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Can they make me go on a residential course

(13 Posts)
eandh Mon 28-Jul-08 14:39:46

I have worked for same company 10.5 years, full time until 2005 when I returned p/t after dd1.

Anyway I work Monday and Fridays as they are the days I have childcare available. Apparently everyone in the company (a high st bank!) has to go on a 3 day res course. Most of these courses are run tues/weds/thurs so completley impractical for me.

My boss found one for mon/tues/weds and has booke dme on it, problems are

a) its 3hours away and if I take the car it bugggers DH up and the train involves 4 changes and the course doesnt finish till 5pm wedsnesday and if no delays etc I wouldnt get home till 10pm

b) DH cannot have any time off to have the dd's as there are 2 dates available to me one in spetember (we are going on holiday 2 weeks after this date so dh cannot have more time off) other is november and again dh contract states he is not allowed any time off 6 weeks prior to Christmas. My Mum may be able to have the girls but this means that she has to use annual leave and they need to stay 2 nights at least and depending what time dh gets home on the wednesday if its to late possibly the wednesday (dh goes to work at 5.30am so cannot have them home in evening as to ealry to drop them off)

c) I have to be away for 2 of my non working days

d) I have to pay all my travelling expenses upfront then claim them back (although they will book hotel in advancE)

e) If I could have arranged someone to have the dd's was meant to go woth another colleague to save petrol costs to company (the same compnay thats been splashed all over the news lately re costs/profit warnings) but noone can go so I'd have to travel on my own

Surely I cannot be the only person in the company that works part time and that a 3 day residential course really is not viable? I have spoken to my boss/area manager but they say everyone has to attend

Sorry that rambled on a bit didnt it sad

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 19:51:03

eandh, few questions

Is the course essential for your job? Sounds as though it's pretty important if everyone has to go.

Is there an alternative? Sounds as though your boss has already tried to find one that suits you as best he can.

Are you going to be paid for your non-working days?

Have you investigated other childcare options other than DH and your mum? What's your normal childcare? Can they help? Have you looked into emergency nannies, for example, or childminders who might have a space. If you have some options and can present your employer with details of how much more it will cost you, that might help.

I think the issues about taking the car or train and about travel expenses not being paid up front are not relevant really - they apply to everyone not just part timers.

The issues you need to focus on are those that affect you more because you are part time. I expect there is something in your contract saying that they can do this type of thing, but check anyway.

Ask around and find out about other part time people, what are they doing about any additional childcare they need?

pinkteddy Mon 28-Jul-08 20:00:51

I think it is reasonable if its a one off and they have given you plenty of notice to arrange child care.

Could Dh use public transport on those days to let you have car? Or would your employer pay for you to hire a car for the 3 days given the public transport option is so difficult? It may not cost much more than the trains.

What do you normally do about childcare, could your nursery or child minder have dcs for the extra days?

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 28-Jul-08 20:16:47

I have had to do similar from time to time, I think that if you work part time then you do run the risk of things being on on the days when you arent at work.
I dont work any more than my usual hours, if I have to spend days away training then I take those days back as soon as I can.
Having to pay for things and then claim it back sounds normal to me.
It sounds like you have time to arrange childcare though - do you or DH have any friends who might take your children, or extra days at nursery?

eandh Mon 28-Jul-08 20:44:59


Sorry taken a while to reply, my childcare on my 2 days at work is my mum and mil (1 day each) so no childminder etc option. They do stay at my parents now and again however dd2 is very clingy and doesnt sleep properly when she stays over plus the other problem is my Mum needs to find out whether she can actually have the week off work (she works part time) Thought about dh staying there to settle them but tbh there isnt room and he'll need to get up even earlier to go to work and possibly disturb them hence making v.v.tired children.

MIL having them not an option as dh 95 year nan (who suffers with dementia and goes to a day centre on the day she looks after dd's)

I asked my boss if there were any courses in Kent(where I live)/London as this means I could travel home (and course is actually 2 days but if going to bristol as planned I'd need to travel monday to get there) but there aren't any local courses, Bristol/Milton Keynes/Newcastle/scotland/wales (I am in Kent)

DH needs the car as I will not be home early enough on wednesday he'll need to pick the dd's up.

Re time back I said if I go i wont be working friday that week as normal, which is now an issue as well (apparently I need to be there but noway am I working 4 days that week plus its dd1 birthday that weekend so need some time to sort stuff for her party)

I am seriously thinking about going sick the friday before and self certing myself for a week, its stressing me out so much I wont relax and tbh I have been on this course before but its a refresher (its about sales/service except now I do an admin job). Havent had a chance to catch up with other part timers locally but I know several of them have older children so not such an issue also their dh have normal '9-5' jobs so can do the drop off/pick up for childcare.

Think I am going to have one more chat with my boss/HR representative and explain it really isnt practical for me to be away for so long and give them a compromise that if there is a course held within 1.5hour travelling time then I'll attend that over the 2 days and come home

eandh Mon 28-Jul-08 20:46:19

sorry forgot to sday asking friends not an option as all have children sinilar ages to mine and its the going back to school week in september and lots of them have little ones starting school that week

BreeVanderCampLGJ Mon 28-Jul-08 20:52:40

<<Dons Hard Hat and Flak Jacket>>>

Are you being asked to go on these courses every few months ??

If not, the you need to accomodate them, it only works if you have flexibility on both sides.

nooka Mon 28-Jul-08 20:57:37

I think if you throw a sickie it will be very obvious, and if I were your manager, I would book you in on the next course, and tell you off. Sorry!

cmotdibbler Mon 28-Jul-08 20:59:41

I agree with Bree - ifs its a compulsory course, and is infrequent, then you need to find a way to go on it. If the Mon/Tues/Weds dates can't work, then look at the Tues/Weds/Thurs ones and find when you can go.

BreeVanderCampLGJ Mon 28-Jul-08 20:59:59

If I were your manager, I would book you on a slightly more arkward course. Why should I show you respect if you can not show the company some respect every so often. hmm

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 21:00:22

If there is one in November you can go on you have time to sort out these problems. What about emergency short-term type nanny?

I think lots of people will have logistical problems like who's using the car, evening childcare if they normally do it, all these issues, and they are not particular to part timers especially, more to parents and people who have other people relying on them day to day. That's probably a very high proportion of the workforce. What about other people you work with? Do any of them have children and what compromises are they making?

I know it's annoying but I do actually agree with Bree that if at all possible you need to accommodate them.

PavlovtheCat Mon 28-Jul-08 21:01:34

I work part time and as part of my job development I have to attend residential courses, 5 days long each course, probably twice a year, if I can get away with it, more likely three times.

I have to accept that it is part of my job, if I dont do it, I will not be able to do my job well (some aspects at all). It applied before DD, and it applies after.

I get the time back in lieu, which means the time I am away from DD/DH I can have back.

eandh Mon 28-Jul-08 21:09:12

Thanks again, all my colleages locally either childless or older children/teenagers so not a problem. In fact just realsied the November course is completely non option as I am on pre booked annual leave (best mates 30th birthday and am out that night!)

Havent been on a residential course since I started in 1998 but these are becoming more frequent within the company (wonder why though as must cost a fortune with hotels/petrol etc)

I'm not back to work till friday and will speak to few other p/t to find out what they are doing re childcare and will speak to my boss/training dept whether they'll be any more local courses.

Thanks again for your perspectives on this

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