7 August 2020

Busisiwe Christian-Iwuagwu

Meet Busisiwe (Busi) Christian-Iwuagwu, Senior Staff Nurse and mother of three, she explored the possibility of the Trust's flexible working benefits following a change in family circumstance.

Busi approached the conversation to her manager when she found herself recently divorced and had no family support with child care.

She said: “I was working seven hours a week when all this happened and needed to increase my hours. I explained my situation to my manager who was very understanding. She advised me to start a flexible working application, and I did.”

Busi works in one of our contraception and sexual health clinics which has a range of shift patterns operating between 8am to 8pm.

Busi and her manager agreed on final flexible working arrangements that would work with the rest of her nursing team and colleagues, workload and overall the service’s needs.

She said: “Our final agreement was Term time I work 9am to 4pm. During school holidays and half term I work 10am to 4pm.  For the last few months during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been working 9.30am to 2pm.”

Since working flexibly, Busi has found huge benefits to her family life.

She said: “This means I can drop the kids to breakfast club and pick them up from after school club without worrying about other childcare. When it is school holidays I use holiday clubs and annual leave.

It’s provided me with a good work life balance to be there for the kids as a single mum. I have been able to keep my job and also be there for my kids when they need me most.”

Although when considering how she would adapt, Busi admits she initially had some worries.

She said: “At first I was scared they might not be able to accommodate my request, but after talking to the service manager she reassured me and advised me to clearly explain and state what I wanted.

Busi continued: “I was reassured I was doing the right thing and my children need me more after divorce. My advice to others to consider flexible working is to read the policy well and clearly document your personal situation, talk to a union or rep and your manager."

If you would like to learn more about flexible working arrangements, please get in touch with cnwl.flex@nhs.net to find out more