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  1. #1
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    Default Flexible working arrangements return to work

    Hi, I know some of you ladies are knowledgeable about the flexible working act and wondering if you have any advice for me.

    I'm on maternity leave and my employer has turned down my request for part time work based on the fact that half a resource (that's how they referred to me) can't fulfill the team requirements eg. they need a full time person.

    Firstly, I was never specific about how many days I wanted to work. I purposefully kept this vague hoping to negotiate a number of days with them.

    Secondly, I would not have expected the team to lise half a resource, and thought maybe jobshare was an option, or even that I coukd potentially move team as I work for a large department with many ongoing projects.

    Those were just ideas anyway, and I thought I woukd get a chance to discuss those types of options before they refused my request.

    I will be speaking to my boss and will raise these points. I was just wondering how far they have to go to accommodate my request? It is a large, successful company with hundreds of employees. Other people in the company have returned p/t, although not in my department. My dept has a much higher ratio of men however.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Subscribing to reply later from my computer. Did you put your request in writing and did they respond in writing? If so it would be helpful to see these (via PM if you want to).

    It's important to know that they can say no to your request but it doesn't sound as though they have fairly considered all the options (although the onus is on the employee to do this as well not just the employer).

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    Subscribing to reply later from my computer. Did you put your request in writing and did they respond in writing? If so it would be helpful to see these (via PM if you want to).

    It's important to know that they can say no to your request but it doesn't sound as though they have fairly considered all the options (although the onus is on the employee to do this as well not just the employer).

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    Their reasoning for refusing your request has to be on "reasonable business grounds" -- ie. a company could argue that a CEO isn't the sort of job that could be job-shared, but a receptionist position for example could easily be job shared & there's no reason why you couldn't have two part timers doing it.
    While those examples are two extremes of the spectrum, realistically not many jobs can't be argued that they cant be either part time or job shared, and if it went to fair work Australia you'd probably find the employer wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
    As the prev post said, if you haven't already, put your request in writing, mention specifically that you know you are entitled to request flexible working arrangements, and that you do have flexibility with regards to days/times in hope that the employer can accommodate. They have to respond within 21 days (I think?) in writing, providing a valid reason as to why they decline. If they don't do this, or you don't believe it's a valid reason, call the fair work ombudsman for further advice.
    Good luck!

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    If you have a parental leave policy I suggest you go through it with a fine tooth comb. I also work for a very large company and they by law must offer people returning to work from maternity leave a part-time position if you so request.
    There are some loop holes however for example, it must fit in with "the business". You are entitled to negotiate with them or the HR department as to what suits both you and the business.
    I would think if other departments have part-time employers then it wouldn't be legit for them not to consider you for part time.
    If not there's other avenues like the union rep or fair work Australia.

  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for the replies, I really appreciate the input.

    Yes the request and response were in writing. kw23 I will pm you the wording later. I don't want to out it online here in case anyone sees it from work

    So I'm thinking my next step is to explicitly make suggestions like jobshare, or an alternative. Imo the job could easily be shared by 2 people. To be honest, I was expecting to have already had the chance to do that before their refusal.

    They did provide a 'business reason' as to why p/t is not possible, however that was basically that they need the current levels of resource. To me that wasn't really a satisfactory 'reason' however as they had not even considered alternative ways of maintaining resource levels.

    Thanks again for the advic and I will report back after my next conversation.

  7. #7
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    Hi diesal444 I was just wondering, when you said 'by law', did you mean Australian law, or your company's internal policy? Just want to be clear as not sure of my company's policy. I am going to clarify with HR today.

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    Oh maybe it comes down to individual companies and their policies which are then legally binding. Most larger companies have this policy and must offer this until your youngest child goes to school.

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    I have PM'd you

  10. #10
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    I checked my company policy and all it says is that on returning from parental leave employees can request part time work, but nothing about what the company is obligated to do. They have kept it as vague as possible

    I have spoken to then emailed them today and basically said what you said above missiemack, that I don't intend for resource levels for change. I made a few suggestions, jobshare/project work etc. and they are going to get back to me.

    Imo the job could easily be shared, and in fact similar roles have been shared in other places I've worked. My boss didn't sound keen on the idea though and basically said no based on the face that it's hard to recruit people with the right skills and that it's better to have the same person on projects (I still requested it via email though-will see on what grounds they reject it this time).

    I think my requests are going to be refused again as my boss doesn't want it to happen. Other levels have been involved too however I think they will go with what the boss says.

    Thanks for all your advice so far. Hopefully I'll have something to report tomorrow.


 

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