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Frank Hovis

Flexible Working For All

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Or rather the right to ask for it and have your request considered.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I would love to work a three day week (for three / fifths of the money) as that's my kind of work life balance and I wouldn't then be in any rush to retire. Theoretically my employer could get somebody in for the other two days.

Interesting one, to date flexible working has pretty much been only for women and in my direct experience they have been very responsible about it and flexible the other way when it comes to working on their days off to help with heavy workloads. I have heard anecdotes of women who are a right pain about it but I speak as I find.

A request from a mother who wants to start work later so she can take her children to nursery will carry no more weight than one from a colleague simply wanting to spend a bit longer in bed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2672926/Now-right-demand-flexible-working-hours-And-parents-carers-lose-colleagues-simply-want-lie-in.html

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There's a lot of flexible working in my company. I take advantage of it myself. I spend at most 1 day in HQ per week, and the rest of the time I work from home. Most of the people I manage are 3 or 4 day a week workers. Frankly, I'd quite like to join them but for the fact that many 4 day a weekers say they basically still end up working 5 days due to unpaid overtime. No-one is obliged to give a reason for changing their work pattern.

Some working arrangements while necessary for the person do make it difficult though. Someone I know works sometimes from home, sometimes from the office, has one day off, and at least another half day. While they are nominally flexible to work anytime it's surprising how child care problems prevent them from attending work things they can't be arsed to go to (and how they magically disappear overnight when it's something they are dead keen on).

Personally, I think all claims should be treated equally.

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I did it many years ago, by going self-employed and cherry-picking my work.

If you go from 5 days PAYE to 3 days S/E you will not notice the difference because of the (much) reduced tax/NI bill, plus you have more time to do odd jobs that you'd normally have to pay someone else to do.

Work != Life

Me too. Mind you, I didn't really have much choice. With a young child to look after by myself, it would have been virtually impossible to find decent employment that would allow the necessary flexibility. Self-employment was my only viable option.

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In the next week or so I will be going from 5 days at work to 4. 2 long days at the office (7.30 til 18.00) and the next 2 days at home (8.00 til 16.30). The plan will be to have Fridays off, although the day is flexible if for example I'm in court. For bank holidays holidays I will be given a standard day time (7.24) I'll be able to make up the short fall by working longer days at home or working for a few hours on a friday, or I can build up my flexi time so it will cover the shortfall.

I'm not sure if I'll cope with the long days, we shall see, but I am looking forward to permanent long weekends.

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Went from 5 to 3 days a week. Money wise I was not much worse off due to much less tax and NI (maybe symptom of the Swiss tax system?). However lots of hatred from co-workers plus it didn't fit in very well with the job I was doing - monkey coding which really requires at least 5 day a week attention.

My colleagues were also bitchin' that I was never around, they were blocked because I had information they needed, I was always the critical path on the timeline; it was largely jealousy.

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A few years back I had the idea of a 'gradual retirement'; get yourself in a financial position where you only work 4 days .... Then 3 .... I could do that now actually but only because I don't have a family to look after.

I'd argue that a 3 day working week for the last 30 years of life is better than 5 day weeks followed by sudden retirement which can be hard in terms of isolation and boredom.

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Here's another thought; take the average 5 day office worker and tell them if they can get the same amount done in 3 days they can have the rest of the week off.

I bet for a lot of people productivity would be the the same for 3 as 5 days.

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Well, I`m going back to work after 15 months off sick.

I`ll start off working I day a week and never work more than that!

If they sack me I`ll be able to live off my savings.

One day a week is enough.....

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I've never really been employed but what would worry me, if I was in a 9-5, particularly with a larger organisation is that no matter how much extra work you do, in 3 days versus 5, management higher up would always perceive someone there 5 days as contributing more, regardless of the reality and you're asking for the axe to swing in your direction should the time come.

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I've never really been employed but what would worry me, if I was in a 9-5, particularly with a larger organisation is that no matter how much extra work you do, in 3 days versus 5, management higher up would always perceive someone there 5 days as contributing more, regardless of the reality and you're asking for the axe to swing in your direction should the time come.

^ This * 1000000

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Went from 5 to 3 days a week. Money wise I was not much worse off due to much less tax and NI (maybe symptom of the Swiss tax system?). However lots of hatred from co-workers plus it didn't fit in very well with the job I was doing - monkey coding which really requires at least 5 day a week attention.

My colleagues were also bitchin' that I was never around, they were blocked because I had information they needed, I was always the critical path on the timeline; it was largely jealousy.

+ 1000000

Are you me?

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Great for those in the right occupations.

Most jobs could not tolerate flexibility.

odd then, that most employers accept without question the worker arriving early and leaving very late.

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This is infact an attemp to kill flexible working for all. Imagine the scenario - an employer is deluged with (mostly spurious, jealousy motivated, unworkable) requests for flexible working by those who really don't want it anyway but just want to make a spiteful point to those who really need to work flexibly. End result? Nobody gets it, all requests denied.

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A few years back I had the idea of a 'gradual retirement'; get yourself in a financial position where you only work 4 days .... Then 3 .... I could do that now actually but only because I don't have a family to look after.

I'd argue that a 3 day working week for the last 30 years of life is better than 5 day weeks followed by sudden retirement which can be hard in terms of isolation and boredom.

Great idea......also a great way of making the move from employed to self-employed or employed to studying for a complete change of career........often these things depend on what long-term commitments and debts you are holding...less debt = more freedom, more choices.

Here's another thought; take the average 5 day office worker and tell them if they can get the same amount done in 3 days they can have the rest of the week off.

I bet for a lot of people productivity would be the the same for 3 as 5 days.

I am sure five days work could be fitted into three days hard work in many jobs.....often people are wasted, sitting there at someones beck and call.....procrastination......when think of all the more productive things you could be doing outside of a job where you are either doing very little or doing something for the sake of doing something ie wasting your time and their time. ;)

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This is infact an attemp to kill flexible working for all. Imagine the scenario - an employer is deluged with (mostly spurious, jealousy motivated, unworkable) requests for flexible working by those who really don't want it anyway but just want to make a spiteful point to those who really need to work flexibly. End result? Nobody gets it, all requests denied.

Could be, but depends on the employer. Mine has had flexible working applies to all for five years. But then it is a company which doesn't pay overtime but occasionally demands you work weekends etc.

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The plan will be to have Fridays off, although the day is flexible if for example I'm in court.

If court appearances are regular enough to be included in your weekly schedule - you must be a scouser !!

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+ 1000000

Are you me?

What was your experience?

I wanted to go back to self-employed (working in France) but the government has really tightened up on the options recently. I used to work as a full self-employed with an accountant who handled nearly everything and I still had a ton of paperwork to do, signing cheques for various organisations, paying for various people to sit around at home watching TV etc. There were also lots of charges to pay up front and some flat rate charges to pay. It was only worth it if I earned at least 250 euros / day, 48 weeks of the year. I thought about using an umbrella company but the government has done a deal with the unions to shut off this route unless you can pay yourself at least 2900euros/month each and every month. As with earning 250 euros / day this puts me into a very high tax bracket which doesn't make it worthwhile to work.

Someone was raving about the advantages of setting up a French Ltd Co. --- it only took him 10 days he said. I told him you could get a Ltd Co in the UK in half an hour! Also a French Ltd Co can take 3 years to wind up with various appearances at the Commercial Courts and mad paperwork. Basically nothing beats the good old UK S.E. or Ltd Co for people who want to do a bit of work but not too much.

It is estimated that the changes to Umbrella Companies in France cost 30,000 jobs - one thing France needs at the moment is more jobless.

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I've never really been employed but what would worry me, if I was in a 9-5, particularly with a larger organisation is that no matter how much extra work you do, in 3 days versus 5, management higher up would always perceive someone there 5 days as contributing more, regardless of the reality and you're asking for the axe to swing in your direction should the time come.

And also passed over for promotion

Where I work we had exactly this issue, until someone rather bravely took it up as an HR/grievance and the management have done a 100% turnaround in the way they treat part-timers.

Although I think part of it is they realised having a part timer in a senior position is a LOT cheaper - and they still end up doing the same work.

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