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Issues with dh's firm and time off when new baby arrives (due in 2 days!)........(LONG)

(11 Posts)
becaroo Tue 16-Sep-08 12:48:38

...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.

cmotdibbler Tue 16-Sep-08 12:51:43

Tell him to grow some balls and stand up to the MD. Sorry, but companies who do the promotion dangling thing are nothing but trouble, and you should get out of there as soon as you realise. If he gives in on this, then it will never stop.

becaroo Tue 16-Sep-08 12:58:28

That is my worry too cmotdibbler sad

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Sep-08 14:08:00

Your DH is entitled to take paternity leave but it's not illegal for his employer to ask him not to.

They don't sound like a particularly supportive or pleasant company to work for.

But I think the main immediate concern is what you say about your DH - not understanding why you are upset about this.

Short term, you need to make sure he is very clear how important this is to you, and make sure he puts his foot down about it.

Longer term, if he's not happy where he is working and they are not treating him well, he needs to consider either putting in a grievance and/or looking for alternative work elsewhere- some kind of positive action to improve things.

But right now, he needs to get his act together and be there for you and the baby.

crokky Tue 16-Sep-08 14:14:33

becaroo I feel really sorry for you and your DH. I had my 2nd earlier this year - fortunately she was born over Easter bank hol, otherwise DH would have had to work. He didn't get pat leave until DD was 1 month old!! And I had a just turned 2 yo DS.

My advice would be try not to take it out on DH. He's being treated like crap, but I presume you are desperate for his salary and job security like we were. Can you get any help from family? That's how I managed. People who make these sort of demands to employees are absolute scum, I don't know how they can possibly sleep at night.

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Sep-08 14:35:18

I have to say I disagree a bit with crokky.

Although becaroo's DH is clearly not being treated well, and obviously deserves sympathy and support, as far as we are aware he has only been asked not to take paternity leave, not told. 'Dangling' a pay rise is a bit vague as to whether it was clear that a pay rise would be conditional upon him not taking paternity leave so I don't think we can assume that.

More importantly though, however wrong it was of his boss to ask him to do this, he didn't speak to becaroo about it when this was first raised and get her views on it and hear her concerns. He has kept it from her, and now doesn't seem to understand why it's important to her. I do think he needs to pull his socks up a bit tbh.

Agree about in the short term trying to sort out alternative support though, absolutely.

becaroo Tue 16-Sep-08 19:25:35

Thanks for your messages.

I think its his lack of understanding of my feelings that is worse - we all live in the real world and in the current economic climate I guess we all have to make hard decisions.

I will try and talk to him after ds is in bed tonight and see if I can express myself better!

Judy1234 Tue 16-Sep-08 19:56:55

My husband didn't want to be present for the birth of the twins and went into school that day (it's hard for teachers to take time off work as it causes such problems for children etc) and that was fine, although I would have preferred he had wanted to be there. I think tell him you agree if he hires you for a week a maternity nurse (the £300+ a week charge should be well covered by this pay rise he is so certain he will get) or if not that you want a week with a daily housekeeper. That will show him or even get him to get his boss to pay for a maternity nurse for the first three weeks or cleaning daily help.

RibenaBerry Tue 16-Sep-08 20:10:18


I think you need to make your DH understand that you need him too, just as badly as work does. I agree with Flowery about what the employer has done, etc, and the fundamental problem seems to be his lack of recognition of your position.

I think Xenia has got a point. Try to explain to your DH that, even though you realise work will struggle without him, YOU will struggle without him too, so if you're not getting help from him, you will need the help from elsewhere (though I suspect that that is more likely to be family or whatever than paid help). Hopefully that will make him realise the magnitude of what he is expecting of you.

becaroo Wed 17-Sep-08 10:16:09

We had a chat last night and I cried a bit which really maddened me as I HATE crying but I think I made him understand my feelings a bit more.

We will see what happens when the baby (finally) arrives and take it from there.

Thanks x

Judy1234 Wed 17-Sep-08 22:57:50

If you can get his work to pay for paid help they may well do that. I've known businesses who really want staff in work paying for a temporary nanny, paying for concierge services, paying for buses to bring staff in on days when there are rail strikes. If the worker is key, if they not being there means you will lose an absolutely fortune then paying a maternity nurse £500 a week is cheap as chips in comparison.

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