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Returning to work after maternity leave - wanting part time and being refused...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ruthi50, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. I am currently on Maternity leave from a private school and will be going back in June full time for the remainder of the summer term.
    Come September my child care arrangements have changed and I cannot commit to full time. I requested a part time position and even found someone to job share with. My Head felt that part time wasn't really viable for the school and so offered me a Full Time post (with additional timetabled lessons to last year!) or nothing at all.
    Also he has already interviewed candidates for my job even though I hadn't handed my notice in yet!
    Do I have any rights to fight for a part time post or does this not apply in the independent sector? I have contacted my union but my Head is putting the pressure on for my decision as he wants to put the other candidates out of their misery!
    Feel totally gutted as I was so keen to strike a balance between being a mum and being a teacher and would love to be back at work in some capacity.
    Any thoughts would be gratefully received.
    Thanks
     
  2. Even in the state sector you have the right to request part time working but not the right to receive it so you aren't being treated any differently in that respect.
    Only you can make the decision about whether you stay or go. But remember that while there are other jobs out there you will never again get the chance to spend this time with your child. I agree that part time is the ideal, then you stay in touch with both worlds.
     
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I would appeal this decision as legally the head has to have a valid business reason not to grant your request - though finding someone to job share with yourself rather negates the heads ability to appoint who they feel best for the role....
     
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I agree - it's down to the head to appoint staff, not you.
     
  5. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Assuming you made a formal request for flexible working, "feeling part time isn't really viable" is not a valid business reason: he needs to give a rather more specific reason. Check out the regulations on flexible working applications and if they haven't been followed, take that up. Those regulations apply to any job, public or private sector. If he hasn't specified the reason, ask for it in writing.
    Finding someone to job share with: if the reason for rejecting your application is that it would be impossible to cover the remaining part of the week, the fact that there is at least one person interested in the post suggests otherwise, assuming that they are suitably qualified. Fair enough that the head would need to interview any potential candidate and decide whether they are appointable, but if they haven't even interviewed them, they can't claim there is no possibility of recruiting. If the reason for rejecting the application is something else, having a potential job share partner probably has no relevance.
    Your contract presumably specifies the resignation deadline. I think you are entirely within your rights to say "Sorry, but as my request for part-time has been turned down, I need to take some time to decide whether to return full-time or not. I will make my decision by [the deadline]." Their haste is no reason for you to be pushed into a decision.
     
  6. I agree, don't make any rushed decisions. When is the cut off date for you for handing in your notice? is it the same as state schools? If so you have a couple of months to decide and look for something else.
    I hope you get something sorted, I was refused flexible working too and it was very stressful. Things have turned out OK now though.
     
  7. the others are right - you don't have the right to part time work, just the right to request it. the head has the right to turn down your request so long as they have a valid reason.
    to resign for september the date is 31st may (or whatever your contract stipulates) so don't be pressurised into resigning before then if you don't want to. speak to your union about how to appeal the head's decision.
     

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