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Wednesday, 21 March 2007

If you can't beat them, join them

If you can't beat them, join them.. those are the words i picked up from Garfield.

The National Health Service is full of woman. Let me tell you why. I read the flexible hours policy today from Human Resource while i was exploring going part-time to explore my development:

Maternity leave is for 9 months, you can take up to a year (with remaining 3 months unpaid, but you get paid from the government on Statutpry Maternity Pay)) and you get your paid annual leave on top of maternity leave.My colleague has 33 paid leave , and she is taking one year maternity leave. When she returns, she has a brand new year entitlement of paid annual leave. In real sense, she will be off for 12 months, plus 6 weeks annual leave= 13.5 months.

Maternity leave and pay is generous:

  • 8 weeks full pay, 14 weeks half pay (plus Statutory Maternity Pay)
  • following 4 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay
  • paid 33 days annual leave

Statutory Maternity Pay is calculated as bellow:

  • First 6 weeks of maternity leave is 90% of average weekly earnings
  • remaining 20 weeks ( or 33 weeks if take full 52 weeks maternity leave) £108.85 per week

Upon return, Under the Employement Act 2002, you are entitled to request a variation to your normal working hours. If you are taking care of a child under the age of 6, your employer is obliged to give you allowance for flexible hours. The options are as follow:

  • part-time working
  • term-time working, ------meaning you can request to work only when your child is schooling, and off when your child is having holidays, you just need to quote that you need child care arrangement during school holidays, hence you need to be off work
  • Flexible hours, depending on your childcare arrangement, where you drop your child at nursery on your way to work and finish your work when the nursery finish

If your employer disapprove, you can further appeal. The chance of you not getting approved is 0.000000001%. It's your right. They have to give it to you. It's NHS.

By the time a woman return from her maternity leave, she has flexible working hours. Then, she is getting ready for her second child.

Well as a woman, i should feel great. But unfortunately, not now. I am the lead for a project, a guideline for GPs on prescribing enteral nutrition, like a extra milkshake supplement for malnutrition people. We are pressed for time to role this out.The lead dietitican needs more time to work on it. It's not in my control. She needs more time, i offered my help but dietiticians are specialists in this area. GUess what? She is pregnant now and By the time she completes it plus a couple of weeks for circulation to different stakeholders for approval and comments, (bureaucracy, *pst* learning not to be blunt), we are looking at June/July- the time when she goes on her maternity leave!!!

The first thought that came to me after my brief discussion with her was " if you can't beat them, join them!" A mixture of frustration that things can't get done according to plan and guilty that i am frustrated. To be honest, if i were an employer, i would rather employ a man than a woman. Of course, many would argue that it's not about gender, it's about efficiency and skills. I will be blamed for discrimination., Com' on, with my example illustrated above, this will mean that the position will be "vacant" for 2 years( if a woman planning to have 2 children), and the organisation has to employ someone for maternity cover. Not to mention, extra cover when the woman return and goes on her flexible hours.

Well, as with all things, who you are determine how you interpret things. If you are a woman , you are obviously the receiving end of the benefits. This will be music to your ears.If you are an employer, you will think otherwise.

Well, despite my frustration at the work progress, it's not personal about this woman and pregnancy thing.
Just makes me think: if i can't beat them, i might as well join them. Leave the rest to sort out the work. Who give a toss?

1 comment:

  1. I found it sad. But this world is not fair. 20% people working for the 80% of performance.

    BUT, I don't want to join the rest 80% percent. As I want to perform my life to the full.There must be a way to escape this 'women' career.

    ReplyDelete

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