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to leave work at lunchtime today to go and collect my 16 month old child who is poorly?

(58 Posts)
couture1 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:45:30

I feel terribly torn, I knew my son was not well when I took him to nursery today but against my better judgement left him there because I was worried about my employers recaction to me taking holiday at such short notice. I received on call from the nursery at 10.30 to say he really needed to see the doctor - I advised them that I would book an appt as soon as I could get one - which will be 3.00pm this afternoon. I then got another call saying he was lethargic and had a high temperature. I phoned my manager who works from home and she said yes I could have it as emergency half days holiday but she will have a meeting with me tomorrow to discuss it. Its so hard trying to be commited to the workplace and being a Mother. I'm really upset with myself for leaving him in the first place I shoudl have stayed at home to look after him. I ended up being quite emotional (guilt) when I left work and my colleaugues were very understanding and sympathetic but I am now worried about the conversation tomorrow (providing my son is well enough for me to be there) to 'discuss' this.

fernie3 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:47:59

no YANBU baby comes first. go give her a hug. You could not have known he would get worse in the day so dont be upset with yourself!

fernie3 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:48:26

sorry mean him (I have a baby girl so every baby is a her lol)

CowWatcher Mon 19-Oct-09 13:49:26

Poor poor you. This stuff is so hard. But your employer needs to be more undersatnding. I'm not familliar with the law on this, but I believe there are some rules now about the way employers treat parents when they have family emergencies. Maybe somene better informed will be along to help you with the practicalities. Hope little one feeling better soon.

elliepac Mon 19-Oct-09 13:49:45

no YANBU, at the end of the day DS comes first and I am sure your manager will understand.

TheBossofMe Mon 19-Oct-09 13:49:54

Stick a post on the workplace issues board - I'm pretty sure a workplace can't discipline you for having to care for a small child (equalities act???). Someone there will defo be able to advise. And don't beat yourself up xxx

MadameDefarge Mon 19-Oct-09 13:52:02

You don't have to take this a holiday, you are entitled to ask for time off to care for dependents, and this is unpaid. Its not compulsory for your employers to give it to you, but it cannot be withheld unreasonably.

JustAnotherManicMummy Mon 19-Oct-09 13:57:54

Please don't worry. You are entitled to have emergency time off work to look after your sick child. See here

I am a manager and have had to deal with situations like this. Your manager probably wants to have a meeting with you so you can both agree how a situation like this will be managed in the future so that you don't worry and she can manage your workload.

Things she'll probably want to discuss with you are whether you are the sole carer and if not what contribution is your partner making towards dealing with situations like this, agreeing a process for handing over work and how you want the leave to be processed (ie annual leave/unpaid compassionate leave/time off in lieu).

I have had a member of staff in the past who expected to be allowed to go home at the drop of a hat if any of her teenage children we unwell but her husband couldn't help because "he has a really important job" hmm. I don't think you fall into that catagory from what you've posted, but she may want to check if that is your attitude IYSWIM.

She could well want to tell you that in the circumstances you posted that you should just go and tell her you are going, not ask. But that will depend on your relationship and don't be disappointed if it's more like the other senario I mentioned.

Hope your DS is better soon smile

kickassangel Mon 19-Oct-09 13:58:17

when dh had a prob with someone at his work who was ALWAYS late - by up to 3 hours, he contected a personel consultant they had, wholse first Q was, 'do they have a child under 5? if yes, i would recomment against disciplining them'

SO the law stands very firmly on the side of the family, not the side of the employer, when your kids are under 5.

i don't know all the regs, but you do have rights for unpaid leave, unplanned holiday etc etc. hopefully, your boss just wants to work out how to file the paperwork. if the conversation takes any other turn, WALK OUT & refuse to discuss without you having someone else there with you (which you're entitled to)

btw - your manager works from home? perhaps you should tell her you;ll be doing that for the rest of the week. sounds grossly unfair

i think you're even meant to have written notice of meetings like this, so she can't just tell you over the phone.

prettyfly1 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:00:15

also following on from madame defarge, emergency time for dependants IS compulsory, although unpaid, and if you have been there for long enough then you are also entitled to a time of parental leave (check direct gov) for exact time frames. Penalising or abusing mums who need to look after their kids is discrimination adn I was very nearly forced out of the workforce by it (I now run my own business) so feel very strongly indeed about it.

well im home today with my sick baby girl and work have no choice. they knew i was a mum when they hired me and they dont pay me, so ho hum. Its a hard balance though, Im not sure what to do tomorrow as dairy is full tomorrow, but i think afyre they told me off for having a week off with dd1 in hospital with pnemonia and i gave them what for that they dont say much grin
dont feel guilty, babies always come first.

prettyfly1 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:02:10

Yeah I got that - my son caught cdif at two and a half and the company tried to tell me they would sack me for not being there for a week when he was in hospital. grrrrr. It makes me mad as hell!

JustAnotherManicMummy Mon 19-Oct-09 14:03:38

I am shock at all of these stupid ignorant employers and managers.

Rule no 1 of basic management: If you look after your people they will look after you.

Ronaldinhio Mon 19-Oct-09 14:04:10

take the time

very often managers respond better when you tell them rather than ask them after all their permission will make little odds to the final decision

so saying "I'm going home now to get dc who is ill""I'll update you after the doctor's appointment" often receives a better response than "do you mind if I leave because of my poor sick child...I wouldn't except it's absolutely necessary etc"

dunno why but it's true

Stigaloid Mon 19-Oct-09 14:07:08

YANBU and your employer cannnot force you to take it as holiday either. You are entitled to take the day to care for a dependant as posted above. Hope your DS gets well soon and try and get online this evening and check out your rights so you don't feel bamboozled by your manager tomorrow.

flowerybeanbag Mon 19-Oct-09 14:09:27

Try not to assume the worst about the conversation tomorrow unless and until you need to. You are entitled to unpaid emergency time off as others have pointed out, although it sounds as though your employer is happy for you to take it as holiday (which she could refuse), which I imagine you prefer as you are then being paid.

Contrary to what kickassangel says, you are not entitled to have someone with you for a discussion or to have written notice of a discussion. There's nothing indicating this is a disciplinary hearing or anything like that - she just wants to discuss it with you. If she does want to discipline you for it (and you don't say anything that suggests that), then obviously you have certain rights.

Kickassangel sounds as though your DH may have been getting some fairly incompetent advice - having a child under 5 doesn't entitle anyone to turn up 3 hours late for work on a regular basis.

couture1 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:11:13

I did offer to take it as holiday adn I dont mind doing that its just the way I'm made to feel as if I'm skiving off work. Which of course I'm not, I asked last week if I could leave half an hour early to take dd who is 3 to the doctors and was told yes but I had to make the half hour up the next day by coming in early, as it turned out my dh was able to leave work and take her to the doctors, I then worked to the end of the day and met them at the doctors.

facebookaddict Mon 19-Oct-09 14:13:55

Can really empathize, been there....

I know you can see all the good advice above about rights etc etc but v hard when you don't want to rock the boat at work.

Whatever happens just remember that 10 years down the line you prob won't be with the same company and you need to do what is best for your son, you will never regret putting him first.

(I do realise that what is also best for your son is to have a job and be respected for being reliable etc etc so have done the same as you - dropped off when fine line between ill/well and seen how the day goes, but ALWAYS go to collect asap if called regardless of work's view on situation)

TheMightyToosh Mon 19-Oct-09 14:16:16

Haven't time to read all the posts, so apologies if I am duplicating, but I'm sure you have an allowance of days per year to deal with child illness etc when you are a parent.

I would definitely read up on your rights and your employers obligations before the meeting if you can. Or if you get the heavy hand from your boss in the meeting, go and see your Citizen's Advice Bureau for advice on what your rights are.

Definitely do not feel guilty about leaving work to look after your poorly baby!

couture1 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:17:40

During the call to my manager she said something along the lines of wanting to discuss it as she cant have this throughout the winter hmm Not sure if I heard her right as I was getting a bit distressed at this point as really had to go becuase of ds being so unwell. I will find out tomorrow what she meant.

porcamiseria Mon 19-Oct-09 14:21:21

I really sympathise. However as a worker it does seem harsh that its always the mum that has to take time off. What I tend to do is keep back a few days holiday that I can use as needed in these situations. Whatever anyone says if ppl take take time off for sick babies, the childless ppl in the office will notice and will complain. I asked my Mum as she is a senior manager and she said that obviously if its a serious illness ppl get time off, but for minor illnesses she expects them to use holiday.

If you are meeting with your manager maybe suggest that you have a stock of holiday days to use, then if you do have to leave at the drop of the hat it has been pre-arranged?

Please dont feel guilty, we have ALL been there. However so that your career is not harmed maybe speak to DH/DP so that he can share this burden too?

Good luck

JustAnotherManicMummy Mon 19-Oct-09 14:22:52

couture1 it is difficult to manage unplanned absences (that includes sickness/transport failures etc) but not impossible and the more than can be anticipated the better. I expect she was pissed off because it is a pain having to change plans around at short notice and I bet she didn't even think about what she was saying. Obviously that is no excuse but please don't dwell on it now - you have more important things to worry about.

Have a read of the stuff I posted before and deal with the matter tomorrow. Once she's had time to reflect she'll probably be more sensible.

couture1 Mon 19-Oct-09 14:26:59

I do always keep my holidays for these kind of emergencies, since returning to work after my first child who is now 7 I have never asked for upaid or paid leave but volunteered to use my holiday entitlement so as not to have more time out of the office over the year than my colleaugues. Its just the guilt I feel when I have to go.
This is a new role I'm in with a new manager.

porcamiseria Mon 19-Oct-09 14:34:52

Couture, sounds like your manager is being a bit of a bayatch judging by the "we cant have this occuring in winter" comment. stay calm, read up on your rights and unfortunately this is what we have to deal with...but from what she sounds like I'd definately use your holiday time, then she has to appreciate that its not you taking the piss, and that this is what you have to deal with... Not what you need when dealing with a poorly child tho

mumeeee Mon 19-Oct-09 15:05:33

YANBu. Your baby comes first.

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