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Should my DD fulfil obligation to ex employer even if it ruins our Christmas?

(175 Posts)
MitohMit Sun 09-Dec-18 18:00:20

Name-changed for this WWYD involving a young person with MH difficulties.

After three months interning in a company abroad, our DD is coming home due to rapidly declining MH -- she is really no longer functioning at all -- won't pick up the phone, either to us or her employer.

She had committed to obtaining the correct papers before she left in order to allow her company to square their end-of-year reporting (they cannot have her on their books unless she has these papers, and had hired her on the understanding they would be obtained).

For a series of complicated reasons including her inability to get her act together (but also partly due to factors outside of her control), she has not yet obtained her papers. I think the failure to sort her papers has been both a consequence of and a contributing factor to her declining MH.

I've told her it should be a "point of honour" that she do everything to sort this, and we have hired a lawyer to help... however they require her to interrupt her Christmas at home and go back out on Boxing Day to attend a meeting with officials.

I think she should do this, even if it will be difficult. My DH thinks she should just come home and forget about the papers since she's not intending to go back. He reckons she can tell her company that she doesn't need to be paid so they can take her off the books and then nobody needs to show anyone her papers. She has not been paid so far since she never opened a bank account there, again, due to not having the documentation required.

I don't feel good about this and I feel it's a chance for a lesson about responsibility and doing the right thing.

We are thus in a bit of a quandary. I have asked the lawyers if the date can be changed to 28th December, which would present no problem, but as we await their response to this question my DH and I are not agreeing on what we'd do if the answer is no. My stance is we should arrange what will be a complicated trip out on Boxing Day (two flights and two trains instead of one direct flight), my DH says no.

So, WWYD? The complicating factor is, of course, my DD's MH which seems to be very precarious right now and is causing us huge worry. She is 21 yrs old.

PotteringAlong Sun 09-Dec-18 18:02:35

I’d be doing everything I could to get it sorted in the next 2 weeks. But yes, I do think she has a moral obligation here.

greendale17 Sun 09-Dec-18 18:03:40

What a mess. I agree with you OP

MitohMit Sun 09-Dec-18 18:04:11

Thanks! The soonest she can get it sorted is the date the lawyers have given, as there is a notice period for these "hearings" (not really a hearing I suppose, a meeting with the officials)...

Whynotnowbaby Sun 09-Dec-18 18:04:25

I think it is completely reasonable to state it is not possible for her to attend on 26th but I also think she should, with your support if necessary, attend a meeting rescheduled to a more convenient date. She has my sympathies- living abroad can be hugely rewarding but is always stressful in the set up stage and difficult to cope with when there are mental health issues

MilkyCuppa Sun 09-Dec-18 18:05:07

She’s already worked for them unpaid. I think that’s enough! They’re taking the piss expecting you to travel back out there at all, never mind at Christmas. It’s their problem, they need the papers and it sounds like they haven’t made sufficient effort to sort it out before she left. In your shoes I wouldn’t waste a single penny travelling back out there at all!

SendintheArdwolves Sun 09-Dec-18 18:05:18

What are the consequences of her not turning in these papers? Both to your daughter and her employers?

5foot5 Sun 09-Dec-18 18:06:36

Obviously don't understand all the technicalities of this but could a failure to get these papers sorted impact her future employment prospects in any way?

If not then, given her present difficulties, I agree with your DH and would just want her home, not put her through any more stress connected with this

Happypie Sun 09-Dec-18 18:07:40

Good Grief, your 21 year old daughter is in another country and suffering MH problems and you want to teach her a lesson? Don’t make her fly back after Xmas, let her walk away.

How would you feel if because of the pressure from her company and you, that she feels backed into a corner and commits suicide?

I am fully with your DH, let her leave without being paid and get her home safely without this stress looming over her. In the new year help her find a job that she can cope with.

MH problems cannot always be powered through and you sound very lacking in understanding and empathy.

YouCantTourniquetTheTaint Sun 09-Dec-18 18:09:25

How much is going back going to affect her mental health?

From what you say, she seems quite Ill and doesn't need the added stress of going back.

I'd probably tell them to do one tbh, if they need the paperwork so badly they should have thought about that before now. If she's officially left then I don't think she has an obligation to sort it out.

PinguDance Sun 09-Dec-18 18:10:11

She sounds really unwell - I wouldn’t bother with the ‘point of honour’ line, just get her home and sort it out as best you all can - don’t go back on boxing day that’s just going to make Christmas Day crap.

She will know it should be her responsibility, there’s no point trying to teach someone a lesson when they’re having a nervy b.

Amallamard Sun 09-Dec-18 18:12:04

I would offer to forgo payment in order not to have her go back there. Given her mental health I would view it purely from the POV of impact on her and not worry too much about her employers. Sometimes in life, you have to be selfish and when things impact on your health is one of those times IMO.

Liverpool1944 Sun 09-Dec-18 18:12:24

Why does the meeting have to be in person? Can't you have it over Skype or go to meeting?

Karmagoat Sun 09-Dec-18 18:12:32

fuck the papers, your dds mental health issues are the priority here, get her home.

MitohMit Sun 09-Dec-18 18:12:39

Goodness, thank you for your thoughts, I'm kind of glad there's a bit of a spread there.

Consequences if there are no papers... for my daughter, nothing really (except maybe she'll feel a failure and feel a bit bad, deep down, about not having done this for her employers).

It's true that the employers have not helped her at all until now, when the lack of papers looks like it might make their lives difficult. The poor thing attended seven different meetings with officials, one of them with a lawyer (not the current lawyer...) and was refused each time, each time for slightly different reasons. Her boss and the HR director were kept informed of her travails but never offered to accompany her or help her in any way. I don't think, in their defence, they were expecting her to have any real difficulties as the process is usually quite straightforward.

As regards consequences to the employers, it involves their end-of-year reporting where they have to show an official work permit number for each foreign worker. However, my DH thinks since they have not paid her and she is likely to be happy to waive her pay, they could feasibly just not put her on the reports and therefore not have to show her permit number.

MarilynSlumroe Sun 09-Dec-18 18:13:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShovingLeopard Sun 09-Dec-18 18:14:01

Her mental health must come first. Putting pressure on her to 'do the right thing' may be very detrimental. It would be a good lesson to teach at another time, if necessary, but now is not that time.

Tell the company she can't do 26th at all. If - and only if - she is up to doing another date, then offer that to them. It's then up to them if they arrange for that.

JudgeRulesNutterButter Sun 09-Dec-18 18:14:12

If the company can report to their authorities that someone had left the country before the relevant papers were obtained then they should do that.

If they shouldn’t have people working for them at all until these papers are sorted, then tbh this is the consequence for them of breaking that rule.

I’d leave the problem to the company to deal with, basically.

KirstyJC Sun 09-Dec-18 18:15:41

If she is not going back then I would leave it. She is ill. Presumably if she was being paid she would be signed off sick. If she worked for free and they contributed to the papers not being done then it is outrageous they are even expecting her to go back. She is ill. The only life lesson you would teach her is that she isn't important enough to stand up for and her mental health does not matter. Not a lesson I would want to teach!

NancyDonahue Sun 09-Dec-18 18:16:29

She doesn't need a lesson in responsibility right now. She needs to get home where she can get herself well. Surely any papers etc can be dealt with his post/email or even fax? I hope she's better soon.

SofiaAmes Sun 09-Dec-18 18:16:54

As the parent of a child (now an adult) with severe mental health issues, I have learned that sometimes you just have to let your "principals" go. Your dd has a serious medical issue and should be at home getting treatment, not getting on a plane to anywhere. Please let the company know that she is willing (if she's up to it) to attend the hearing/meeting by Skype or one of the many other modern technologies that exist and that's it. And please don't shame your dd for not "getting it together" or whatever else society says to shame people with mental health issues (or in my ds' case - both mental health and several medical issues including chronic fatigue). If your dd was diagnosed with cancer or some such, no one would be expecting her to get on a plane, Boxing Day or otherwise, to solve some paperwork.
My thoughts are with you and your dd and I hope that she gets the help that she needs. (By the way, my ds is now 18 and after 3 hospitalizations and a serious suicide attempt, he is now back in school, living in student housing and doing really really well. - I think one of the most important ingredients is that he has learned to recognize his thresholds and how much sleep and downtime he needs - which is a lot more than the average teen.)

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sun 09-Dec-18 18:17:50

She’s 21 so it’s her decision not yours.
But I think she should walk away. It really was at least 50% their responsibility to get this sorted. If they like, they can pay for her to return sometime in the New Year.

Dowdydoes Sun 09-Dec-18 18:18:06

I don’t know why you have loyalty to a company who haven’t achieved their admin despite clear evidence the usual system hasn’t worked. They haven’t supported your dd and one of the few things that might help her mental health is knowing her parents are there for her unquestioningly. She works and travels and is ill. She needs help, oh and the money she is owed if she has done the work. Companies take, take, take - their poor systems aren’t her fault.

JudasPrudy Sun 09-Dec-18 18:18:25

I wouldn't make her go back unless she desperately needs a reference from that company. Any wonder she is so stressed after all those official meetings and then meeting solicitors about it after Christmas would be very scary. Christmas can be a tricky time of year anyway for people with low moods.

Cancel it all, let the company sort it out, make sure she's getting the help she needs with her health and agree as a family that 2019 can be a whole fresh start.

SofiaAmes Sun 09-Dec-18 18:18:50

P.S. If the country that your dd is in is the USA, please PM me and I might be able to help.

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