Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

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bella94
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Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by bella94 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:26 pm

I would like to hear from anyone currently on a Doctorate course in the UK who has experience of (or knowledge of) courses that offer part-time options for those returning from maternity leave.

I am aware that some courses do offer part-time (eg Surrey?) and would like to hear from anyone who has information about such courses or who is themselves currently returning or already returned from mat leave to a course and what your experience has been.

Please post here or PM me if you prefer.

Many thanks.

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astra
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by astra » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:05 pm

Training is basically a job so the emplouying Trust has to treat you as they would anyone returning from Mat leave. This is complicated by the training component but at the end of the day you have rights as an employee. There are restrictions on how long you can take to complete the course. I reduced my hours due to parenting/caring commitments and it worked out ok. It extended the course by about 4 or 5 months, reducing my weekly workload by about a day a week from the start of yr 2. I'm sure this has been discussed loads of times so a search of the forum might bring up what you are looking for.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

bella94
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by bella94 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:42 pm

Thanks for your post. Where are you studying if you don't mind saying?

I've done a search and read the posts, nothing really answers my questions and lot of the posts are a few years old now which means they are possibly out of date.

the course centre in question is stating that on no account can it offer part-time options when returning to work which i find troubling given that clin psych is trying to be open and diverse and that as psychologists we know how important early years attachment and childcare is!

astra
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by astra » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:25 pm

I was at Leeds. it's a few years ago now but their policies won't have changed much on this type of issue. You need to speak to your line manager and possibly HR at the employing trust if they wont budge. You have the same employment rights as anyone else. Where are you up to in training? and when are you due back?
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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BlueCat
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by BlueCat » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:13 pm

I think it is worth remembering that your employing Trust is required to offer you the same or equivalent terms and conditions on your return from maternity leave. They are obliged to consider, but by no means obliged to allow, you to return part time. They would have to have good reason for not allowing you to return part time, and issues around study/placement timetables, funding timelines and assignment deadlines etc would probably be accepted as legal reasons for not allowing you to return on reduced hours. I imagine it is virtually impossible to reduce your academic time, as that follows a fixed schedule for everyone, and depending on placement availability (some courses really struggle to find placements for all their trainees) it may be impossible to allow a student to block one for longer than the allocated six months. I would imagine that courses with teaching blocks would find it virtually impossible to offer part time, since full time attendance is required during teaching block. That said, some courses probably will be willing/able to be flexible, others probably not. Best bet is to ask them, and then let us know on here!

From my personal perspective, I think it is about time a proper part time training option was offered to increase inclusion. However, I don't think this will happen until funding arrangements change, or the OU develop a course (I have some great ideas in that direction!)
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daydreambeliever
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by daydreambeliever » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:20 pm

Others sound like they've given some useful advice from experience, I just have a few more ideas which you can consider or discard as appropriate - have you already involved a union rep and got their advice? Is either the course side or NHS side sympathetic to your case? If one side is more willing this would give you something to build on? My other thoughts would be that it can be helpful where there's a dispute to get people to get their position (and rationale for it) in writing - this makes sure everyone thinks through what their saying, and that people can be pinned down a bit. On a negotiating note, are they saying a blanket no to part time, or could they consider you doing components part-time and others full time? e.g. could you do a gradual return to full time placement hours on your return from mat leave, or do one day less placement per week, or shift your working hours slightly to be more child care/ nursery friendly? Or could you do the academic or research components at a slower rate, with the acceptance this might add a few months onto training at the end? (how common is it that people over-run with their thesis and have to do this anyway on your course? If this isn't that unusual then you could argue that you're not asking for particularly special treatment?) As a starting point I'd look up the degree regulations for your course which should be available online, and check what the deadline for completing the course is, as that gives a frame of reference for what's reasonable to ask for.

bella94
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by bella94 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:49 am

Thanks for everyone's replies so far.

It doesn't sound like anyone has been truly offered part-time - i don't think losing a half day or day a week is really that flexible is it? (better than zero flexibility obviously) but part-time would be a 3 day or 2.5 day week.

Surrey apparently splits academic and placement years and yes i wouldn't expect the academic side to be part-time for obvious reasons.

It seems very odd to me that in 2013 the courses are not being more forward thinking given the emphasis placed on embracing diversity and the demographic that is applying.

Look forward to hearing from anyone else who has different experiences - and hopefully being offered greater flexibility.

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BenJMan
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by BenJMan » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:01 pm

bella94 wrote: It doesn't sound like anyone has been truly offered part-time
Just to say on this that some courses do. Lancaster for example are really positive in their approach to people needing to go part time. There have been instances of people coming back from mat leave, or illness or reducing hours due to family commitments.

On BlueCat's point about reducing teaching, Lancaster have also accomodated changes to an individuals teaching timetable, allowing them to catch up the particular teaching when the next cohort does it etc.

So some courses can be very flexible in their approach :)
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ScrabbleCat
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by ScrabbleCat » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:52 pm

I echo what BenJ said about Lancaster - they have always tried to be accomodating in terms of hours etc both clinically and academically. Presumably their approach could be used as a model for another course.

Good luck :)

jo_the_girl
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by jo_the_girl » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:36 pm

Hi,
I was just searching this forum for posts about part-time options on courses. As a part-timer (coming back from mat leave and wanting to drop one day a week), I have realised how important this option is for a good work-life balance. Incidently I am on the Lancs course and it does seem we have a lot of people on alternative pathways through training. However, I know someone on another course who was not allowed to drop to part-time despite this being beneficial to her health.
Would anyone mind if I use some quotes from this thread in a presentation I'm doing on inclusivity and part-time working? I would not name usernames or course names. I just want to present something about people's opinions and experiences.
Thanks

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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by Borrowed Cone » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:59 pm

jo_the_girl wrote:Hi,
I was just searching this forum for posts about part-time options on courses. As a part-timer (coming back from mat leave and wanting to drop one day a week), I have realised how important this option is for a good work-life balance. Incidently I am on the Lancs course and it does seem we have a lot of people on alternative pathways through training. However, I know someone on another course who was not allowed to drop to part-time despite this being beneficial to her health.
Would anyone mind if I use some quotes from this thread in a presentation I'm doing on inclusivity and part-time working? I would not name usernames or course names. I just want to present something about people's opinions and experiences.
Thanks
I think if you are quoting information from this forum, as well as individual user permission you will also need to ask Miriam as the information belongs to her!

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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by miriam » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:33 am

Its fine to quote, provided you give the forum as the source.
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bella94
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Re: Maternity leave/returning to course part time?

Post by bella94 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:37 pm

So apart from Lancaster has anyone had any experience - especially the London courses - of being offered flexible hours or knowing anyone that has?

Many thanks

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