disappointed given that another member of staff has had their request granted, or you could appeal. However, one would hope each request was looked at on its individual merits and I daresay the response would be that they will not discuss your colleagues request or its reasons for being granted with you.
    CWadd likes this.

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