I’ve worked in local government for over a decade. Prior to getting pregnant with my first child and going on maternity leave last year, I was reassured by the wealth of policies and the apparent open minded attitude to flexible working. Whilst on leave I decided to request flexible working and to drop my hours from full time to either 3 or 4 days a week. I was concerned that the remainder of my (very busy) post would be taken as a cost saving if I gave it up, and so I asked to see the boss and discuss it. I’d watched other returning female colleagues suffer the same fate; struggling to do 100% of the work in 60% of the time, and with 60% of the pay.
After a meeting with the boss, who reassured me that she “wasn’t interested in reducing capacity at this point”, I made the decision to go for 3 days per week, leaving 2 days for a job share. I’m guessing that none of you who read this will be surprised to hear that after nearly 6 months back in the office, there is no job share in place and I can’t get a straight answer out of my management as to what is going to happen. I feel cheated, stressed and angry.