Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
05/05/2014 at 10:35
Another from the list of discussion topics.
This can incorporate any aspect of going back:
Communicating with your employer
Negotiating change of hours/role/other
Impact on home/family
And anything else you can think of. Please do raise anything at all, the more discussion the better! :)
05/05/2014 at 11:04
Oh good one. I gave my boss the heads up last week I will be asking for part time. In terms of Childcare it would suit me to work full days mon, wed & fri. This means we only need my mum for one day as OH can do the other 2. But my work prefer people to do 2.5 days all together for job share purposes. So if that's all they can offer I would need mon,tue, wed as Thursday we don't have cover for. I would hate to commute for sake of a half day but Cest la vie.
What would other part time mummies prefer / recommend I do? If approved! Won't be applying until march next year but gave heads up in case of structural changes in my absence.
05/05/2014 at 11:47
SaS - How did your work react? Could you do the half day at home?
I've wondered whether you should give a heads up that you think you will ask for reduced hours upon return. I haven't said anything but definitely want to reduce my hours. I'll be torn between what I want (3 days) and what they are more likely to accept (4 days) when it comes to putting my request in, which is a bit frustrating as have to take a risk either way (could end up having to put up with 5 days, or could be working 4 but could have had 3 accepted, etc!).
Interested to know about peoples different attitudes towards keeping in touch with their employer on maternity leave. Aside from keeping in touch days - do you expect them to be in touch? Will you contact them? I don't intend to do any keeping in touch days but know that I'll have HR contact me every now and then. I don't mind the odd sanity check, but if they mention work to me then it will be a different story. For example if they say 'XX wanted me to ask you where they could find this...' or similar I think I'd blow my lid. I want when I finish to be exactly that - finished until I return. I don't want to be asked anything because it will just start my mind off, if its information I know I have but not to hand I might end up looking it up, questioning if I've handed over properly, etc.
05/05/2014 at 12:58
05/05/2014 at 12:59
05/05/2014 at 13:01
My boss was very nice to my face about it but god knows what she was thinking inside. I'm going to speak to our overall manager this week to make sure she has relayed what I told her if that makes sense.working from home isn't an option & I would much rather keep work & home life separate to be honest.
I wasn't going to give the heads up but she asked & I wasn't going to lie either. You don't have to but our overall director is changing while I am off so I thought it might work in my favour to say now incase part time positions are created in my absence.
I wouldn't have any problem going in for a training day, away day but yes if I got a stupid call asking where sthing is filed / saved / an update I'd be very annoyed! I will prob visit a couple of times & will make a formal meeting to discuss part time before putting paperwork in. We'll be moving house when baby is 7 months so I'll be busy enough without stupid stuff!
I really want to stay with my employer, it's a great place but it needs to work both ways & because money isn't a big issue anymore (I got a 3 figure life insurance pay out) I don't need to work full time & want to spend time with our baby. I need to enjoy life while my health is good as there is no cancer cure & it could come back any time. My folks also are not getting any younger so I really want part time for a long time, possibly forever. If work do not agree I will use annual leave to work part time, resign & lookfor sthing closer to home. Not ideal by any means but if push comes to shove I will.
If you put in for 3 days they might turn it down but offer you the 4, that way you have went for what you want but havnt shown all your cards? Supposing you can work the 4 days?
05/05/2014 at 13:23
I need to give the mat b (I think this is what it's called) certificate to work but haven't had it yet. When do you get it?
05/05/2014 at 13:27
Mine was after 24 weeks, raincloud.
05/05/2014 at 13:34
Pepperoni - re keeping in touch... I encouraged and encouraged my boss/team/colleagues to contact me if needed. I had a small absence, and was worried about how things would go. I've barely heard from them. They've tried VERY hard to leave me alone. I felt a bit miffed ha ha.
I think most places are good about leaving you be, but it must be hard to try and reiterate that if you've a boss/colleague who doesn't have good boundaries.
05/05/2014 at 16:20
Interesting discussion and helpful to hear from others about what they're thinking.
I work full time as a teacher of teenagers with special needs, I also manage a small team as well. I will be leaving in July, having the 6 week summer hols, then maternity will kick in. So, i'll be off on official maternity August until July, I hope to go back 2 weeks before the next summer holiday to catch up with what's happening. However, from the September, I want to do 4 days a week rather than 5. For many reasons, but mostly because I don't want to put my baby in childcare full time and, I'm fortunate that we can afford for me to do 4 days. Plus, work is a 40 min drive one way from where we live so that takes a lot of time out of the day as well.
When I first told the Head I was expecting, I was honest, said I'd have the entire academic year off and would be hoping to return on 4 days. I don't see the point in messing anyone around if it can be helped and I think he was grateful because it means cover is easier as he can get someone for a years contract. I was worried I would lose my management position as I'd do 4 days but he has no issue with that which is a relief.
All that said, it does seem I have a whole years worth of work to do before I leave in July!!
05/05/2014 at 17:56
I resigned when I got pregnant. Haha.
I'm not planning to stay home forever, and when 6 months of mat allowance have gone by I plan to start applying for part time positions with an eye to going back to work 2-3 days a week if we are in the UK. If we are in France (which is the most likely scenario at the minute), I'm going to have investigated options for part time phd programmes at UK universities that wouldn't mind me being based in France for the first 6 months or so. Obviously this will mean regularly returning to the UK, but we will still have our house here, and it just means baby will get very used to the Eurostar.
My situation is a very strange one, but I know I wouldn't be able to afford to go back to work full time in my line of work, and it turns out I'd have been made redundant over the winter anyways even had I stayed!
05/05/2014 at 19:48
I discussed my return to work date with my boss before I left but not my hours. I knew I wanted to go back part time but didn't mention it as wanted to keep my options open. Plus somebody else had just returned from maternity on part time hours so I was fairly certain that it wouldn't become an issue further down the line. I'm a teacher in a smallish first school and my boss is lovely and very supportive of staff members' family situations.
I'm back in 4 weeks :( and going back 3 days a week, I am very lucky in that I was told that they would prefer me to do my 3 days as a block, as a courtesy to my new job share partner, but I can choose which half of the week I have. Which is fab. I was also told that I mustn't stress about going back, she knows it takes a while to get back in the swing of things, and as long as none of the kids kill each other or scribble over everything they've done in their books during the rest of the year then that's fine!
I have a question re: breastfeeding rights. I know my employer is legally required to provide me with a place to express and somewhere to store milk, but should they also provide me with time to express, or should that be done in my existing break time? This is the one area I'm a bit hazy about.
05/05/2014 at 20:06
Great Q TT, I'm back this week and they've designated me a room (to express), but I'm not on set hours, I'm on one of those 'hours to fulfil the role' contracts, but although I researched expressing in the workplace I didn't stumble across anything about whether it's a paid or unpaid period.
05/05/2014 at 21:47
Paid/ unpaid periods are a very grey area in teaching to be honest but my main concern is that my lunch "break" usually consists of flapping around prepping things for the afternoon, showing a sandwich down my throat and sorting out any extreme lunchtime child dramas - not a relaxing pumping environment! So ideally I'd like to use assembly time as my expressing slot as it will be easier to manage and easier to find a space to use that doesn't have children in it but am just not sure if I'm entitled to ask for that time or whether that's not really my boss' problem.
06/05/2014 at 21:47
I understand TT, I don't really have the chance to have a lunch break, I bet it's worse in a school! I had an email from work today saying they've allocated an empty office in a hardly used part of the building for me to express in. Would there be somewhere for you to go?
It's going to be interesting going back because I'm usually Mrs Flexible with my hours and also putting in extra time, but that won't be the case going forward. Particularly once baby is at a nursery/childminder. It's not possible just to stay an extra hour or two! :)
07/05/2014 at 11:21
I'm really nervous about going back to work. I genuinely love my job. I haven't given my boss any indication of my plans after maternity leave and I thought I would be ok returning after a year but this week, H and I have been discussing me staying at home and the financial implications that brings.
I would honestly love to stay at home now and maybe find a part time job in a couple of years...
The problem is the lifestyle we are accustom to and cutting everything in half while I stay at home. I would love to hear some tips on saving money/surviving on one income if there is any!???
RE keeping in touch, my work colleagues have been so supportive as has my boss. They haven't contacted me past a congratulatory card, flowers and e-voucher after the birth but I have been in to visit them with A once. I don't think they would contact me for work related stuff but do seem interested in my well being.
07/05/2014 at 12:04
07/05/2014 at 12:07
RayeRaye - Bit different but my H left his job a few months ago and we had a few months of potentially just living off my salary (it didn't quite end up that way but that's what we planned for). First thing I did was pull out my spreadsheet that listed every bill we paid. I chucked all of into price comparison sites and managed to get numerous bills down which straight away made a saving. We then decided on a food budget and really tried to stick to it. Before we were spending a daft amount on food and now we have it down by about 50% I'd say. Aldi is to thank! As well as generally being better with it. Just thought I'd share as might help a little. You might then be surprised how much you then have left to 'live' off?
I have a (what I think anyway) interesting question. Not provoked by you RayeRaye! But those changing hours or wanting to stay at home etc, do you worry that your H might end up resentful? My H always says I can do what I want and I believe him and know he means it, but I do feel a bit guilty sending him to work 55 hours a week whilst I could only be doing part time or similar. I've probably heard too many stories of things going wrong and it being a result of resentment of the man being sent to work and the woman at home and everything that comes with that (their summary not mine!).
07/05/2014 at 12:38
Just thought I would wade in on the breastfeeding at work regulations; employers only need to provide the facilities by law however I know a lot of employers have made provision for time as well. I work in the public sector but we have two policies as we took over another organisation so the time we allow employees is 30 minutes extra (as per 1 policy) and "a reasonable amount of time to express, up to 2 hours" (as per the other). We would aim to limit this so the policies match.
I would ask for a copy of the maternity policy to see if it's in there, if not a conversation with your manager would be the best way to go. It could be considered reasonable especially if current break periods won't be sufficient for you TT but it needs to fit in with the business needs too.
Back to the topic, I need to return full time for financial reasons but H will be planning to go part time if we have any further children. That's the plan anyway! H isn't at all interested in having a career so once I am in a position to hopefully support both of us he can reduce his hours. I know I will feel really guilty about going back full time. My mum went back full time after all of her children though and I wouldn't say it had any adverse effects on me or my siblings so I'm hoping it will be the same for me.
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