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Overlooked?

(23 Posts)
toni74 Tue 23-May-17 15:47:47

I'm no sure how to respond this or even if I should...so would appreciate some feedback.

My manager advised me, they were sending my work colleague for training (out of the country) and meeting fellow colleagues in one of our other offices. I was advised I was not asked as they didn't know if a couple of weeks notice was enough time for me to sort out things (I have children in school etc). I was gobsmacked and didn't say anything at the time.

I'm concerned I'm being overlooked for having children. When I'm at work I work, I don't leave early or start late. I have been working from home an extra day a week, mainly because of my commute but also because my partner travels for work, so I am at home to pick up after 6pm (my commute is too long so makes it impossible to sort out extra childcare)...so I'm wondering if there reasoning for not asking me was justified?

I'm also concerned that this type of thinking, reflects poorly on me both professionally and personally as it wasn't indicated I would get an opportunity to do similar training or networking.

Sorry it's abit long but I'm interested if others have faced this and how they dealt with it? Or aibu?

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 23-May-17 21:29:42

But if you are working from home and the reason is because you can't sort out childcare then they are probably justified in asking your colleague who presumably doesn't have this issue. It is a logistical issue. If you think you could have made arrangements let them know you'd like to be considered next time. However how would you arrange childcare for this if you can't manage to do it one day a week already.

chipsandpeas Tue 23-May-17 21:36:44

so if they had offered it to you, you would have been able to sort out childcare and go at a drop of a hat

toni74 Tue 23-May-17 21:56:07

Sorry...working from home one day a week is due to the commute. However for two weeks in every three months, my partner travels and then childcare becomes an issue.

toni74 Tue 23-May-17 22:09:52

Omg that should be over two weeks my partner is away one night for each week...

chipsandpeas Tue 23-May-17 22:15:20

but if your employer knows you have difficulties with childcare then of course they arent going to offer it to you, it would be the same for anyone who would have issues going regardless whether its childcare, or other caring responsibilities

what you should now do is make it known that if the dates are known well in advance something could be worked out and you would like the opportunity

toni74 Tue 23-May-17 22:33:01

Will do! Thankyou

flowery Wed 24-May-17 08:45:51

I'm astonished at these replies. People really think excluding women with caring responsibilities from work opportunities on an assumption that they wouldn't be able to take the opportunity up is acceptable? Of course it isn't!

It's probably not deliberate or malicious in any way, but it's not acceptable. Promotion/development opportunities should be made equally available to all, regardless of any 'issues" (hmm) employees may have. That way if the individual can't take it up because they are not willing or able to make suitable arrangements, they've at least not been treated less favourably and the employer isn't risking a discrimination claim, which they otherwise would be if they started excluding women/disabled employees/other protected groups on assumptions like this.

OP, tell your manager that regardless of how much notice they are able to give, you would still like to be considered and be given the opportunity to make arrangements if you can.

unfortunateevents Wed 24-May-17 09:04:03

but if your employer knows you have difficulties with childcare - what difficulties??? They didn't even ask the OP if she would be able to travel! Working from home one day a week on an agreed pattern to aid with childcare pickup does not constitute "difficulties". Flowery's advice on how to speak to them is good.

TheBogQueen Wed 24-May-17 09:16:48

You need to bring this up officially. It is discrimination.
I am also shocked by these replies.

Your childcare arrangements should not be given as a factor in deciding who gets opportunities at work.

You could turn it down if too difficult or make arrangements -it's not up to them to decide for you or assume you won't do it.

It is discrimination if that is the real reason they didn't offer you the opportunity.

MrsPeacockDidIt Wed 24-May-17 12:37:44

I have to agree with the later replies to this. To not even ask OP is discrimination as they made assumptions about her based on the fact she has children. Would a male colleague with children been treated the same ? I doubt it very much.

You have to speak to them and say that in future regardless of how much notice is available, (or any other concerns) that you wish to be treated the same as male colleagues with children and female colleagues without children, and be given the opportunity to attend courses etc.

I'm stunned actually that an employer was so very blatant in discriminating against you.

flowery Wed 24-May-17 12:50:04

"I'm stunned actually that an employer was so very blatant in discriminating against you."

Agree. I think most employers know better than that now, and are a bit more careful. They still get it wrong but most are a bit more aware these days.

Mind you, I'm even more stunned that on a parenting site people are saying this was perfectly fine!

CotswoldStrife Wed 24-May-17 13:18:25

I can see both sides of this tbh.

I do think your employer should have offered the opportunity (to go to the course) to all the employees that would benefit/it would be appropriate to ask. Possibly with a deadline for acceptance if the timescale is tight.

However - they are aware that you have already altered your work pattern because of childcare issues and that this is an ongoing matter (DH being away) that is not a short-term issue, if time is tight then I can see why they didn't ask you. I'm not saying that is right, but it's happened.

I do think you can say how much you'd have liked the opportunity and with a little more notice in future (say 3 weeks instead of the 2 that might have been the case here) you can attend, as a PP has stated.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 24-May-17 18:01:30

The op doesn't have childcare issues - she and her partner have childcare issues between them. However also between them the OP has had to adjust her working pattern to deal with their joint issues and because of this she has herself flagged that she can't always be available. If she can get back up for this type of thing then she should make that clear to her employer but also expect the employer to perhaps rescind the flexibility already given now that she has childcare available!

I don't think it is sex discrimination as I assume if a male employee had the same issues they also would be 'overlooked' in the same manner.

Mulledwine1 Wed 24-May-17 18:19:40

I am also shocked at the replies saying it's ok for the employer to make assumptions about childcare.

The employer should have asked. They might think they know the answer but they should not assume.

There's no way they wouldn't not ask a man, either. Dad or not a dad.

I would definitely speak to them about it.

HundredMilesAnHour Wed 24-May-17 18:34:28

The employer should have asked. They might think they know the answer but they should not assume.

If the employer has asked her, no doubt this thread would then be full of people saying how outrageous her employer was for asking her to to make alternative arrangements. She can't have it both ways. Needs to have flexible arrangements to work from home due to the commute/childcare but suddenly when it's an overseas jolly she can miraculously change her arrangements at short notice.

flowery Wed 24-May-17 19:10:54

"If the employer has asked her, no doubt this thread would then be full of people saying how outrageous her employer was for asking her to to make alternative arrangements"

It really, really wouldn't have been. If her employer had insisted that she make arrangements you might be right. But offering her the option for a development opportunity? Why would anyone be outraged at that?

daisychain01 Wed 24-May-17 19:22:49

I really can't see two sides to this one. I can only see one! Discrimination.

However how would you arrange childcare for this if you can't manage to do it one day a week already. It is not down to the employer to anticipate or judge how the OP would arrange childcare!

It's like going back to the bloody dark ages where they used to ask women at interview if they had children and how would they care for them if they were to be offered the job.

What they should have done was to give the OP every opportunity to attend the training, giving sufficient notice for making arrangements and cooperating with information about start and end times, location etc. Then it's up to the OP to take up the training and sort out arrangements.

CalpolOnToast Wed 24-May-17 19:28:04

I can arrange for my mum to be here for one off things like travel and training but I wouldn't want to ask her to cover regular working hours, perhaps OP is the same

HidingFromDD Wed 24-May-17 19:36:20

I have to make decisions on team travel regularly. I take into account one persons childcare issues, one persons pet issues and one persons regular sports fixture on a particular night. It's definitely not gender specific and the team appreciate that I have to make rapid decisions on availability. If, however, it was a training/development opportunity I would offer it to the people most suited, on the assumption that any further arrangements were up to them. This absolutely feels like discrimination but I think you need to raise it in a positive manner. Ie if further opportunities become available please let me know because I can make arrangements for exceptional circumstances

eurochick Wed 24-May-17 19:40:41

There are not two sides to this. It is discrimination. I am really surprised at some of the reactions on this thread!

TheBogQueen Wed 24-May-17 20:38:23

It's actually a bit worrying. I have three children and work compressed hours but I would be incandescent with rage if my employer decided that was a reason not to offer a development opportunity.

People can make alternative arrangements if needed.

EBearhug Sat 27-May-17 02:02:06

I was not asked as they didn't know if a couple of weeks notice was enough time for me to sort out things

This wouldn't have been discrimination if they had just asked. That would have been so much easier to do than just make assumptions. Anyone could have something on a particular date which would make it difficult for them to go. Childcare (which may not even have been a problem, but they didn't try to find out,) is just one of a load of different things which could have been going on for any possible traveller.

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