Baby in office building entrance hall

(6 Posts)
Anya2014 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:17:22

Good morning. I am very interested in other mums' opinions about the following situation: I returned to work a month ago. As my home is 15 minutes' walk from the office, a child's carer brings my 11 months son to the office once per day. I take 20-30 minutes break and either stay outside or go to a cafe. Sometimes I breastfeed my son if he want, but it takes 5 minutes maximum. Then he just tries to walk around holding my hand. Several times (1 or 2 per week) we went to a huge entrance hall of the office building where half of my firm sits. It is really big and quite place (especially comparing to the entrance to our second building where the clients come). Previously, we had no any issues and receptionists/guards ever wanted to play with my son. Yesterday, a guard kicked us out saying that the office manager does not want a baby be in the office. I do understand that it is not usual to see a baby in an office hall, but I disagree that this is illegal or extremely burdensome (taking into account the size of the hall, how busy it is, age and behaviour of the baby). Could you please let me know whether you consider my behaviour as unethical. Thank you and Happy Chinese New Year!

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 31-Jan-14 10:19:49

Its not illegal but it could well be against the building's h&s policy which could get you into bother at work.

Or he could be trying it on.

But why not just meet wherever it is you go to rather than the baby being brought into the hall at all?

MissWimpyDimple Fri 31-Jan-14 10:25:37

I think it's better to avoid taking your child to the office building at all. One baby won't really make much difference but I can imagine that other parents might like to see their children too.

Sorry' but I think if you want to see him you go to a cafe. Once in a while "showing off" your child is ok. But not regularly and not a few times a week.

chemenger Fri 31-Jan-14 10:29:15

Probably H & S policy. Many companies where I live exclude small children in response to a tragic accident a couple of years ago when a toddler died at his mother's place of work. Some modern office buildings, with fancy stairs with open treads or bannisters which are designed for adults cannot be made safe for small children at a reasonable cost. I suspect insurance plays a part in these decisions as well. If this is a formal safety rule there is a legal obligation for an employee to comply with it, I believe.

meditrina Fri 31-Jan-14 10:35:36

I'd probably better if you go out during your break if you want to keep a pattern of meeting during the day.

Many workplaces discourage/ban social visits on their premises, irrespective of age of visitor.

Drquin Fri 31-Jan-14 10:59:44

There's nothing "illegal" about it - but there may well be good reason not to encourage (or even "ban") this.
It may just be in the interests of equality - in the sense that if we allow one, we have to allow all and then it becomes unwieldy. One cute kid visiting once in a blue moon is fine, everyone's kids visiting regularly and frequently is another.

It might just be discouraged because it's distracting - in the sense that non-work visitors are discouraged, or noise (incl radio) is discouraged. I wouldn't expect my mother or friend to be encouraged to visit during work time, so wouldn't expect a kid to be any different - but equally, if this is your actual "break", then confirm what arrangements you can and should take for your break.

Depending on your workplace, there may well be genuine safety reasons.

Or it might be that the employer is actually trying to do the right thing, in that if an employee wishes to breast-feed at work, they're obliged to investigate providing decent facilities / arrangements - and they possibly don't think reception is that facility / arrangement.

Take some of these points, and ask the office manager what the actual issue is - depending on what her answer is, you might find you can find a work-around.

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