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"She's got the weekends off because she's a mum"

(125 Posts)
TicTicBOOM Tue 02-Dec-14 13:11:45

I don't know if I'm being unreasonable, genuinely.

Recently DH started a new job within the company, and until now his rota has been up in the air. He took it upon himself to look at the available rotas to find a gap where he could fit in and he noticed there was an opportunity for him to work monday - friday with fixed weekends off (something that is quite rare in his line of work) and brought this up with his boss. Boss agreed that it looked like he would be able to have this shift, there was fixed cover for the weekends he'd have off, and it suited the company very well for him to do this. Boss happy, DH over the moon, all good.

DH was told he'd have his rota by the end of December with a view to start it in January.

A couple of weeks ago new colleague transferred over and is being trained to do the same job as DH. They got chatting the other day, and she mentioned how she'd been told she can have a monday - friday shift. DH spoke to his boss about this and apparently yes, she's been given the shift instead of DH, last minute decision - he just hadn't been notified yet.

When he asked why she'd been given it over him, he was told it is because 'she's a mum, we tend to give the weekends to women with children where available'

Now, I know, being a mother myself that weekends with my children mean a lot. But they mean an equally great deal to my husband.

Am I being unreasonable in thinking this is unfair on DH, and that he's basically been denied something he was told he could have, just because he's a man? Or is what they've done fair for reasons I'm not understanding?

Sn00p4d Tue 02-Dec-14 13:14:00

Nope, yanbu, that's absolutely appalling and I'd be taking it further if I were him.
blatant sexism.

StillSquirrelling Tue 02-Dec-14 13:15:12

Sounds like gender discrimination to me. He asked for the shift first, and it was agreed. Someone else started - a woman with kids - and it was then just handed over to her.

I'm assuming that you also have kids, based on your post, so therefore your DH has the same rights as the other woman. I don't think what they've done is fair at all and I would be mentioning gender discrimination to my boss if I were your DH.

Purplecircle Tue 02-Dec-14 13:17:22

YANBU. It's gender discrimination. Why is a woman's time with her kids more important than a man (I'm female too)

BreakOutTheKaraoke Tue 02-Dec-14 13:17:26

Depends, if she has put in a formal request, through the flexible working policy, then surely that will trump someone who hasn't done that?

Rivercam Tue 02-Dec-14 13:18:04

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Firstly, your husband was there first so has first pick of the rotas, plus it was agreed with him.

Secondly, wrong on the equal sexism aspect, especially as they are doing the same job. He should complain. They should both be entitle led to the same 'perks' such as weekends off.

As a compromise, could they do one month on, one month off and share the good rotas out?

TheTravellingLemon Tue 02-Dec-14 13:18:48

Maybe she's a single parent and doesn't have access to childcare over the weekend? If it's just just a case of 'she's a woman' then that's wrong, there may be more to it though.

Aherdofmims Tue 02-Dec-14 13:21:32

Sounds like it is certainly wrong for the reason they gave, i.e. :"because she is a woman"

However, if it was actually because she was a single parent and he is not then potentially that could be a reason (I imagine). However they would surely have had to ask him if he was a single parent in order to know that he is not, rather than just assuming you were there and able to cover weekends.

So YANBU I think.

Micah Tue 02-Dec-14 13:22:26

Totally not fair.

Can they share that rota line? So they each get alternate weekends off? I did this with a colleague and it worked well, because there was also someone to swap with should I need too. We simply pooled two shift lines and worked it out between us.

Micah Tue 02-Dec-14 13:24:55

I don't see what being a single parent has to do with it- surely she took the job on the understanding there'd be weekend work- unless they've offered it to her based on being given that rota.

In which case, still unfair. The should have discussed it with the staff member who had noticed and been offered that line first.

KitKat1985 Tue 02-Dec-14 13:26:16

YANBU. Surely he has just as much right to weekends with his kids as she does. Plus he asked first and it was agreed. Can they not compromise and share the shift pattern and work alternate weekends?

BertieBotts Tue 02-Dec-14 13:28:57

Hmm. Tricky one. I'd like to say yes "person with children" should trump "person without children" and gender disregarded, but the situation tends to be that women are the ones to work childcare around their job, rather than their husbands, so it might be harder for a woman to work without set hours. So I'm torn between "let's do everything possible to make it easier for women to work" and "there is no reason to discriminate - it's just holding up and enabling sexist practices". But the point is that it could be a very real barrier for her in a way that it's not for your DH.

I'd also say for single parents (resident or non resident) the Mon-Fri setup could be much more vital than for two-parent households. If she's a single parent, then I can see why they would give her priority, that would trump gender for me.

TheWitTank Tue 02-Dec-14 13:29:02

YANBU. If I was your DH I would be bringing this up with HR and asking for equality in the hours. A share sounds the best compromise like others have said.

angelos02 Tue 02-Dec-14 13:32:13

Even if your DH didn't have kids, I'd be equally appalled. It is simple discrimination.

beachysandy75 Tue 02-Dec-14 13:33:04

She shouldn't have been moved into the department if she wasn't able to do the shifts that were available. That shift had been given to your husband so it should not have been available to her regardless of her personal situation.

googoodolly Tue 02-Dec-14 13:33:38

If it hasn't been formally agreed with your DH's boss (as in, written and signed) there's not much he can do about it, unfortunately.

If she is a single parent, she might be able to do Mon-Fri or nothing at all due to childcare so it makes sense to give her that shift, as presumably your DH can afford to be more flexible with regards to his hours?

TicTicBOOM Tue 02-Dec-14 13:37:59

Her being a single parent would make a difference, you're right. I think if that were the case the unfairness would lie in him not being given the chance either to hand the shift (that he was told was his!) over to her himself, which he no doubt would have done, or even being told at all before it was taken from him. Though there is the argument that 'she knew what she was signing up for' when she took the position.

If she's not a SP though, I really can't see a reason why she'd be given preference. That's what's getting to me. It's as if they're suggesting that it doesn't matter as much if DH doesn't see his children all week, he's only their dad.

needaholidaynow Tue 02-Dec-14 13:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VinoTime Tue 02-Dec-14 13:43:50

If they've given that particular rota to the new employee purely because she has a vagina, then I think your DH definitely needs to say something. It's blatant gender discrimination and he could build a case for it.

I think he needs to ask. There may be special circumstances - the woman may need the Monday-Friday rota, so tell your DH to query it.

TicTicBOOM Tue 02-Dec-14 13:43:51

I am assuming she's not a SP, by the way, the hours they work are very unsociable, 4am starts would be hard to pull off without support at home.

SinglePringle Tue 02-Dec-14 13:58:52

Bertie, I don't have children. Why should someone similar to me have to work every weekend? I have family / friends who are only able to see me at weekends - we all have commitments.

Starlightbright1 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:09:00

I don't know the ages of this woman's age but she may of applied for flexible hours.

While I would be really annoyed if your DH we are in a very difficult situation in this country ..Childcare is mostly mon- fri 8-6 yet there is little flexibility.

I am a LP with no support. I cannot work late nights or weekends so there are many jobs I simply can't apply for including shop work, care which are my experience.

It is a no win situation

cherrybombxo Tue 02-Dec-14 14:16:52

Awful. I'm female with no kids and I try my best to think of my colleagues who do have children when I'm taking annual leave but I would be bloody fuming if they tried to hoover up all of the good holidays on the basis of school holidays with no regard for others.

The fact that your DH's boss has openly admitted that tend to give perks to mothers should put them in the shit anyway. Why should his time be any less important than hers?

sanfairyanne Tue 02-Dec-14 14:27:28

maybe its a perk of an internal transfer vs new employee?

TicTicBOOM Tue 02-Dec-14 14:30:06

DH was also an internal transfer.

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