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Other HR bods, Parental Leave for other employee....

(12 Posts)
FuriousSituation Wed 22-Jul-09 09:42:12

I have taken over from the HR manager and have been doing it for a few months. I am doing ok, but today i have come across a problem which is going to keep cropping up.

Both me and DH work in the same place. I am off ill at the moment with Swine Flu. We have kept both our boys away all week because eldest has asthma and youngest is 2yo so both at risk. I have been told to stay off until tamiflu is finished. So will not be back in till Monday.

However CM is going on holiday on Friday, MIL has the boys but has an appt on Friday Morning. DH has asked for the morning off to enable him to look after the kids and has been refused.

I know he is entitled to Parental leave for care emergencies. However had someone else from his department come to me with this problem I would have no issue speaking to the manager from his department. But cos its my DH it's all a bit close.

Literally we only have two options for Friday morning now, DH calls in sick, or we bring them here and get them ill which means more time off for us. So it really makes sense for him to have the morning off whether it be paid or unpaid.

The head of the department wont let him take an hour off even because there are 3 other people off... There are 16 engineers in the department I am fairly sure they would cope for an hour or so, or even a morning. They would have to if he rung in sick?

How would you handle this situation? I dont want my kids to get sick and I know my boss would not be happy if i had to take more time off

OnceWasSquiffy Wed 22-Jul-09 09:50:54

I would get your DH to send him a copy of his rights (from a govvie website or something), and that he should explain politely in an email that he is entilted to time off to deal with this, it is not a question of asking 'permission'

One point however is that the time off should be to cover emergencies until other arrangements can be put in place and it could be argued that there is probably time to arrange for an emergency childminder. But I would only come up with that type of argument as a boss if it were absolutely critical for someone to be in the office (and this is certainly not the case here).

An alternative is to suggest that you seek guidance from your company legal rep on this - that way it takes you out of the loop and gets the same result.

flowerybeanbag Wed 22-Jul-09 09:54:46

If you are not comfortable speaking to this manager, then your DH needs to do it, a bit more forcefully than he has so far.

He can do exactly as you would do; point this manager to the legislation that means he can't actually refuse this request.

It's not parental leave, it's time off for dependants/compassionate leave. Your DH can do what you might do, point the manager to information about the legislation, such as here, reassure the manager that it is unpaid so it will not cost him anything, and that he will do everything he can to reduce the impact of his very short absence on the rest of the team. But he will be off on Friday morning.

FuriousSituation Wed 22-Jul-09 09:55:14

Thanks Squiffy, we don't have a company legal rep...

The thing with emergency CM is no one is going to take them cos I have SF. Which is why our own CM hasn't had them all week... If I didnt have them then i could have the time off no problem!

It's not the first time it's happened tbh he was refused when our 2 year old was in hospital

The email is a good idea though. I shall speak to DH.

RibenaBerry Wed 22-Jul-09 10:07:19

I think that, in your case, you might be able to argue that a 'reasonable' period of time off covers the whole of the absence. As Flowery says, it is normally just long enough to put alternative childcare in place, but as you say, in this case you cannot do that for reasons actually related to the illness and government advice. Be willing to explain that you have tried relatives (or why you cannot- distance, etc), but I think you are probably ok until they come out of 'quarantine'.

FuriousSituation Wed 22-Jul-09 10:12:02

Thanks all, I dont think DH has been unreasonable asking for the morning off. MIL can have them again in the afternoon. I have emailed DH, if they say no I may well go and cough on the manager and make him ill for his holiday next week

ruddynorah Wed 22-Jul-09 10:18:41

parental leave is the pre arranged leave which normally is taken in blocks of a week, say if your child needed to go to hospital, or you needed to take some time off to be with them through a difficult time or something.

short term leave with short notice would be, as described, dependants leave ie childminder let you down or child too ill for nursery etc. they have to give you this, but if you take too much too often or don't seem to have a decent arrangement so you can work reliably then they are right to ask questions.

has your dh had any dependants leave so far, ever?

if he rang in sick instead, having been refused the dependants leave, then in theory he could face misconduct as he isn't genuinely ill. having said that though, he shouldn't be being refused the dependants leave.

flowerybeanbag Wed 22-Jul-09 10:20:41

'if they say no'

The whole point is they can't say no. It doesn't sound as though your DH's boss has read about the legislation and decided this doesn't 'count' as an unexpected emergency situation (which imo it certainly does), it sounds as though he genuinely thinks it's up to him to decide whether it's convenient.

He needs to be told clearly, by your DH if not by you, that it's not a case of saying no.

FuriousSituation Wed 22-Jul-09 10:25:26

Rubbynorah - he has had no time off for dependants, its normally me that takes it. He has only asked once before which as I said has been refused. He is never late, always works way more than the required hours without extra pay. Is the first one to come in for weekend work if they need work doing at weekends.

TBH its the department that worries me, from a HR point of view I know they have given one particular person who has no children time off to visit his bank, get his car fixed etc...

But they refuse parents time off for dependants.

ruddynorah Wed 22-Jul-09 10:29:02

then as the HR manager are you responsible for making sure these managers do know the policy? do you have a training dept as well? what sort of people management training do these managers have?

FuriousSituation Wed 22-Jul-09 10:34:11

There is nothing set in place. Although the manager is going a management course. I have just taken over duties from the HR manager who is off long term sick. I give advice when the managers/employees come to me. It's a fairly small company so no training department as such, each department has their own training manager for the staff not the managers.

I don;t have enough authority to deal with the department as a whole which is why it's awkward.

ruddynorah Wed 22-Jul-09 10:37:03

gosh. tricky set up. who are those managers accountable for then? they just wait for grievances to stack up and worry about it later? or they rely on staff not standing up for themselves or knowing their enitlements? will it be covered on the management course at all? deary me. happens so often though. perhaps you can make some recommendations for improvement? bets of luck.

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