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to take new baby to work meeting?

(83 Posts)
ShadowFall Wed 09-Oct-13 14:40:41

I'm off work on maternity leave at the minute, having recently given birth to DS2.

I've just had a call from one of the project managers at work, asking me to come into the office for an important meeting about his project. He knows I'm on maternity leave, but he wants me to come in anyway.
Apparently the meeting should just take "a couple of hours", but knowing the project, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it overran. Project manager has offered to reschedule the part of the meeting most relevant to me (but by no more than 2 weeks) if the short notice is a big problem for me.

Going into the office without DS1 isn't a problem, as this meeting's scheduled for one of his nursery days, but not taking DS2 is a much bigger problem.

DS2 will be just over 4 weeks old when this meeting's scheduled, and I'm breastfeeding him. We had a very rocky first week with the breastfeeding, and although we're doing much better at it now, it can still take a while for DS2 to get properly latched on and start feeding. I'm very reluctant to try introducing him to a bottle this early - or even at 6 weeks old - in case it throws his breastfeeding off. And I can't leave him for a couple of hours with a babysitter if they've got no means of feeding him.

So, WIBU tell the project manager that I'm only going to attend his meeting if I can take DS2 along, so that I can breastfeed him if he gets hungry? When I know fine well that project manager wants a meeting with no children present?

My line manager is off work today, so no chance to talk this through with him until tomorrow at the earliest. No idea if line manager knows anything at all about project manager's important meeting requirements yet...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 09-Oct-13 14:44:09

Well I would just say 'I am on maternity leave you will have to manage without me'.

But if you want to show some willing then I would say you'll go and just turn up with your baby. It is a surefire way to make sure it doesn't overrun!

purplewithred Wed 09-Oct-13 14:45:02

Good grief, you are on maternity leave and will have a 4 week old baby. Tell him no! Totally unreasonable. If you really feel you have to do this then can't it be done by phone/skype? Worst case scenario take baby in and breastfeed and change nappies at will.

Flipping heck. Would he expect you to pop in if you were on holiday on another continent?

isitsnowingyet Wed 09-Oct-13 14:45:28

Good grief - doesn't sound ideal to me. What happens if you just say that isn't possible as you're on maternity leave?

flowery Wed 09-Oct-13 14:46:43

"Project manager has offered to reschedule the part of the meeting most relevant to me"

Unless you are going back in a couple of weeks, surely none of it is relevant to you, and instead is relevant to whoever is covering your work while you are off?

I wouldn't go at all tbh.

Tuppenceinred Wed 09-Oct-13 14:46:58

What happens is nothing, you are on maternity leave.

MTBMummy Wed 09-Oct-13 14:47:42

I could be wrong, but I think legally, you are not allowed to return to any work for 6 weeks after the birth?

BrianTheMole Wed 09-Oct-13 14:49:15

I did this when my first dc was about 3 weeks old. They didn't have a problem with it as I was doing them a favour by coming in.

He shouldn't even be asking. Unreasonable and probably illegal.

You are not allowed to work for an employer within two weeks of delivery, full stop, and it's longer for a section and in certain industries.

If you go in for this meeting and work for nothing, the PM is being a total twat. If you go in for the meeting and get paid, it HAS to be a KIT day or you forfeit your maternity leave.

Seriously, don't go. If they can't cope without you, that's their lookout. Please don't set the precedent.

justmyview Wed 09-Oct-13 14:56:07

If you want to seem helpful and co-operative, you could offer to be at the end of a phone in case anyone needs to check something with you, but I think it's a bit much for them to ask you to come into a meeting when your baby is so young

Kendodd Wed 09-Oct-13 15:01:16

Do you want to go to the meeting?

If you want to go, then go, and take baby with you.

Lagoonablue Wed 09-Oct-13 15:02:31

Conference call. Use skype as suggested or the Google meeting app. Or just don't get involved. Flipping cheek of it!

pixiepotter Wed 09-Oct-13 15:06:53

No It's 2 weeks.But 4 weeks is just too soon! I would agree to a conference call in a few more weeks.

jammiedonut Wed 09-Oct-13 15:18:20

Legally after two weeks you can return. It's up to you whether you accept to go. You have every right to refuse completely, especially if you didn't talk about KIT days before you left. Don't go without your child, you shouldn't have to compromise and risk throwing your bf off.

ShadowFall Wed 09-Oct-13 15:18:47

I don't really want to go to the meeting - but I'm not sure if employers can demand that you go into work using one of the KIT days when you're on maternity leave?

But sounds like the concensus is that if I do go at all, it's not unreasonable to take the baby with me.

I think probably the thing to do might be to try and get hold of line manager when he's back tomorrow and see if he thinks that this meeting is as important as the project manager thinks it is. I guess if I was going to go along and take a KIT day - or even participate via teleconference - my line manager would have to okay it anyway?

redskyatnight Wed 09-Oct-13 15:20:22

If you think the meeting will be relevant/of interest to you, then I'd suggest a teleconference. If you think it is neither relevant nor interesting then I'd politely decline.

I can only assume it is enormously business critical and you have some detailed knowledge no one else has and / or you went on mat leave early and rather suddenly?!

It is a pretty unreasonable request in any event.

Talk to your line manager when they are back. If they are even half decent they will bat the project manager away and tell you to turn your phone off.

Worst case Offer to call in but not go in. Explain you would have the baby with you. That ought to put him off and give him some understanding of what he is asking.

MsGazelle Wed 09-Oct-13 15:46:32

They cannot force you to go in when you are on maternity leave. I have a feeling that they are not even allowed to ask you. Certainly in my workplace there are very strict rules about contacting people on maternity leave. Basically it is Not Allowed by anyone but the line manager.

allforoneandoneforall Wed 09-Oct-13 15:48:09

Or you could request a 10 minute break every 30 minutes of the meeting to ensure that you can BF and look after your DS? Or just hope he sleeps the whole way through it! I had to go back to work 3 days after giving birth, no maternity pay!

MsGazelle Wed 09-Oct-13 15:51:37

Ok they can ask you, but they are only allowed reasonable contact and you are not obliged to do any work and you don't have to keep in touch with them. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32175/10-1169-pregnancy-and-work-employer.pdf

Pigsmummy Wed 09-Oct-13 16:01:52

I think that they are totally out of order asking you to come in, who is covering your role? If you want to get involved participate on phone

flowery Wed 09-Oct-13 16:04:43

They can certainly ask you to come in on a KIT day but those are by mutual agreement only and there is no obligation for you to go it.

ShadowFall Wed 09-Oct-13 16:52:03

ThinkAboutItTomorrow - it's certainly possible that it's business critical, although some project managers, including this one, can have a tendancy to exaggerate the importance of their projects.

But it's very unlikely that I've got detailed knowledge that no-one else in the office has. Unless there's been a very high turnover of employees since my maternity leave started!

I can't turn my phone off though. It's a personal mobile, not a work one, so needed for contact with friends / family / DS1's nursery and so on. And now I'm wondering how project manager even has my personal mobile number because I didn't give it to him hmm

RaspberryRuffle Italy Wed 09-Oct-13 18:49:40

ShadowFall, you don't have any obligation to go, you are on maternity LEAVE for a reason.
From reading your last post, if you don't have any more detailed knowledge than your colleagues then let them get on with it.
You shouldn't feel pressured to leave your baby, and realistically how much of a distraction would he be at the meeting (for you and others).

If it suits you to do thsi by video conference as a KIT day then fine, but you can quite easily say no, you have no childcare, you didn't make any arrangements just yet due to being on maternity leave.

And do ask your line manager about where the project manager got your personal mobile number as this is a Data Protection issue.

Tailtwister Wed 09-Oct-13 18:54:00

There's no way I would be going in for a work meeting whilst on maternity leave with a 4 week old baby.

It's really up to you, but you're perfectly within your rights to say no (and I would). You don't want to get caught up in something which will give the expectation you are 'available' throughout your maternity leave.

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