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Is this setting a precedent because I'm single? (work)

(22 Posts)
Electrolens Tue 22-Nov-16 20:26:54

Work project has come up. It's a good one and I've been offered it rather than a male colleague expecting baby in Jan. It will involve spending three weeks in Scotland early next year. It's his project really - he started it - and been offered to me to take on (with no discussion with either of us). It's obviously because I'm childless and he will have a newborn. We get on well and I think are both a bit pissed off it's not been discussed openly. I don't especially want to spend three weeks away from home.

OohhThatsMe Tue 22-Nov-16 20:31:26

But he wouldn't want to either, would he?

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Nov-16 20:33:57

I suspect if it's a good project then yes you've been offered it as the other option will have a tiny baby
however if you don't want it ate uou in a position to suggest you share it - ten days each?

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Nov-16 20:34:37

Though if he wants it and you don't then surely the solution is obvious.
If I were his other half I'd not be happy but that's for them to resolve

Inthenick Tue 22-Nov-16 20:37:04

It's nothing to do with you being single or him having a baby.

He is taking leave in January so you have been offered it.

MauiWest Tue 22-Nov-16 20:37:17

It sounds reasonable. I can't tolerate discrimination against people who are not married/ have no children, but in this case it is completely different. He's due a baby in January, so very likely will take a couple of weeks off paternity leave. I can't see a boss asking an employee to go on a business trip when his wife is giving birth. Most men will want to be with their wife in hospital, if not at home. It doesn't sound that you are being punished because "you are childless" but that your boss is just being logical.

You said yourself that it's a good project. Is it really such a bad thing?

PlanIsNoPlan Tue 22-Nov-16 20:39:47

2 issues here and YANBU to raise them:

1. Are you certain that you have been chosen for this simply because your colleague will have a newborn? (Q1a - you mentioned colleague is male so presumably won't be tied to BF, correct me if I'm wrong, he (colleague) may indeed have breasts that produce milk to feed 'the newborn')

2. Colleague is willing to go and you would rather not - any way you could raise this with your Decision Makers together?

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Nov-16 20:39:58

Has he confirmed his leave r have they assumed?
When you say early next year, when? If Feb then he potentially could be expecting to go

BarbaraofSeville Tue 22-Nov-16 20:40:14

How critical is the timing and location of the project?

Seems unfair to make decisions based on people's personal lives, but practically speaking for the business, what will happen to the project when he wants to take his paternity leave at the critical moment?

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Nov-16 20:41:35

I think there's a (3) that it's his project so they're effectively taking it away from him

viques Tue 22-Nov-16 20:43:14

I should imagine that your colleague is pretty miffed too seeing his project being pinched from under his nose. I think the two of you need to get together and have your mutual moan about how you feel. Then buckle down together and plan how you , meaning YOU, are going to present the project in Scotland so that you BOTH come out of it being recognised for your work and input.

PurpleDaisies Tue 22-Nov-16 20:44:37

How do you know they haven't discussed it with him?

RandomMess Tue 22-Nov-16 21:02:14

It could be perhaps the 3 weeks may clash with his paternity leave - which can't exactly be planned.

However YANBU - it needs to be discussed with nothing assumed. If you don't want 3 weeks away then surely you can turn the project down?

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Nov-16 21:05:48

Maybe he's not planning paternity leave...ultimately the op doesn't know. It may be that he's peeved but ultimately can't do it as he is taking paternity leave. Or it may be that he has no plans to but they've assumed.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 22-Nov-16 21:57:04

The colleague will be taking the 2 weeks at the very least surely? And what if there are other DCs to look after, or his DW needs extra help, for example if she has a caesarian?

What are the consequences of you turning the project down OP? Will it be looked upon unfavourably?

Is there anything you can do to make 3 weeks in Scotland more attractive? Nice hotels? sightseeing? Ski trip? But it will be very dark and cold a lot of the time.

Electrolens Tue 22-Nov-16 22:03:43

I know they haven't discussed it with him or asked him because we've spoken and he didn't know.

We get on well and can talk about it. If he can't take something on because paternity leave then understandable.

Management have asked neither of us.

Electrolens Tue 22-Nov-16 22:06:05

And yes stealth that's exactly it - they have assumed

PlanIsNoPlan Tue 22-Nov-16 22:50:37

Agree with stealth that there is a 3rd point to my original response - that it's his work that's being taken away and the finesse handed to you on a plate. I'd reconsider your position using this fact alone before you find reasons referring to procreation to rectify your conscience, you have one or you wouldn't have asked.

The greasy pole - a place that determines success by all means, the least being merit. Don't climb up it using your colleague's shoulders, unless that's something you feel comfortable with and are prepared to do over and over, whilst the 'newcomers' after you try and will take you down.

The Slippery Slope looks great from the top but not so good once you've slipped down it.

OohhThatsMe Wed 23-Nov-16 12:59:58

I don't understand what you think should have happened. If he'd been given the project in Scotland it would presumably cause him terrible trouble at home. I think it was considerate of your employers, rather than presumptuous.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 23-Nov-16 13:25:15

It is difficult in general how these things are handled when they come up though. My work is a fairly small company and now and again a project comes up that needs working away from the office. I wouldn't be able to do it as I have children and childcare options are not available for full wrap around care (it's not in our contracts that we would be expected to work away for significant periods). So when these things come up it is typically those without children who do them (and generally those who are single too).

I don't think it is discriminatory against parents. IANAL but as far as can see employers can take personal situations into account. There's legislation around flexible working and having children is one of the main reasons for making an application, and the employers have to consider it (doesn't mean they have to accept it).

Oh and by the way, two out of the three staff who have worked away recently ended up being offered jobs at the place they were working on better salaries etc. Not having children gives you far greater flexibility and can give opportunities that many parents don't have.

milliemolliemou Wed 23-Nov-16 13:40:34

From the OP, OP you must be female, colleague male as you said. You don't specify the size of the company but presumably if there'd been an equally qualified colleague with no baby arriving they could have asked you both which one wanted to do the three weeks? Why don't you and he discuss any problems with it and talk to your management? You say it's a good project - will they pay for any issues that would make you more likely to welcome it (and get it on your CV). I understand childless doesn't mean no commitment to family and pets - if you step up to the three weeks away can your commitments be covered? If no commitments, just bite the bullet.

Bluebolt Wed 23-Nov-16 13:52:02

The company may just be covering their own interests, if due date is too close to Scotland all sorts of problems could arrive including being over the due date. If the three weeks are important to the company then they will not take any risks.

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