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Issues with dh's firm re: leave when I have my baby (due in 2 days) sorry, long..........

(20 Posts)
becaroo Tue 16-Sep-08 12:49:51

...I am expecting my second child in 2 days time. My dh works for a firm with shockingly bad HR and benefits. He was promised a big promotion a year ago which never happened, but he has done nothing about it or tried to find another job.

It is his firms half year financial end next week. Our baby is due on thursday but shows no sign of making an appearance any time soon sad He is being put under a lot of pressure at work and his MD is texting every day to see if I have gone into labour yet as they are so terrified of him being off next week.

Due to the pressures of work he is only having a week off anyway and forgoing his parternity leave entitlement (which I am not happy about) as he says we cant afford for him not to be paid for a week.

Last night he informed me that his MD has asked him to only have one day off (the day the baby is born I assume!!) and then go in on "flexitime" for the rest of his leave i.e. 9am til 2pm. This will mean I will be on my own with a newborn most of the day. I got very bad baby blues on day 3 with my ds and am worried it will happen again.

Basically, he has already decided to do it. I am not sure when his MD asked him to do this, but I think it may have been a while ago. I wish he had told me more than 2 days before I am due to give birth to give me more time to get used the idea.

The thing that upsets me most is that his MD has dangled a pay rise in front of him before asking him to do this and I am completely disgusted by this I wrong to consider this blackmail?

Is it even legal for them to ask him to do this? It seems so wrong to me to put this sort of pressure on an employee (who is not worthy of a promotion but without whom the company cannot seem to function!)

I really want to support my dh and be reasonable but feel very angry, upset and disgusted at this firms behaviour and also upset at my dh as he really doesnt seem to understand why I am so upset/disturbed by all this.

Is it me? Should I just accept it? Perhaps the hormomes are making me unreasonable but am so very unhappy about this - tossed and turned all night last night. Would appreciate some other points of view/legal views. Thanks.

pudding25 Tue 16-Sep-08 13:00:42

Is it your first baby? I would not accept this even if it was not my first but definitely with your first baby, you will need his support. Also, your dh is entitled to take paternity leave - but not holiday leave. I think you need to have a serious chat with your DH. The baby and you are more important. He should probably just take it as paternity leave as then, the employer won't be able to complain.

pudding25 Tue 16-Sep-08 13:05:39

Sorry, didnt read it properly, this is your 2nd child. Even still. However, I suppose, thinking about it, your husband wants the extra money and no problems at work, especially in the current economic climate. It does not excuse his bossbeing an arsehole - but he is perhaps worrying about the economic climate too.

Do you have family around to help out? (a lot!) if he can only take one day off. It is a difficult situation as you of course want your DH to be with you, but if there is a chance that there may be huge repurcussions at work...Legally, he is entitled to take his paternity leave.

LongDroopyBoobyLady Tue 16-Sep-08 13:07:34

I don't think it makes a difference whether this is your 1st, 2nd or 23rd baby, you need DHs support and he should recognise this.

I also feel for your poor DH - it can't be easy for him being under so much pressure. You need to talk to each other about how you are both feeling.

Jeepney Tue 16-Sep-08 13:07:43

I really wouldn't accept that at all! I would be really angry with your DH's boss for putting him in this situation and with your DH for accepting it. Hopefully someone will be along soon to tell you if this is legal or not. smile

baffledmum Tue 16-Sep-08 13:10:34

Someone with better HR knowledge than me should be able to help. Although your DH is entitled to up to 2 weeks paternity leave, I think he has to give written notification of his intention to take it at least 15 weeks before your EDD. Did he do this? Also, paternity is unpaid. Can you afford this?

Is there any reason why he cannot work from home for a few hours each day this period? Some employers appreciate it if key employees make suggestions for keeping on top of their work during this period in return for paternity pay being paid as a result,

lemonlady Tue 16-Sep-08 13:12:33

Whats to say he agrees and they dont let him leave at 2pm, and come up with urgent meeting/deadline.
If he does will he be using a full days holiday or 1/2 day etc. He could end up loosing out so to speak. He needs t have clear boundaries, could he work 2-3 days.
Good luck.

Sunshine78 Tue 16-Sep-08 13:29:26

My dh is a director in a company I went into labour Fri tea time with 2dc had to drag dh out of an important meeting as dd was not hanging around and dh was back at his desk on the Monday morning when you have to cope you do. See if you can find some back up support from else where - people are always wiiling to help when a new baby is involved.

catsmother Tue 16-Sep-08 13:35:14

You poor thing ..... this is the very last thing you need to be worrying about now.

Far better that DH books a block of time off and then, if you are feeling fine, and if^ you suggested it, he could then go back early.

On the other hand, no-one knows right now how things are going to go, or how you'll be feeling afterwards. You might need a CS, you might react badly to an epidural, or any other of the 1001 things which might happen during a delivery that'd make you feel in need of extra support.

You need to talk to him about this - though I can understand you feeling peed off that you should have to do so ..... what does he think would actually happen if he insisted on the original week off ? Does he feel his job is under threat ? As for "dangling" payrises, at the very least, I'd want that as a promise in writing.

hopefully Tue 16-Sep-08 13:38:54

If there's any chance of coming to a compromise, could you ask your DP to suggest a scenario for work depending on which day you went into labour. e.g. if it's monday, but they def need him in on tuesday, he will go in tuesday and wednesday morning, and then take thursday and friday off, if you go into labour on tuesday he will obviously not be able to go in, but will work wednesday morning and take thursday and friday off, and so on, so that there's a contingency plan for every day you might go into labour?

In short, can he get his work to commit to the days that they need him to be there, and take days off around that? There's probably little point reminding him that he could have taken 2 weeks paternity, as he is obviously struggling to stand up to his boss about taking anything at all, but perhaps he could use this as an argument in his favour when suggesting his leave?

traceybath Tue 16-Sep-08 13:44:15

My DH is an MD so he was back at work the day after i came out of hospital after a c-section/baby in NICU for a week and a 3 year old. He's not an ogre but had no choice work wise unless he didn't want a business to go back to unfortunately.

But it was fine you know - it was actually rather lovely just to be me and my two boys. My mum then came down for a few days and helped with cooking and i upped my cleaner's hours and sent my ironing out.

I think that unfortunately times are very hard in companies at the moment and i guess your DH doesn't want to make waves and has a pretty key job. The flexi time thing could work well if he does it for a couple of weeks - thats what my DH did with our first. He was around to help in the mornings and the late afternoon.

Just don't put too much pressure on yourself - just spend the time on the sofa and playing with your other child.

ruddynorah Tue 16-Sep-08 13:44:42

if he goes with what his boss wants then at the least he should have it put in writing.

he is entitled to 2 weeks off minimum on statutory paternity pay £100 ish a week. i assume his work don't do an enhanced scheme?

he could then try to negotiate a month of just mornings if 2 full weeks off isn't viable. whatever he does, get it in writing.

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 16-Sep-08 13:50:33

Some info below, but you are only entitled to £117 per week unless you have additional contractual benefits.

How much paternity leave can you take?
As long as you meet certain conditions you can take either one or two weeks. You can't take odd days off and if you take two weeks they must be taken together.

You can choose to start the leave:

on the day the baby's born
a number of days or weeks after the baby's born
from a specific date after the first day of the week in which the baby's expected to be born
Your leave can start on any day of the week (but not before the baby is born), but has to finish within 56 days of the baby being born or, if the baby's born before the week it was due, within 56 days of the first day of that week.

If your partner has a multiple birth, you're only allowed one period of paternity leave.

zipzap Tue 16-Sep-08 13:53:23

I would also add that I think you will probably need DH's help MORE second time around - you don't say how old your first child is but in the beginning you are going to be tied up pretty much full time with the baby. Your dc1 is going to need attention and that is where your DH will need to be.

And what if your DC2 takes more than a working day to come? Would definintely hold out for your husband to have a full day at home with you and the baby before he goes back into work so he can at least experience what he is leaving behind.

I have now got DS2 who is 6 months old and DS1 who is 3. Because of the vagaries of babies needing feeding, changing, winding, walking etc etc, DS1 could come and play near us but I certainly wasn't up to running around with him (to tire him out for a good night's sleep grin) or knowing that I was going to be able to get him his food at meal times. He also made and brought me my food and drinks and kept the place basically clean and tidy, which I would not have been able to do (phyiscally because of feeling tender and tired, timewise because of spending so long feeding baby etc).

And what if you end up having a CS? you are going to need a lot of support because (so I understand, not having been there myself) you are not going to be able to do lots of things for the first few weeks until your [major abdominal surgery] wound and stitches heal. It sounds like you don't have one planned from the OP, but until the baby is out you can never discount that you will need one. What happens if you do have one (or even just a traumatic birth that leaves you very sore and unable to move very much to start with) - will your DH still be expected to leave you alone with no support? I hope I don't sound too much like the voice of doom, but I just think that in cases like this it can be useful to think of assorted 'worst case scenarios' to discuss with your DH he will realise that it is not just a case of you lying around a lot and feeding the baby that cries and sleeps a lot.

Did you have a bad time last time or a particularly easy time (aside from the baby blues) - what does your DH remember of the time? Might be worth trying to find out so you can see if he remembers how much there is to do. Or is there a chance that he is worried about being at home and would prefer to be at work a bit?

Does the boss have children himself and know what he is asking of your DH?

It is not as if they have not known that this busy period is coming up and that your DH should be away looking after you. Is there any chance that if he lets them struggle they will realise that he is needed more than if he just does what they expect of him?

If he is determined to work, could you get him to postpone some or all of his paternity leave until a bit later so at least you know you will have some support and time to bond as a family coming. Not ideal at the time, but at least you will have something to look forward to.

And as the others have said, he doesn't want to lose out on holiday days either. Could he do something like say he will work a mazimum of 20 hours in the first (full working) week after he is born and have 20 hours of leave (assuming he does a 40 hour week) so that they know if they keep him later one day then they have less time for him the next day.

Any chance of getting his boss to pay for some sort of care for you (post natal doula?) to replace the support that your husband should be giving you? Bit of a shot in the dark but might make them realise what exactly they are asking of him AND you.

Good luck - sorry, I didn't realise that I was going on quite so long, hope this makes sense but I do think you need to make your husband realise what he is letting YOU in for if he disappears - and that he needs to make some sort of commitment to you that if he does do this against your wishes (you are so NBU to want him around for the first week or two) then he has to make sure that he gets his fingers out and does something to ensure that his loyalty is rewarded and he gets his payrise and promotion.

zipzap Tue 16-Sep-08 13:59:30

oops spent so long typing that everybody else managed to say what I said so much more briefly blush.

must stop typing full on brain dumps - sorry!

loobeylou Tue 16-Sep-08 14:00:30

absolutely outrageous behaviour from his boss, has he never heard of employment law, and his pay rise offer stinks too. My dh is also a director and he knows they have to treat pregnant staff and partners with kid gloves when it come to their rights, it might make things hard for the company but thats tough!!

if the above posters still leave you uncertain/with queries, try phoning the CAB or ask yr midwife

Sycamoretree Tue 16-Sep-08 14:04:21

Sorry, haven't read all the thread, but I'm immediately struck by how essential/important to the company your DH must be for them to ask so much of him - so it would seem that the promotion or payrise ought to be something he could clinch without having to bend over so royally....

Maybe try and give you DH the confidence to see just how much their need him, therefore what power he really has to say no?

LadyMuck Tue 16-Sep-08 14:13:23

This is an issue of timing, not about how important your dh is to the company. If the baby had been born 2 or 3 weeks ago then this would be a non-issue. If baby is born in 3 weeks time, probably a non-issue. But because you are due during the peak quarter-end issue, it is now an issue.

Frankly unless the pay rise is generous and is signed and agreed up front I would ignore it. It will simply be eroded in the next couple of annual payrises, so this is really a short term benefit. There is a market salary range, and they're not going to pay much above it, and not for long either. If money could be a lure, then agree a cash bonus of whatever you think is worth it for you.

He's not indispensable, but he does have to live with the consequences of his decision at work. I very much doubt the flexi-time would work - if he's already given in this much without discussion, then I'm willing to bet that he doesn't leave at 2. If he does think about flexi-time, then arrnage that he goes in later, because he will still be doign most of a full day. Basically his company haven't arranged for proper cover (fair enough - it is hard to know timing of babies) and they're leaning on your dh to save them. This is not the same as being married to the MD/CEO.

becaroo Tue 16-Sep-08 19:36:07

Thank you very much for your replies....

I did try to point out to him last night that I may need a cs or ur baby may be very poorly at birth like our ds (hopefully not!) and I have concerns about my own wellbeing which I guess is quite selfish.

It has been a very difficult pregnancy and I have had to have serial growth scans and lots of ante natal appointments at the hospital but he didnt come to all of them and took them as paid holiday not special leave, so dont feel too guilty about that.

My other main worry is that he has not got this offer in writing and, frankly, I wouldnt trust his MD as far as I could throw him! Also, as some posters have pointed out, once he is actually in work it may be very difficult for him to leave "on time" as agreed.

I am really not sure the wage rise - if it ever happened - would amount to much anyway and I am very angry that his boss would think that I would put financial considerations above the welfare of my family.

To answer a question one poster asked, no, he has no children and he and his wife dont want any.

I am starting to think my dh is a bit spineless and Its not a nice feeling sad I am sure they are making life very unpleasant for him or he wouldnt even be considering this.

Thanks again for your input x

LadyMuck Tue 16-Sep-08 22:31:47

Seriously, don't even try the leaving on time card. Agree a late start - it is the only way to go.

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