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Applying for roles advertised as office based & full time when home based & part time is required

Steph123
Steph123 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited February 6 in Work and employment
Hi, I'm sorry if this is a little specific/long - my questions are in bold for those who'd like to skip ahead :)

I have been out of the job market for 18 months due to some long term medical conditions which severely deteriorated. After treatment I am still somewhat unwell but probably as strong as I will be to start a new job. I don't have the capacity for regular travel or a full working week and couldn't guarantee I would always be well during traditional office hours. I do have good windows which are now quite predictable and over a month could manage 50% of standard working hours.

I have found a great role which is advertised as full time and based in London which I assume means, pandemic aside, would be office based. The role equates to about 50% of the type of responsibility I had before I became very ill and is one which I have carried out remotely, i.e. equivalent to from home, in the past. I think it's possible we could work something out which would be really positive for me and them.

They are a small company which is growing quickly and while they are really ethical in many ways they may be a little risk averse or inexperienced in working with such a level of flexibility. The application is a short form with no disability/adjustments questions and an upload for CV and cover letter.

Would it be appropriate to ask (generic HR email address) if they are open to applications from those requiring reduced/flexible hours, on a predominantly remote working basis, before submitting an application? If so, should I mention the reason for asking and do you have any appropriate language to suggest?

My concern would be that if I ask the question without the reason they may say no. When I've tried writing the email and giving the reason I end up explaining far more than is necessary so as not to scare them off. Also, if I ask HR they may say no as a formality, but if my CV gets in front of the right person they might be more flexible.

An important part of the role is quickly solving problems from, and between, varied sources - should I disclose my needs in the application so that I can then explain how I would mitigate not always being available? I realise I don't need to disclose, and I could give examples which demonstrate the mitigation anyway, but it feels dishonest somehow. Like, if all went well, I tricked them into offering me an interview for a job I couldn't actually fulfil.

I'm just getting my head round the definitions, how they apply to me, and that anything like the kind of work I have done before could be possible again so any advice you could give is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Steph
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,596 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Steph123 nice to meet you this afternoon hope you are ok?
    Employment rights are not my field of expertise but others will come along to offer advice.Personally I suspect that being upfront from the start would be better than trying to do it if you get and start the job. (if that makes sense?)
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Steph123
    Steph123 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you @woodbine , yes, I suppose what I'm looking for is the how to do it early but I appreciate you replying as I'm a newby and it's nice to have someone answer and to agree with the bit I was already thinking :smiley:
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    Sorry Steph but most employers would insist on you doing the full working hours, I doubt they'd see working only half as "reasonable" adjustment.

    That's why although I've been told I could in theory work 60 hours a week and still claim enhanced rate PIP, I really can only do 16-20 due to care commitments.

  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,377

    Scope community team

    Sorry Steph but most employers would insist on you doing the full working hours, I doubt they'd see working only half as "reasonable" adjustment.

    That's why although I've been told I could in theory work 60 hours a week and still claim enhanced rate PIP, I really can only do 16-20 due to care commitments.

    Alterations to the number of contracted hours is  I agreerare, but it can happen. There are also ways in which the working hours can be managed that would make it easier for people, in this case @steph123, to perform the role.

    For example Steph, it could be possible to make an arrangement whereby the working week is structured in a way that would work best for you. That might not mean doing less than the advertised hours necessarily (however I would never exclude an employer agreeing to that), but it could include measures such as altering the length of your work days, or changing which days you actually work.

    Regarding what you ask in your opening post Steph, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't approach the employer to discuss what help you might need, and being honest is the best way to be in my opinion. Perhaps you should explain to them all the reasons in which you are qualified for the job, and then towards the end of your email mention that you would like to discuss reasonable adjustments. 

    There is also the Access to Work scheme to consider here too, which could help fund things like:
    • Equipment to help you do your job.
    • Travel costs to get to and from work (if you would have to go into the office).
    • A full time support worker to support you in your role.
    I think if you believe you can do the job, there are always ways to break down barriers. Of course some employers do require encouragement to properly implement reasonable adjustments, but if you have the confidence to request what you need to do your job, while satisfying them that you will be able to do the job, why not go for it :) 
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