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ABC Magazine is the FREE local parenting magazine offering practical parenting advice to everyone with young children. From babies to big kids!

 ABC Magazine winter 2018 edition

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 Recent Articles

Flexible working

By | Uncategorized
by Emma Cleary
Ten2Two Sussex

Five steps to making a flexible working request – when you’re already in a role.

If you’re in a current job but you’d like more flexibility, what should you do? Well, there’s a set procedure as outlined by ACAS that both you and your employer must adhere to when making a flexible working request. The same goes for asking for Shared Parental Leave.

We look at how you can have those tricky conversations with employers about flexibility and work-life balance.

Emma Cleary, Partner at Ten2Two Sussex says, “When you’re in a role, it can be difficult to find the right moment to discuss any changes with your employer. If your company is large, it’s likely to have a Human Resources department handling any changes to an individual’s contract. If it’s smaller, your conversation could be setting a precedent and your employer may be entering new territory for the first time.”

Choose your moment
If you work for a small company, asking for flexibility or Shared Parental Leave may feel uncomfortable but you’re within the law and it’s your right to ask, as long as you fulfil the conditions of service.

Know your rights
Look at what your company’s policy says about how requests should be made. You can find further advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

To have the statutory right to ask for flexible working arrangements, you must: be an employee and have worked for your employer continuously for 26 weeks at the date on which you make your application. For Shared Parental Leave, this needs to be at least 26 weeks up to the end of the qualifying week (the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth). You must still be employed by the same employer in the week before any Shared Parental Leave is due to start.

Be clear about what you want
There are lots of ways flexible working hours can be packaged. Think about how you want to work the time. With flexible hours, these can be anything from staggered hours to nine day fortnights. If you’re not sure, the Ten2Two website outlines these, so have a think about what it is you really want.

If you’re making a Shared Parental Leave request, who will take what time off, and when will you do it? Are you asking to have time off during a particularly busy period? An employee is entitled to submit three separate notices to book leave. For example, you could choose to come back to work to help cover a particularly busy time for the company before going on leave again afterwards.

Set it out in writing
Flexible working and Shared Parental Leave requests must be made in writing. Follow the guidelines, date it and format it. Set out what you want and when you want it to come into effect.

If seeking flexible working, add how you think this will affect the existing business and how, in your opinion, this might be dealt with. You can only make a request for flexible working once every 12 months, so it’s important to get it right. Remember to provide solutions and benefits rather than present your employer with problems.

Expect a meeting to discuss it
An employer will likely want to talk through your request, although not always. A flexible working process needs to be completed within three months of the request being initially made. You can bring a work colleague to the meeting if you wish. A Shared Parental Leave request needs to be made at least eight weeks before the leave is due to be taken.

What happens if they say no?
Your flexible working request will likely be met by one of three outcomes – either it will be accepted or your employer will suggest a compromise. In the case of rejection, your employer needs to set out clear reasons for doing so. You can appeal this and you should be offered a meeting if you feel the application wasn’t handled responsibly.

When it comes to Shared Parental Leave, leave must be taken in complete weeks and may be taken either in a continuous period, which an employer cannot refuse, or in a discontinuous period, which the employer can refuse.

Emma Clearly, Director at Ten2Two says, “It’s traditionally viewed as simpler to ask for flexible working once you’re already in a role – but that is beginning to change. Many employers are realising that flexible working is becoming accepted as a standard work practice, and a key retention tool. It’s also an important employee benefit for businesses seeking to attract new talent as the skills gap squeeze begins to bite.”

If you’d like to find a flexible career role, talk to Emma Cleary at Ten2Two Sussex today.

Contact Emma at emma@ten2two.org or call us on 07810 541599.
Ten2Two is a flexible and part-time recruitment agency providing professional staff for forward-thinking companies across Sussex and
the south of England.
Register at Ten2Two.org

 

The danger of expecting ‘the best’

By | Education

Often parents are driven to want their daughter to be ‘the best.’ At Prep School level this is only ever short-lived – how often is the tallest girl still the tallest by 14 or the top scorer still the most academically successful later on in their schooling? Rarely is this the case, since development is not linear and there are peaks and troughs along the way.

It is impossible for everyone to be the fastest swimmer, the quickest at mental arithmetic, to have perfect pitch, to be the life and soul of the party or the best listening ear. In fact, we have to be careful sometimes what we wish for. Being ‘the best’ is an incredibly stressful position and can lead to a feeling of isolation and a fear of failing. The fall from dizzy heights of success can be a painful experience and undoubtedly it can be lonely at the top. Our job is to ensure that the girls are ready and armed to cope with such challenges and the inevitable ups and downs they will face.

Girls at Prep School should be in the phase of discovery and still able and encouraged to take risks and build their natural resilience. In doing so they will be encouraged to be the best that they can possibly be and find out for themselves where their own strengths lie. What we don’t want is Annabel to be more like Emily – we want Annabel to be more like Annabel – the best and truest version of herself.

Learning often happens when we are taken out of our comfort zones. Young children do not fear failure, in fact they relish it – how many of your daughters loved to play ‘peek-a-boo,’ or later on ‘tag’ but really aimed to be caught, not to get away? They are playing out success and failure and enjoying that moment when their building brick tower tumbles to the floor.

It is only as children become slightly older that they begin to grapple with the complexities and demands which come with being successful. Our job is to be the gentle palm in the small of their backs to guide and lead, to inspire and support and to catch when the occasional but necessary fall comes about. The key is for us to tap into what motivates, excites and stimulates the girls in order that they can find pleasure and satisfaction in meeting the challenges they face. In doing so, they will develop a lifelong love of learning. Truly creative and original thought requires failure. Every girl has a distinctive set of drivers and talents; if we spend time discovering what they are we have gone a long way in encouraging their failure and ultimate success.

St Catherine’s Prep School, Bramley extends a warm welcome to parents who would like to visit the school.
Open Mornings: Friday 16th November, Friday 1st February 2019 and Tuesday 5th March 2019.
Taster afternoon (Year 1 – Year 6) Thursday 22nd November.
Please contact Sally Manhire, Prep School Registrar, on 01483 899665.
www.stcatherines.info

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Every issue of ABC Magazine is packed full of local information and practical parenting advice to help you find what you need and where to buy it, ideas on what to do and where to go, where to find this and that – all child related and child friendly!

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