"Mandatory"; training outside town

(18 Posts)
TomFord Tue 03-Sep-19 18:25:03

My employer organised an outdoor training, that requires 3 hours travel outside my town (place of work and living) one way. They do not organise taxi or car of course and I need to change 2 trains and several buses to get to the venue.

Getting there is outside working hours, and certainly not paid. It means that I have to leave after work, after 5 pm to travel, sleep there in a hotel. Next day full day outdoors training, then travelling back to my town and the following day - back to work.

I have two children at home and my husband is working night shifts - based on that could I refuse going on that training and what consequences can I expect?

Any HR advice appreciated, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 03-Sep-19 18:26:03

Is the whole office going?

Purpleartichoke Tue 03-Sep-19 18:28:00

Are they paying your travel expenses?

TomFord Tue 03-Sep-19 18:37:25

They will pay travel expenses, but I cannot leave my kids alone, they have to go to school etc. need dinner and I am reluctant to have anyone else but me.

Couple of the colleagues have completed the training before, but none of them is a mother with children, i.e. most young people with no families.

OP’s posts: |
OtraCosaMariposa Tue 03-Sep-19 18:41:53

Bluntly, your childcare issues are not their problem. It's a one-off. You might want to be there to do dinner but having someone else doing it once is not going to kill them. I think you need to suck it up and go. Or risk being branded inflexible and pretty much write off any opportunities for promotion.

Also if the training is mandatory, then you go. Or risk a disciplinary.

Purpleartichoke Tue 03-Sep-19 18:43:22

I’ve declined or delayed some training because it just didn’t work for me and my family, but I don’t decline it all. My boss is very understanding, but I know not to push back unless it’s extremely important. Occasionally, that means DH has to take leave to cover my travel. It’s not ideal, but it works for us. We are lucky that we are both salaried so it doesn’t translate to an immediate loss of income.

TomFord Tue 03-Sep-19 18:53:30

I do not care about promotion.

I am attending most training and if work is not flexible towards me (no working from home).

At present my husband cannot take time off work as he is ending a project.

OP’s posts: |
ScreamingValenta Tue 03-Sep-19 18:57:40

Declining might be better received if you present them with an alternative - could you manage to attend for a half day? Or is the training available at another venue closer to home?

TomFord Tue 03-Sep-19 19:12:13

They only carry it out there. No alternative locations. I am really tired after work and will be rather spending time with family and not travel further. Also, travelling for 3 hours after a working day will not help my performance on the next day.

Wellbeing and work life balance has to be considered I think, otherwise I can always go on stress leave.

I have dependants at home, so if they do not accommodate this is not my work place.

For long time now.

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Fallofrain Tue 03-Sep-19 19:21:34

You've put mandatory in speech marks, do you have reason to believe its not mandatory?

Agree with pp about presenting soloutions eg postponing it etc?
Surely if its a truly mandatory training and you refuse to do it then you'll be unable to fufill your role?

Fallofrain Tue 03-Sep-19 19:22:59

Not saying it was your intention, I would not suggest presenting stress leave in the way you have here as it suggests using it as a threat

flowery Tue 03-Sep-19 19:27:48

“Stress leave” isn’t a thing.

You are sounding as though you just don’t want to do it rather than you actually can’t.

Work life balance isn’t negatively impacted by a one-off like this.

Userplusnumbers Tue 03-Sep-19 19:35:09

Wellbeing and work life balance has to be considered I think

Which is presumably why this isn't expected every week... This is a flimsy excuse and not one I'd recommend using as a tactic.

It seems like your issue is with childcare - you need to sort it out with DH, pay someone to do it, ask family or friends to help etc., and if this isn't possible present your employer with an alternative e.g. It's not possible now but I can next month. From an HR point of view, if it's a mandatory training, it's not unreasonable to ask you to take unpaid leave until you complete it. You don't say how often these happen, but based on your pis it's infrequent so it's not an unreasonable ask.

If they're paying tavel expenses could you have a hire car and drive on the morning of the training, or weigh up the cost of a taxi vs hotel etc to save the overnight.

ScreamingValenta Tue 03-Sep-19 19:35:46

What about suggesting to your manager that you 'buddy' with someone who is going, who can then 'cascade the learnings' from the course to you afterwards?

Apologies for the wanky office-speak there, but that's how I'd phrase it if I were trying to make a case for myself.

MumApr18 Tue 03-Sep-19 19:36:23

@TomFord I've asked a similar question on here previously and got completely shot down - I was told my priorities were fucked up, I was giving working mothers a bad name etc etc.

I didn't end up going.

At the end of the day you need to weigh it up. Sounds like you don't want to go, just don't. A job is changeable, your family are more important.

TomFord Tue 03-Sep-19 20:06:52

This is not crucial for my role. My role is desk based and the training is on the field, in a muddy - rainy like environment.

Likehood to happen at work is 0.1%

Yes, I do not want to spend a day in the rain, not comfortable with physical training at all. I have health issues and do not want to do first aid task and get close to a random person, sorry.

My mum is unwell (I do not have anyone else to ask for a favour) and do not have friends who live nearby.

Anyway, I was asking for help and I will make it a health issue at the end - don't want to end up with a stroke before I turn 40, sorry, I had friends who died recently, with stress issues etc.

Will find a way anyway.

Unpaid leave is not tolerated at work. Luckily I covered the option to be able to go on stress leave.

I hoped I will receive more help in this forum.

Thank you to everyone who shared experience and ideas.

Have a good evening x

OP’s posts: |
superram Tue 03-Sep-19 20:15:41

By stress leave I assume you mean sick leave? I just hope you have other job prospects as long term I don’t think one is for you.

Abibranning Tue 03-Sep-19 20:26:41

As a training organiser, this really winds me up, training is a benefit, but if you are unable/unwilling to attend tell those organising it. Usually there are options. But I would rather know than waste my time trying to get you on a course you don't want. Also as for going off on stress leave there are still many people who don't believe in stress and mental health issues, this doesn't help.

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