I put in writing my request to go part time?
After having 12 weeks off under the Family and Medical Leave Act
(FMLA) to care for a newborn baby, I have decided to reduce my work
hours from 40 to 30 per week. However, I am a bit uneasy about negotiating
for the time.
worked for this company for three years (I have over a decade of
experience). On all of my past reviews I have been given the highest
rating. I live in an area with very low unemployment and great demand
for skilled employees, which will work in my favor when I negotiate
for the time, but I am unsure of how to go about it.
I begin by writing up a proposal, detailing my purpose for reducing
my hours, and assuring my manager that my department will still
be able to get the work done? This would allow my manager to ponder
it before I confront him. Or should I outline what I am after and
simply speak with him? Please advise me on the most professional
way to go about getting what I want...two extra hours per day.
It's too soon to formalize your request by means of a written proposal.
This negotiation needs to start with a well planned conversation.
Tell your manager that as much as you love to working at the company,
you would like to spend more time with your newborn baby. But first,
help your employer solve the business problem this may create.
is in your best interest to demonstrate, if you can, that your reduction
in hours will not have an adverse impact on the company. Your tenure
in the company helps, because you are already fully proficient in
your job. Be careful to avoid creating the impression that your
parenthood entitles you to work part-time. You are presenting
your employer with the problem of a potential disruption in the
quality or the flow of work. Help anticipate and solve this problem,
and your case will be strengthened. If your hours are reduced, some
work may be transferred to your coworkers, so be considerate of
them when you speak to your manager.
your job involves heavy travel or interaction with clients in a
different time zone, it may be more difficult to make your case.
An employer may be better off finding someone who can be gone for
a few days at a stretch, or on site early in the morning or late
in the evening.
someone is brought in to make up the additional hours, don't be
surprised if it starts to feel as if that person has taken over
your job, as your coworkers and clients begin to look to that person
as the primary person in the job. And don't expect to be rewarded
at the same level as the person who picks up the slack.
many part-time workers, it makes sense to be classified as nonexempt
and paid on an hourly basis. See if this makes sense for you and
your employer, to ensure against your working 40+ hours and being
paid for only 30 - or, from your company's perspective, to guard
against your working less than 30 hours.
will no doubt lose some benefits by working part-time. Before you
define your work week, check to see how your various benefits plans
define "full time" for the purposes of coverage. For example,
your health insurance provider might cover all employees who work
at least 32 hours a week.
your company cannot offer you a reduction in hours, then look for
a compromise. Will the company be willing to let you work from home?
If your company has a policy on telecommuting or flex time, you
might be able to work at home part of the time without reducing
your hours. Flexibility in a negotiation can help you find a win-win.
for some reason your manager is not receptive to the idea of your
working from home, speak to the HR department. Ask whether there
has been any discussion on this issue with management, and whether
there are good chances of such a policy ever being enacted in your
company. If some people in the company are against the idea, find
out who they are and see if you can lobby for their support.
Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional