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To be panicking about new job and taking time off if children are unwell?

(65 Posts)
WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 18:29:11

I went for a job interview a few weeks ago, I had been looking for a job for months and was pretty desperate. Anyway the interview was fine but the manager questioned me about what I would do if my children were ill. On the spot due to desperation I said it would be fine as I had family I could call on. I was offered the job straight away.

Now, I have no family close by and I'm panicking about the kids being unwell now. I have no one to call on. Shit! She kept stressing at the interview that the children were a worry and she can't have me being off all the time with sick children ( I have 3 dc btw). I just needed the job so badly and reading this back I can see I probably was Unreasonable to say I had it covered. I guess what I'm asking is is it unreasonable to employ someone then with children under the basis they are never off due to their child being ill.

Also my youngest came home from school today with a sore throat and runny nose so this is what prompted my post. Crap!

NatashaBee Mon 02-Sep-13 18:32:55

They are not allowed to discriminate/ not offer you the job based on whether you have children. She shouldn't have asked you those questions in the first place.

TiredFeet Mon 02-Sep-13 18:36:29

They shouldn't have asked you. Have you got a partner who can cover when they are ill?

LIZS Mon 02-Sep-13 18:37:35

It shouldn't make any difference . Is there a policy for such occasions ie Personal Responsibilities ?

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 02-Sep-13 18:37:46

Could your DH dp not take time off?

GwenCooper81 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:38:56

Yanbu! you shouldn't have been asked in the first place about childcare it's discriminatory I'm sure!.
No practical advice I'm afraid, but I've heard good things of acas.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 02-Sep-13 18:39:18

Why can't your DH/DP share this burden witih you.

Would the interviewer have asked him the question...... I fee sure you are not allowed to ask such questions in interviews.

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 18:39:37

No partner to help TiredFeet I do work some weekends and my exp can help then but it's Monday-Friday that's the problem.

The discrimination thing didn't even cross my mind.

SilverApples Mon 02-Sep-13 18:41:20

They are not allowed to discriminate because you have children, the way they would get around that is if they would have asked a man the same question.
But they can sack you for unauthorised absence, so once you have used up your holiday allocations and anything else you are entitled to, what will you do?
It was easier for my OH to take days off and work from home than me.

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 18:41:24

X Posted there. Exp works away during the week so can't rely on him to help then unfortunately.

meisiemee Mon 02-Sep-13 18:42:35

That's not allowed to start with! Save a bit of annual leave for those emergencies and if new employers give you grief if it happens keep a log. Good luck with the new job!

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:19

I don't know what I'll do SilverApples sad

I love the job, I get on well with the manager and colleagues but this is worrying.

SilverApples Mon 02-Sep-13 18:44:32

sad Cross your fingers and hope then.

ProudAS Mon 02-Sep-13 18:48:48

You are entitled to time off in an emergency but this would be unpaid and only as long as is reasonable to make other arrangements.

forevergreek Mon 02-Sep-13 18:49:39

Also can you get some friends for help. Ie if their child is sick and you are home you offer to look after and same for yours?
Obviously that doesn't really irk if really sick, but if they have say tonsillitis and antibiotics already and just need resting then it may do
You should also register with emergency nanny agencies for the times where it's a really important day and children are sick but not majorly

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 18:49:50

So if I have AL I can use this in an emergency ie if dc are unwell?

I have everything crossed, i've even stocked up on vitamins for the dc. I just dread the day I have to call manager due to one of them being ill. On the plus side they don't really get sick often <touches wood> They are going to have back to back sickness bugs now aren't they?!

SilverApples Mon 02-Sep-13 18:55:32

They might, they might not. Emergency leave is usually only a couple of days, I think, and with three children it's very thin ice.
Do you have friends you could do deals with, as Greek said?

Spongingbobsunderpants Mon 02-Sep-13 18:59:47

A friend of mine was in this predicament and someone suggested she post on childcare.co.uk asking for ad hoc/emergency contacts should she need them.

She had a whole load of people contact her saying they would be one of her emergency contacts, and she got some lovely cheap baby sitters on the list too.

It might be worth a shot.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 02-Sep-13 19:00:00

I was in your position when mine were young. My now ex was away a lot. I made sure I always put in my best at work, worked over, did what I could. Then if something did happen it would be looked favourably on. It's just not easy.

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 19:00:48

I have 1 friend I could possibly ask but I'm fairly new to the area and wouldn't class her as a close friend. It's worth a try though and she does work from home. What a headache. I wish I had just been honest at the interview but then I probably wouldn't have been offered the job.

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 19:04:04

onesleep I did overhear my manager telling her boss I was doing great blush and I've covered some extra shifts due to them being short staffed so it is going well.

Thanks sponging I will have a look into that.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 02-Sep-13 19:07:02

smile Try and get out at weekends and make some friends. I'd also just moved here, you have to really motivate yourself. Good luck!

LiegeAndLief Mon 02-Sep-13 19:07:12

Erm... I'd be a bit wary about asking a friend who works from home. Would you be asking her to look after your dc when she was meant t be working? It's usually a massive bugbear of people who work from home to be asked to do things you would never expect someone in an office to do during their working day.

I can understand your worry though, we have similar problems although thankfully I have a dh to help and robustly healthy dc!

SilverApples Mon 02-Sep-13 19:09:53

I agree with the 'she does work from home' OH was a SAHH for 6 years and worked from home around the children. Every hour of work was a straight £22.50 and that was over 20 years ago. We needed that money.
I'd keep that for real emergencies when you've tried everything else.

WreckTangle Mon 02-Sep-13 19:10:39

Good point Liege Not a good way to make friends then, i wouldn't want to piss anyone off. I'm just going to have to hope for the best really. I'll check the child care site now.

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