reducing hours at work after having a baby?

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Janey1983
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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:25 pm 
Post subject: reducing hours at work after having a baby?
Can anyone help on the legalities of returning to work after maternity but requesting fewer hours please?
I have read loads on the net that basically says if your job still exists the company must offer you your job back on the same pay and conditions as before you had the baby. They must consider your request to work flexible/reduced hours and if they say no, you have the right to appeal...if they say no again is that it? are you sacked?

I was full time, 5 days a week. I have requested 2 specific days of the week as thats the only 2 days I can get childcare, I submitted my request about a month ago and I know there is a panel that meets every month at work to decide on change of hours requests, my manager wants to see me this week to discuss my return to work but I am truly worried, feel sick, loosing sleep over this!

I know another mummy who works at the same place who does 2 days a week but I know she had to appeal and then company then gave in (because she named others in the business who work 2 days) and the company told her what days they want her to work. I am technically in a better job, better pay etc then her but would be willing to take a lesser job (as according to citizens advice they must pay me the same pro rata as before)if it means I get the days I need.

I will feel so worthless if the company say they dont want me, I will feel valueless even though I have bust a gut for them for nearly 10 years!

Financially we are secure so can afford not to go back, but I need to feel valued for my brain skills as well as mummy skills

Help please
Lilly777
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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Hi hun, firstly to put UR mind at ease they can't sack U for requesting new hours. What happens is that they will consider if its feasible to have U return on lesser hours but if they say no they're not allowed to say 'so we don't want U back' !

They have to seriously consider UR request and then give U an actual valid teasing why UR position/workload couldn't be done over shorter days. Once they agree to it they're basically agreeing to it til UR child turns 5 although if sumthin drastic happens within the company they can reinstall UR original hours. Once UR child turns 5 and starts school they are then well within their rights to ask U to return full time.

I was working Mon-Fri, 9-5 and requested part time hours based on my childcare arrangements (U gave to have a Calais reason 4 requesting the part time hours) and I got them and now work 9-5 Mon-Wed. They originally tried to get me to do 3 days but to have Mondays as one of my days off......this meant they were taking my bank holidays away from me which they weren't really allowed to do as bank hols form part if my holiday/salary entitlement! I cudnt anyway as at the time my mum was lookin after my LO and her work had agreed to her having Mondays off.

Oh and they R not allowed to reduce UR salary at all. They will obviously be paying it pro rata and can stop any kind of pay rise 4 the foreseeable but they can't take away wots already agreed. They can however change UR role in the sense that if UR workload is a full time requirement they can change UR load or role so that U can do it over the shorter week. I was in charge of all our events before hand but when I returned this role was passed on to a colleague and I was actually put on projects within R marketing department.

Hope this puts UR mind at rest, in my opinion U stand a good chance of gettin it, especially as others R being allowed to do it. If they say no then appeal but don't worry, even if they say a defo no they're not allowed to sack U 4 requesting it.

xx
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tracebumfluffwhy
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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:57 am 
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You can only return to the exact same job if you have taken less than a year off. Otherwise its a job of similar level and entitlement.

With regards to flexible work you have the right to ask but they do not have to grant it. The usual reason for not allowing it is it would cost the company money or alter the business in someway, whilst most don't think this is a valid reason, as someone who has to say the yay or nay to people it 'can' be, if for example they have to employ someone to do your work whilst your not there then that can be a valid monetry expense they wouldn't normally have to pay.

THey can't sack you for requesting different hours, however they don't have to agree to the days that you request, so for example if you say can I not work on a tues/wed they can decline this but give you say Mon and Thur off, its not really about you requesting certain days off you are requesting a reduction in hours and they can divy these up as they see fit for the business. I have known companies divy up on purpose what they know won't work in the hope the employee decides not to work part-time or leaves, but this is rare.

Your company should have a set process for this and it should outline how long you get to request it, how long they get to respond and what the appeal process is. However in my experience noone has EVER managed to get through an appeal process successfully (an internal one that is) although I have worked with cases whereby externally they have. The law is very hot on this these days so the company generally do follow the book Smile
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123babycakes
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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:13 am 
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I've been in a similar situation. You can request the change, and they (by law) have to consider it. If it is detrimental to the business then they can refuse.

By law, if you have been off more than statutory maternity leave (26 weeks) then you are not entitled to go back to your own job, they have to offer you something equal, on the same pay and conditions.

Unfortunately, if you decide you can't take the job they've offered then you will have to resign.

That happened to me first time round, I was field based and working God knows how many hours in the week, not knowing what time I would start or finish (it would depend on the location). So I said I couldn't do this anymore, I needed something with fixed hours, and wanted 2 days a week. They offered me a position that was office based, 9am til 3pm, 5 days a weeks. I refused it so they said I was effectively turning down the job and would have to resign. Luckily another department 'created' a 2 day a week position for me on a 6-month temporary basis, which has since turned into a permanent 2 day a week position.

I'm returning back to work next Monday after my 2nd maternity leave, and it seems they've now disbanded my role whilst I've been off, and offered me a crappy job with all the stuff that no-one else wants to do. They have to pay me the same rate, but they've moved the hours so it's difficult with the school run. I tried to get legal advice, but no-one was interested, said I've just got to put up with it.

I can't afford to resign, we need the money, so I have to go back.

I'm really really angry that they've treated me like this after 17 years Shocked .

So ....sorry I can't be more positive, but the law is on the side of the employer, and not the employee. I'm job hunting now, looking for a company who will actually appreciate me ....I feel completely worthless with my existing company and feel that loyalty obviously counts for nothing, regardless of how much I have given them in blood, sweat and tears over the years.

By the way .....can you tell I'm bitter?! Laughing
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Lilly777
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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:40 am 
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123babycakes wrote:

I'm returning back to work next Monday after my 2nd maternity leave, and it seems they've now disbanded my role whilst I've been off, and offered me a crappy job with all the stuff that no-one else wants to do. They have to pay me the same rate, but they've moved the hours so it's difficult with the school run. I tried to get legal advice, but no-one was interested, said I've just got to put up with it.



I've heard of this happen before, they kind of use the excuse of you going on mat leave to stop the 'inconvenience' of having to work around you and your childcare arrangements. When you leave they restructure so you lose the job you did have then when you arrange to go back they then say they don't have that position anymore and altho they will consider and offer an alternative its usually a pretty crappy position thats suits them. They know you'll either have to refuse it and leave or suck it up.......and in my opinion and experience there aren't many companies at all with any kind of loyalty to staff no matter how long they've served for.

Companies are getting more and more clever with the way they offer this 'part time basis' for working mums as they know they are now legally required to accomodate where possible but it doesn't mean they like it or that they'll do it willingly or easily. I'm quite lucky in the sense that I don't work for a corporate firm, its a family ran business and I've been here nearly 11 years but there are still people who don't like me working part time (they're actually the older directors who prob think I should either stay at home with my child or work full time....no inbetween!). My line manager is actually very good and sympathetic to my situation as him and his wife had a LO 2 years before me so he is very understanding.

xx
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123babycakes
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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:11 am 
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Lilly777 wrote:
They originally tried to get me to do 3 days but to have Mondays as one of my days off......this meant they were taking my bank holidays away from me which they weren't really allowed to do as bank hols form part if my holiday/salary entitlement! I cudnt anyway as at the time my mum was lookin after my LO and her work had agreed to her having Mondays off.


I forgot to say, you need to be wary of bank holidays too.

Because I only work 3 days a week (2 days hours over 3 days) I am not entitled to full bank holiday pay, only 3/5 of it. So, when we have a bank holiday Monday and I don't go to work I get 2/5 of my pay deducted Shocked , as it's 'unfair' that I take a full 1/3 of a week off when full timers only get 1/5 of a week off.

But get this, on Good Friday (which I don't work Fridays anyway) I get 3/5 of a days pay, because all the other full timers are getting a 1/5 of a week off where as I'm not, so they pay me for not being there on a day I wouldn't usually work.

I would be better off financially if I didn't work on a Monday, but for me it's easier to.

I checked it out ...it's all above board ....doesn't make me any happier though. Mad
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An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth, then whispered as she closed the book "Too beautiful for Earth"
Marianne19086
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:10 am 
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By no stretch off the imagination do I have a good job or well paid but it is busy and people in my position are very easily replaced..so I was bricking it telling them I only wanted 2 days an I wanted too choose my days .. Also all the management had changed jn the 9 months I had off so just thought there was no way this new guy would be even interested in me

I couldn't off been more wrong they were amazing! Agreed to hours asked if I needed longer off..let me choose the day I went back just loads couldn't off been better Smile I ended up handing my notice in after 3 weeks back tho and Ben then they were amazing and said they're will always be a job there waiting for me Smile so just go for it! Smile x x
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steph181
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:13 am 
Post subject:
Lilly777 wrote:
123babycakes wrote:

I'm returning back to work next Monday after my 2nd maternity leave, and it seems they've now disbanded my role whilst I've been off, and offered me a crappy job with all the stuff that no-one else wants to do. They have to pay me the same rate, but they've moved the hours so it's difficult with the school run. I tried to get legal advice, but no-one was interested, said I've just got to put up with it.



I've heard of this happen before, they kind of use the excuse of you going on mat leave to stop the 'inconvenience' of having to work around you and your childcare arrangements. When you leave they restructure so you lose the job you did have then when you arrange to go back they then say they don't have that position anymore and altho they will consider and offer an alternative its usually a pretty crappy position thats suits them. They know you'll either have to refuse it and leave or suck it up.......and in my opinion and experience there aren't many companies at all with any kind of loyalty to staff no matter how long they've served for.
xx


My work did this to me, they originally said I could do a job share, but when I went for my return to work interview they told me that they had changed my job role and it couldnt be done part time (yet the girl doing it now went from 5 days to 3!) I took on the job they offered, and had it changed a few times, but in the end I ended up doing really well at my job and had a pay rise recently!
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Janey1983
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Thanks Guys,
I know I just need to go with an open mind, pen and paper, listen to what they have to say and make notes and basically dont agree to anything without careful thought.
It does sound like companies have crafty ways of forcing staff to do what ever they want.
I will ask about bank holidays, my place of work totally closes on bank hols so I hope they dont deduct money off me when I cant work that day anyway. Something for the list of questions!
Thanks guys
I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
RosP
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Good luck, no advice to offer on the negotiating front I'm afraid, I was lucky my work were just glad I was coming back, and I don't think the managers really understood it was a permanent change, think they thought I'd go fulltime after a year or so...

On the bank holidays front - I do mon-tues-weds and the way my place works it out is to say that there are (in 2013 for example) 6 bank holidays on my working pattern, but I only get 5 day of bank holiday leave (60% of 8 days) so they deduct 1 day from my annual leave allowance to make up for this. They work it out each year for each part-timer, depending on their working pattern and on how Xmas falls (plus taking into account the extra days we've had in the last couple of years, Jubilee etc). So if I didn't work mondays I'd get extra days of annual leave; I'd get the same number of days off in total but more flexibility on when I take them. (But when my first child started nursery we could only get the place at the nursery we wanted if we took mondays.)
tracebumfluffwhy
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Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Because most bank holidays fall on a Monday or Friday, part-time employees who do not work on these days could be entitled to proportionately fewer days off compared with full-time employees, depending on shift patterns and annual leave arrangements within the organisation.

Employers must ensure that all employees have at least the statutory minimum annual leave entitlement and that part-time employees are not treated less favourably than full-time employees. To avoid a complaint of less favourable treatment under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551) many employers provide part-time employees with a pro rated bank holiday entitlement.

So if you need Mondays off, take into account you won't get all the bank holidays
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Janey1983
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Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Thanks guys,
I managed to talk them to taking my back monday and friday into my old job on a 3 month trial, if its too much work for 2 days a week then I can take a less stressful job so win win! I have not quite got my head around bank holidays but my head is done in! The lass in HR was a bit unsure of how they do bank holidays but offfered to put it in writing for me.
Fewf!

Thanks again for your help
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