I want to do a job share after my maternity leave but my boss says it's not possible | The Sun
24th September 2023

APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions.

Here, she helps a reader who wants to do a job share after she returns from maternity leave.

Q) I’m due to return to my job as a teacher after the October half-term following maternity leave, and have requested to do a job share, so I can still spend time with my daughter.

However, the headteacher has emailed me to say this won’t be possible, as the person covering my leave doesn’t want to do the other half of the job share, so I will need to go back full-time.

She was very nice about it, but didn’t mention advertising the role externally.

What should my next steps be, do you think?

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I love my job, but I also love being a mum and I feel so conflicted.

Mara, via email

A) It sounds like you have a good relationship with your headteacher, so I think you should meet her face-to-face for an informal conversation, if possible.

Explain that you love your teaching job, but your parenting responsibilities are making it difficult to come back to work full-time, and ask if she would consider posting the job-share role externally.

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Not every request for flexible working can be granted, but the school should consider your request fairly and reasonably, and if it is refused, they should give you a clear business case as to why.

If she says it would negatively impact the school to have any more employees on reduced/flexible hours, then that is a considered and justifiable response.

If you don’t feel like your request has been fairly considered, you could formally appeal the decision.

But it is always advisable to try to resolve things amicably, as formal processes can damage your relationship with your employer and cause a lot of stress.

Speak to your union rep or call ACAS, who can give expert advice on workplace rights.

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