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AIBU to think this is an odd request from a new work colleague?

(244 Posts)
Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 21:05:57

I work in residential care and have just employed a new member of staff. We discussed sleep-ins and she said that she would be able to do one a month on average but would try to be as flexible as possible.

She is now saying that sleep-ins are going to be a problem for her as the other member of staff on duty for that shift is male. He will be in another bedroom at the other end of the house if he is sleeping in, or will be working in the office/ laundry area if he is doing a waking night shift.

She has asked that I facilitate her husband being able to meet this particular member of staff to alleviate his anxieties about her being away from home. There are other men that work in the home, so any of them could cover this shift at any point - does the husband want to vet the whole staff team?!

I want to be a sarky cow and remind her that she had many weeks to tell me that this is going to cause problems but has chosen not to. I am feeling a bit frustrated that she thinks she can manipulate the roster to her benefit and that she is implying that the male staff are not trustworthy. I absolutely will not be arranging any meetings for the husband. A tiny part of me is concerned that this might be some kind of DV issue.

I've not been able to discuss this with anyone at work but AIBU to think she is probably going to be more trouble than she is worth?

ChariotsofFish Thu 04-Apr-19 21:07:44

I’d be extremely concerned that it is a DV issue and I’d try to gently address that with her.

Jackshouse Thu 04-Apr-19 21:07:59

I’m with you on the DV issue.

EvaHarknessRose Thu 04-Apr-19 21:09:40

Likely coercive control sad. I think you should politely decline to the request.

Whynotnowbaby Thu 04-Apr-19 21:10:20

It sounds like he is very controlling and although she is being difficult for you, she may be terrified of his reaction and desperately trying to square his demands with holding down the job. I would support her as far as you reasonably can rather than dismissing her comments as unreasonable.

S1naidSucks Thu 04-Apr-19 21:14:55

Could be an abusive relationship, or possibly due to her religion/culture. If it’s not due to the latter, then I’d be very worried about her. If it is due to the latter, it’s a really difficult one and you might need to tread carefully. You might also need to ask for legal advice

catinboots99 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:15:21

Really? This is work. Nobody should have to have their spouse 'introduced' to new work colleagues. I would be questioning her professionalism tbh

Her DH and home life is not relevant to her new role

Imstickingwiththisone Thu 04-Apr-19 21:18:00

If it was an abusive relationship though, would she not have just lied about who she is on shift with?

newtlover Thu 04-Apr-19 21:19:08

DA
not sure how you can best handle it though
it's obviously an unreasonable request, but she may already be very aware of that but have no choice about asking.

1CantPickAName Thu 04-Apr-19 21:22:17

She is a new employee who can’t fulfill the requirements of the role, I’d give notice

newtlover Thu 04-Apr-19 21:24:18

are there any other worrying signs eg
does he always bring her to and from work? text her at work, frequently?
does her pay go into her own account or his?
does she seem worried if she gets delayed at work?
please don't think she's more trouble than she's worth, you have a duty of care surely to your employees and you may be her one chance of help

MaryBoBary Thu 04-Apr-19 21:24:46

@Imstickingwiththisone what if her husband will be picking her up from shifts and will see a male member of staff leaving too?

OP I would tell her that it could be various men on shift with her. I would speak to the male staff member (who she would most regularly work with) and ask him if he would be open to meeting her and her husband. If everyone is agreeable then why not facilitate it this once? I too think this may be a DV/DA situation and would try and support her. You can make it very clear to her husband (if the meeting goes ahead) that it is happening once and once only, and that he should not be involved any further in her work life - he is not your employee.

Ginkythefangedhellpigofdoom Thu 04-Apr-19 21:25:50

Before you and then in reply others mentioned dv abusive relationship that what screamed out to me.

newtlover Thu 04-Apr-19 21:30:45

Nooooo!
do not arrange a meeting between the husband and the male worker/s
this is both insulting to the worker, validates the husbands controlling behaviour and disempowers the woman

smallereveryday Thu 04-Apr-19 21:34:48

Is there a cultural/religious issue. Many religious groups do not 'permit' women to be alone with men they are not married or related to. (Not saying that's ok - but nevertheless a fact)

AJPTaylor Thu 04-Apr-19 21:35:00

She might have dv issues. She might just be a cheeky fecker who doesn't want to do that shift
If she had said originally she couldn't what would you have done?

polarpig Thu 04-Apr-19 21:35:23

If it was an abusive relationship though, would she not have just lied about who she is on shift with?

Probably not, the consequences when her husband found out wouldn't be good if he was abusive.

ilikemethewayiam Thu 04-Apr-19 21:36:10

Be careful of introducing him to staff members! If it is a DV issue and her DH is is unhinged you could be putting your male staff members at risk.

Thankssomuch Thu 04-Apr-19 21:37:06

Is she on probation? If she isn’t able to meet the requirements set out in her Job Description - for whatever reason - then this needs addressing ASAP.

SouthernComforts Thu 04-Apr-19 21:38:30

Could be an abusive relationship, or possibly due to her religion/culture. If it’s not due to the latter, then I’d be very worried about her.

How can it be fine if religion is involved, but abuse if religion is not? Genuine question as an atheist I just can't wrap my head around it.

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Thu 04-Apr-19 21:39:53

Are you actually within your rights as an employer to ask an employee if she's experiencing DV? Its a very tricky situation both for you and for her, poor thing, from the sounds of it.
Can you quietly get advice on this?
Also I agree with what @newtlover said.

AnneOfCleanTables Thu 04-Apr-19 21:40:04

It could be an abusive relationship or it could be that she has a history of abuse that makes her wary of being alone on shift during the night with a male. I'm not sure how you balance her right to keep such a past private with your feeling that she's manipulating the roster. I'd also assume that she wasn't able to tell you earlier as she wrongly assumed it would be a female staff member.

Jellyhater Thu 04-Apr-19 21:41:29

She drives herself too and from work
She isn't on her phone
Her wages goes into her account
She turns up about 15 mins before her shift starts and leaves on time which matches the culture of the organisation
Doesn't seem jumpy or anxious, if anything, she seems quite over confident
I don't think it is a religious/ cultural need (but I could be wrong) but why not say this? This is a protected characteristic

I'm not taking part in organising any meetings regarding the husband.
I think the male member of staff will feel very uncomfortable about this and I don't want to put him in any difficult situations. He is a good worker.

shatteredandstressed Thu 04-Apr-19 21:41:34

Has she signed a contract yet?
She doesn't sound like she can fulfill the job role regardless of the husband. Definitely do not facilitate any request for the husband to meet the male workers. That is downright unreasonable.
It may be DV but that's not really your concern; your priority is your residents presumably vulnerable & your existing staff.

wigglypiggly Thu 04-Apr-19 21:43:28

There are women only care jobs for special circumstances, tell her to look, at these as an option.

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