AIBU to get fed up of interviewers asking me about childcare?

(132 Posts)
herecomesmytrain Tue 19-Jan-16 14:46:55

I am planning on returning to work after a 2 year break, which includes maternity leave and relocating to another part of the country. I am now at the point where I want to get back to work, and have had a few (well, 3) interviews recently where, in every case, the interviewers were focused on my plans for childcare, could I work during school holidays / weekends, were GPs actively involved? At the last interview I was actually asked if my partner was around and if PIL were also on hand to help out with childcare.

I'm starting to think I need to lie on my CV about the maternity leave aspect but can't think what else to say...

Whatdoidohelp Tue 19-Jan-16 14:52:12

Can they ask about that? If they are allowed I think it's a fair question.

Whatdoidohelp Tue 19-Jan-16 14:52:50

Arrgghh posted to soon. What are your plans for childcare? Do you have a plan for emergencies etc

CarrotVan Tue 19-Jan-16 14:55:22

Was it paid maternity leave? If so you were still in employment with that job so you don't need to say you took maternity leave just give your actual end date. You could also just say "career break/ relocation" to cover the gap.

Ellypoo Tue 19-Jan-16 14:55:59

They are only allowed to ask that if they ask all candidates the same question - I would probably answer with 'I can assure you that I am able to work the hours as advertised' or something along those lines, it is absolutely none of their business.

shebird Tue 19-Jan-16 14:56:45

I guess it's a fair question as up to this point you have been the main cared. Employers need to know where they stand. Although would they ask a man these questions? hmm

TeenAndTween Tue 19-Jan-16 14:56:53

I don't think it's allowed. It wasn't when I used to interview 15 years ago.

They should be letting you know the required hours and level of flexibility. if you choose to take the job then you are accepting those conditions.

NeedsAMousekatool Tue 19-Jan-16 14:57:20

I am fairly certain they're not allowed to ask you questions like that; it falls foul of sex discrimination laws. But on the plus side they've showed you nice and early on that they're likely to be sexist shits with no regard for your family life.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 19-Jan-16 14:57:27

These questions sound totally inappropriate. If they've clearly advertised the hours involved in the role then they should be assuming that you've applied because you can do them, unless you've raised something about child care yourself in that context.

shebird Tue 19-Jan-16 14:57:50

*carer

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Tue 19-Jan-16 14:58:40

Ellypoo is correct! Unfortunately it still goes on... I think it's a clue that the establishment isn't going to be particulary child-sympathetic, but it depends how much you need/want the job. An indicator of things to come I think, as I strongly suspect (but cannot prove) that the menz don't get asked this stuff.

Babyroobs Tue 19-Jan-16 14:59:32

Perhaps they have just had bad experiences with previous employees not being able to do the job and want to make sure it doesn't happen again. We have lots of female employees in my workplace and managers have to constantly try to juggle people who can't work nights/ evenings / certain days of the week because they have to look after children/ grandchildren. I guess they just want to know you can be flexible if the job requires it.

herecomesmytrain Tue 19-Jan-16 15:03:41

Thanks all - good to know I'm not going daft. That's pretty much what I thought - and would assume that I'm applying for jobs on the basis that I can work the hours etc.

I certainly would never have dreamed of asking anyone similar questions when I was interviewing candidates!

Krampus Tue 19-Jan-16 15:04:33

Yanbu

My husband goes into interviews and asks about flexibility, he is never asked if he has children. He gets gushing replies about how family friendly they are. No problem jigging start times and working from home.

Before having children I was always prodded about if I were planning to get married or wanted children. Now I am always asked about childcare, sometimes it is as I walk out and the interviewer will start an informal conversation "my children are 16 and 14, how old are yours?" My husband is the one who has done most of the covering for teacher training days, sick days and fair bit of holidays. He is the one who stayed working, built up a career and is a position to work flexibly from home. Many of my friends are in a similar position, they're husbands do more than their share of the sickess covering confused

herecomesmytrain Tue 19-Jan-16 15:04:55

Thanks all - good to know I'm not going daft. That's pretty much what I thought - and would assume that I'm applying for jobs on the basis that I can work the hours etc.

I certainly would never have dreamed of asking anyone similar questions when I was interviewing candidates!

Krampus Tue 19-Jan-16 15:06:24

Their not they're.

herecomesmytrain Tue 19-Jan-16 15:06:56

Sorry for double post blush

Boosiehs Tue 19-Jan-16 15:06:59

It's completely inappropriate and as pp said, sex discrimination!

SevenOfNineTrue Tue 19-Jan-16 15:17:26

I believe they can ask these type of questions providing they demonstrate, if challenged, they asked every single candidate interviewed the same questions, including any male candidates.

I believe it is only discriminatory if they use childcare as the sole reason not to hire you.

However I would never ask these sorts of questions in and interview myself.

toffeeboffin Tue 19-Jan-16 15:19:37

'At the last interview I was actually asked if my partner was around and if PIL were also on hand to help out with childcare.

^ This is bloody ridiculous and illegal I'm sure.

They would NEVER ask a man this, ever.

'Perhaps they have just had bad experiences with previous employees not being able to do the job and want to make sure it doesn't happen again.'

Not OP's problem.

OnlyLovers Tue 19-Jan-16 15:24:11

Outrageous. As others have said, it's discriminatory unless they ask all candidates the same questions.

And I'd bet my bottom dollar they don't ask men these things.

I agree with saying 'I can assure you that I am able to work the hours as advertised' and giving a Paddington Bear hard stare.

herecomesmytrain Tue 19-Jan-16 15:30:51

I'll definitely practice my Paddington Bear hard stare. Not sure I have one, but will work on it...

MamaLazarou Tue 19-Jan-16 15:33:24

As PP have said, they are allowed to ask it as long as they ask the question of every candidate. Otherwise, it's discrimination.

notquitehuman Tue 19-Jan-16 15:34:50

Yes, it's absolutely discrimination. If a guy in his 30s turns up for an interview I bet they're not glancing down at his hands to see if he has a ring on, or asking how he'll juggle work and family. It's really none of their business anyway.

I agree that it's a great way to filter out shit employers though!

crabbiearses Tue 19-Jan-16 15:41:05

i didn't mention having children or anything of the sort when applying for my last job, as a result i was never asked anything. i just wouldn't mention it on application form , even maternity leave means you are still with current employer i wouldst elaborate further.

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