“It’s brilliant to have more time with Faye”
Jo Bosomworth, 44, from Winsford, Cheshire, works as a PA to a chartered surveyor spreading part-time hours over five days to work round her disabled daughter’s school hours.
Jo’s daughter, Faye, 14, has chromosomal deletion syndrome, which means she has several health problems including a heart condition, hypermobility syndrome, continence issues, deafness in one ear and learning difficulties. She attends a school for pupils with special needs and Jo has found it difficult to find appropriate out-of school care, hence her need to work school hours only.
Jo’s husband, Colin, works compressed hours over four days as a welder.
Jo said: “I’ve been with the same employer since before Faye was born when I worked fulltime. It’s taken a while to find the right balance since having Faye. At first I went back fulltime when Faye was just four months old because we needed the money. I didn’t want to work that much. And it was hard leaving Faye, who was so little and had lots of health complications.
“Eventually I dropped a day, which meant we lost about £5,000 income a year, so things are tight financially. I’ve now spread my four-day hours over five days to work round school hours, and I work through lunch to make up my hours if Faye has hospital appointments. Despite the cut in salary, it’s brilliant to have more time with Faye. She’s often exhausted when she finishes school. But she loves doing jigsaws and puzzles, or sports like swimming and kayaking, and we enjoy girly days out when we can. Working flexibly means I can help her enjoy life more.
“I think my situation has helped others to work more flexibly too. Before I changed my hours, everyone worked 9am to 5pm. My boss dropped to three full days a week at the same time I changed.”