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Part time hours


Mollieben
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Our nursery has a low staff turnover which has resulted in many of our staff 'growing up' within our setting and going on to start families. This means we have lots of staff who work part time. We (myself and the director) have always tried hard to be as flexible as possible but a line has to be drawn somewhere! Not everyone can work school hours for example! We have 2 staff pregnant at the moment - they are currently full-time. They both want to come back part-time. Due to organising key groups etc... it is difficult to work with so few full time workers. has anyone ever refused to change job conditions and hours after maternity before? Am I right in thinking that we only have to offer the original working hours?

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We definetely would consider a job share but they would both have to compromise which it looks like they are not willing to do.....

 

Shame that you are trying to accommodate them and they are not willing to compromise :(

 

You have to staff the setting and it would be perfect if they would job share and you could just take on a new full time person but if they can't see the bigger picture then you will probably have no option but to lose them and start looking for new staff

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Doesn't it say somewhere in the legislation that you have to consider people's requests to work family friendly hours, but there is no obligation to grant the request provided you give sound commercial reasons why it isn't practical?

 

If in doubt, give ACAS a call. They're there to prevent employers being taken to industrial tribunals and to ensure good practice is observed and are really helpful. The weblink that Rea gave is very useful too - they have a whole host of downloadable publications on almost any subject you can think of.

 

Good luck - hope you get it all sorted.

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some progress made today! One has requested T,W,Th and the other is now considering M,F so that would be perfect. I hate not being able to help people out but I do feel that some people feel that work is for their convenience only....... The next problem will be when they both want to book the babies in on the same day on a staff rate which I KNOW the owner will not do, Sigh...

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  • 3 months later...

I am in the same predicament...many staff on part-time hours/days that it has become challenging in organising key groups and staff rota/shifts therefore I sent a memo to all of them, giving them more than 4 weeks notice, informing of the complete overhaul in working patterns requiring all members of staff to work 5 days a week shifts and abolished the 3pm finishes (so either 1pm, 5pm or 6p finish). I have to do the same to a member of staff who is due to return from her maternity leave (she was on 3 days a week prior to taking maternity leave) I wrote a letter to her to say that due to the nursery re-organisation and demands of the EYFS we have had to overhaul the working shift patterns and that her previous schedule would no longer be available as a result of this change. I strongly feel that I have covered my own back because the it is not an isolated change - one or two staff - but a complete change of working pattern for all.

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I know that ACAS used to publish guidelines for employers who want to materially change the terms and conditions upon which staff are employed: including consultation periods and so on. Ultimately if the company goes through all the consultation procedures and agreement can't be reached then the employment contract is considered to be null and void, and then new contracts can then be offered.

 

Of course there's nothing to say the employees have to accept them, so it can be a risky strategy for small employers.

 

Not sure what the current legal position is - I got my info from the ACAS website.

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I agree it's a hard balance to maintain...the working needs of the staff with the needs of the children...and continuity for the team.

 

The team at my setting that as the most issues tends to be the one with most part time workers...forming, storming, norming, performing just doesn't seem to happen in the full cycle...we go round in circles at the first two stages!

 

I have had to refuse a request...but to be fair the staff had worked with us for many years (really wanted to be a SAHM but dad wouldn't agree) and knew how it worked so put in a request that she knew couldn't be accommodated! Took the heat off her and she got her wish...just a shame we had to become the 'bad guys'!

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Mollieben - you said about staff getting 'staff rate' for childcare fees at the setting - this can be a bit of a minefield as officially it is seen as a tax concession or a perk by the Inland Revenue, we got round this by signing up our setting for childcare vouchers so staff can opt in to this and pay for their voucher before tax - this saves them 20%

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I know when we had a restructure at work the people on maternity leave had to have a post (although I believe not necessarily the same post but at a similar level and pay etc) to come back to, so some people lost their chance of a job because the maternity leavers took most of the available posts left in the team. So I'd check the situation re reorganisations.....

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