How Mums Can Negotiate Flexible Working Hours With Their Boss

Do you feel like you have two full time jobs – one being your actual career and the other as a mum? The good news is, you don’t have to worry about juggling both at full capacity.

In fact, it may be time to ask your employer for flexible hours.

Photo of a mother and daughter having breakfast together in the kitchen.

Mums Rights

According to The Fair Work Act 2009, employees in the national workplace have the legal right to request flexible working hours. To be eligible, you must have worked with your employer for at least 12 months on a full-time or part-time basis.

If you’re interviewing of looking for an employer, it may be worth doing some research and look for companies that would be willing to offer you flexi-time.

Women with children under five and single parents with a child under 15 in Australia face an employment gap of about 25 percentage points to those without kids, says a recent report by Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development.

“Australia’s relatively high childcare costs are one important factor contributing to the high ‘not in employment, education or training’ rates among young mothers with young children,” a statement for the survey reveals.

“There are potentially large losses to the economy when women stay at home or work short part-time hours.”

What’s more, investment bank Goldman Sachs believes if Australia lifted its female participation rate closer to that of males it could bring economic benefits equivalent to 11 per cent of gross domestic product.

Childcare reforms
Source: iStock

Negotiating Flexible Working Hours

Maria Bellissimo-Magrin, who is CEO of full-service creative marketing agency Belgrin, tells The Healthy Mummy why she believes employers should see the benefits of hiring mums.

 “We only employ mothers that are looking to get back in to the workforce – with that being the case, our team demand flexibility. We all work from home and access our files via the cloud.”

“The reality of working in the design and PR industry is it doesn’t matter when we do our job (in terms of the traditional 9-5), as long as it’s done on time. Further, our industry is predominantly digital, so it means we don’t need to be sitting side-by-side to communicate or get things done,” she says.

“I think in our case, if the team understands that they need to do work for the business to run – and intern, keep their jobs – productivity levels are probably better than if we were sitting in an office together.”

Cute boy drawing while mom is working on a computer.
Source: iStock

Maria’s Top Tips On How To Negotiate Flexible Working Hours For Mums:

1. Don’t Ever Devalue Your Worth

“As women we often don’t value our worth and therefore don’t ask for enough money. Research the role you’re applying for and what other employers are indicating to pay and work from there. If you’re going for a part time role, pro rata the salary.”

2. Ask For A Little More

This way you have more room to negotiate. Bear in mind the lowest you will accept and don’t go below it.”

3. Sell Yourself

“So here’s the thing about us mums. We’re a productive bunch. The tasks we can complete within an hour is unheard of! Don’t be shy to sell this.”

Mother working at home on the pc, with her children doing multi-tasking work.

4. Work Out Of Hours

“So perhaps you aren’t available for a full 9-5 day, but you may be able to work after hours. This can be so beneficial to the company and having that extended support after hours. As long as you get your work done, does it matter what hour of the day it is?”

5. Suggest Job Sharing

“If the role is full time, but you know you’re perfect for it, suggest the option of sharing the role. There are so many other qualified mums willing to work the other couple days.”

6. Ask For Flexibility

“A lot of organisations are understanding the need to offer flexible working conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask to work from home. Set joint KPIs to keep your manager’s mind at ease, but the reality is, once you show them how productive you are regardless of where you’re sitting, they’ll quickly dismiss any negativity around the topic.”

Maria is also a Healthy Mummy 28 Day Challenge member and Healthy Mummy smoothie addict.

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