Flexible workin whilst being a train driver

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Fgwiknow

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Hi, I'm looking to gain more information and understanding into working as a train driver and flexible working. My ex partner has been a qualified driver for about a year now. He has told me he is on a 3 year probationary period and that if he was to put in a request for flexible working (in our case the same 2 days of every week to have his daughter) it would put his job at risk. He feels that if he put this request through and they did accept that he would be putting his job at risk and that during his yearly review it could go against him. He is currently working for fgw. If anyone who is currently working as a train driver and has been in a similar situation or knows of any similar cases could give any insite or information in regards to this it would be great. Thanks.
 
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Class2ldn

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A 3 year probationary period?
Seems a load of guff to me but fgw may be different.
Why would he be on a 3 year probationary? Normally 12 months
Companies do have reduced hours links but it depends on the company itself.
Can't say for fgw but it wouldn't put his job at risk.
If he asked for it and it was accepted then I don't see how it would put his job at risk.
Not sure what the rules are for flexible working but unfortunately the railway isn't really that flexible when it comes to shifts.
Also being such a new driver I doubt they would be willing to allow it or would the union for that matter
 
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Fgwiknow

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Thank you for your reply. I understand the turns aren't flexible and the job isn't also. Evan if he put the request in for the same two days of every week it's not necessarily he would have them off if they were in need of a driver. But thanks for your info!
 

Class2ldn

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I think the chance of requesting the same two days off is never going to happen otherwise we'd all be doing it lol.
If there's a specific reduced hours link he could apply for that but normally you'd have to be there a good while to be considered for it.
Still wondering why he's on a 3 year probationary period?
Has he made a few cock ups?
 

Fgwiknow

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Ok thank you . In regards to the cock up... I'm not awake that he was made any, though we separated last year just as he become qualified. As far as I'm aware he hasn't though he wouldn't tell me if he had.There has been a few occasions in the past where he's said things that has made me think he has though. He applied for the job internally as he was already working for first but doin engineering.. So that's why he tells me he is on a three year probation...and that if he is unable to fulfil his duties they would just put him back to his previous job.
 

theironroad

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I'm not sure about 3 years as probation from a hr point of view, but h ewillmbe a PQ (post qualified ) driver for a while. I'm my TOC it is 2 years and during that time your are subject to much more scrutiny and assessments. When the PQ period is finished and you've not messed up, you become a standard driver.

I think if he asks for flexible working so soon after qualifying it will not be looked on favourably at all. However, life is complicated, but I think he will need a very strong case and a very supportive LDC.
 

russmcp

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The question asked by yourself is in regards to your ex partners working arrangements and is more to do with your personal circumstances due to potential conflict between yourselves?

You need to be cautious as to views offered by others here may give you a biased view and potential further conflict between yourselves.
 

Fgwiknow

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It's todo with regular and consistent contact with our daughter. Jus wanted to find a resolution to consistent contact and havin the same two days off most weeks would help the situation and bring some stability for us both as at the moment we're changing days every week which does bring some conflict. I just wanted to know and try and understand abit more about his job and what he can and can't do. By the sounds of it though he probably wouldn't be able to have the same days of most weeks so we will have to come up with another resolution that suits us both. Thanks for your advice.
 

scott118

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since when did this forum become 'mumsnet' ? Simply shows the level of trust, that you now have, since your separation. As above, be very careful as to what is factual and what is presumption.

Good luck with your child care issues. I'm pretty certain your ex partner has his own frustrations, in not getting the quality time with his child, through his chosen career path.
 

ComUtoR

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Hi, I'm looking to gain more information and understanding into working as a train driver and flexible working.

Flexible working arrangements are set down in law and well worth the both of you looking into them and getting some neutral advice from the respective agencies.

My ex partner has been a qualified driver for about a year now. He has told me he is on a 3 year probationary period

That is totally feasible. It is down to the individual terms and conditions for each TOC. There is no universal probation period so the advice given about 3yr being right or wrong is poor advice. The TOC will set the period of probation

and that if he was to put in a request for flexible working (in our case the same 2 days of every week to have his daughter) it would put his job at risk.

Potentially he is right. It is very subjective but flexible working will certainly have a long term impact on his career as well as his day to day driving. I'm happy to discuss that but there will be an impact on his job 100%

He feels that if he put this request through and they did accept that he would be putting his job at risk and that during his yearly review it could go against him.

Clearly it has an impact. He is a new Driver and wants to integrate into the depot and kick off his career as a Driver. Emotionally for him it will become detrimental at work. That is not good for anyone let alone Drivers.

If anyone who is currently working as a train driver and has been in a similar situation or knows of any similar cases could give any insight or information in regards to this it would be great. Thanks.

Me.

It's todo with regular and consistent contact with our daughter. Jus wanted to find a resolution to consistent contact and havin the same two days off most weeks would help the situation and bring some stability for us both as at the moment we're changing days every week which does bring some conflict.

This is the more emotive side of the discussion. From a personal perspective that "conflict" will never go away. It sounds harsh, but grow up. You are both adults and absolutely need to realise it is only about your daughter. My ex and I are not on the best of terms but we are doing the best for our kids. Flexibility and understanding comes from both sides. Yes, it took a while but we had to put our personal difficulties aside for the kids.

Your clearly concerned over his time with his daughter and are trying to understand. You have taken the time to join an industry forum and learn about his role. That makes you a superb parent. Take the next step and talk to him.

I just wanted to know and try and understand abit more about his job and what he can and can't do. By the sounds of it though he probably wouldn't be able to have the same days of most weeks so we will have to come up with another resolution that suits us both. Thanks for your advice.

We work a fixed roster based on a number of days off per year. Typically on a late / early shift cycle. The timetable changes in May and December and the roster will typically be recast at those times.

You are expected to work any day but some TOC's have Sundays outside the working week. Bank holidays are typically on a rotation or arranged locally.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE.

Getting a fixed arrangement together doesn't work. Our roster flips upside-down and sideways too much. The change to the roster you have becomes more of a problem than any solution. It also causes more trouble to the kids and parents. As a Driver I would lose more days with the kids on a fixed (flexible working) roster than I would by going through my normal roster. Its not fair on my ex but as she does understand how my roster works she is the flexible one. I understand how much of a pain in the ass that is for her so so she gets a huge amount of latitude from me for other things.

Its also beneficial for the kids to see me on the different days of the week and not a fixed set of days. "Weekend Dad" syndrome is not healthy for children. They, and I, get a more holistic experience when I'm part of their everyday life. They also get to understand my job and how it impacts their lives too. In the long term they have benefited greatly.

since when did this forum become 'mumsnet' ? Simply shows the level of trust, that you now have, since your separation.

This is probably the best place for her to get an insight into the Driver role. Well done to her I think.

'mumsnet' is a minefield of hate and bitterness. Although a great place to find things to do for the kids. (it does have a positive side)
 
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LowLevel

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There are a few drivers and guards at our place that are accommodated for child care reasons or to care for a relative but they're relatively few in number naturally - a large number isn't sustainable long term. They have to make a case to both the management and the trade union and if work can be made available and it's not overly detrimental to the business it can happen.

Could always ask I guess but there's no guarantee of success.
 

Greenback

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I'm not at all sure whether seeking consistency, avoiding conflict and making things easier would count as a valid reason for having long term special arrangements.

As said above, I don't think that having the same two days off will make the conflict between you over your daughter go away. It may help a bit, but it could possibly make things worse if your ex feels they have been forced into a position that is disadvantageous to them.

Ultimately, I don't think that the request would be agree, but it's up to your ex if they want to ask. As you'll have seen from the other replies, there really isn't a lot of flexibility within the railway industry. What flexibility there is is more the exception than the rule.
 
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