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Is employer being unreasonable, holding meeting on my day off? Childcare issues

77 replies

stiltonontoast · 02/10/2018 13:59


I went back to work from mat leave at the beginning of Sept. I work a job share, I do Mon/Tues, other lady does Wed/Thur and business is closed Friday. I have an 8 month old baby so care for him when I am not working, my job share does self employed work when she is not working for our employer. The office is in the next city over from where I live, its 30 mins drive and 10 mins park and ride and quite an expensive city to commute to (let alone park in!)

Employer has suggested a meeting with both employees to discuss our job share, how its working out and other work related stuff. She's suggested a Friday. I replied that Friday is no good for me due to childcare issues. She's now suggested Wednesday - same issue Hmm I suggested I could bring baby along but she was not keen on this idea. My job share is also furious because she has work commitments on her 'other days' away from our office.

Is employer being unreasonable?

OP posts:
wafflyversatile · 02/10/2018 14:01

Well it's a bit hard to have a meeting with both of you on a day that is both of your work days, as there isn't one.

What would you suggest your employer do? Maybe go to them with a solution.

Lydiaatthebarre · 02/10/2018 14:02

The obvious solution is to let you bring the baby along, in my opinion. Not ideal, but given the circumstances the most practical solution.

puzzledlady · 02/10/2018 14:04

But how can she pick a day where one of you is entirely happy with? You two are being unreasonable imo - come to a compromise.

RedOrange21 · 02/10/2018 14:04

I would go on the Friday but I would expect to be paid for an additional day (or half day) if I did.

emma123456 · 02/10/2018 14:05

Really? I'm not sure childcare is your employer's concern. They should pay you for the time needed for the meeting or offer time in lieu. Personally, I'd suck it up and go in for a meeting on a day off - ideally a day when one of you would be working.
The only other alternative is a conf call

listsandbudgets · 02/10/2018 14:07

It sounds as if whatever day is chosen would be inconvenient for at least one of you

Can you make some constructive suggestions of alternatives to your employer? Conference call, exchange of emails between you all, online chat?

Does it acutally have to be a physical meeting

MyDcAreMarvel · 02/10/2018 14:07

Suggest Skype meeting during baby nap time.

MyDcAreMarvel · 02/10/2018 14:08

On a wed/Thur.

LittleOwl153 · 02/10/2018 14:09

Is your employer being unreasoanble in suggesting it - no
Would your employer be unreasonable to enforce it? - that depends on your contract - look for the line about working other days as required.

Red has a reasonable suggestion - if you can be paid in addition for the time - could your child do an extra 1/2 day in childcare - assuming they are in nursery/childminder etc.

I think it is up to you to come to an arrangement with your collegue - but appreciate neither of you are going to want to give on this if the other days are planned for her too.

ghostyslovesheets · 02/10/2018 14:10

There isn’t a day that you are both there so I’m not sure what u want your employer to do? In your situation I ask the kids dad to muck in ( I work three days but often have to do stuff on the other two and ask him to do school pick up etc) can the baby’s dad take half a days leave

user139328237 · 02/10/2018 14:11

Would a Saturday be better then?
She can't hold it at a time when both of you are meant to be working as there simply isn't one so if the meeting needs to include both of you at least one of you will have to go in on a day you're not meant to be working.

LittleOwl153 · 02/10/2018 14:12

interesting that it is you that is expected to compromise though - by the Wednesday meeting when Friday was unacceptable to collegue too but Wednesday would be. I would be miffed too if this is how it is coming across to you.

Ninoo25 · 02/10/2018 14:15

It is unreasonable to expect you to go into work on a non work day, especially as he/she is aware that you don’t work those days because you are looking after your baby and your job share has another job so cannot come in on another work day. If either of you manage to rearrange things so you can go in on your non work day you should at least be paid for it. I would expect the manager though to have the common sense to either allow you to bring your baby or have a conference call or Skype if you are at home.

Ninoo25 · 02/10/2018 14:18

LittleOwl I’m not surprised. The OP is effectively a SAHM on her days off and we all know how some people view the importance of that vs. paid work (which from OP is what I think the other person is doing on their days off ie they have 2 jobs)

Ellisandra · 02/10/2018 14:20

It depends on so many things.
If this is an employer who has been good, and accommodating over a flexible working request, for example - then I would also be accommodating.
For a one off meeting, I’d find childcare - half day off for baby’s dad?
Evening after work (your days or the jobshare?)?
I’m sure there are options (and I agree it’s better without a baby, they can be ridiculously distracting unexpectedly!) - but how hard I’d look for them depends on how good an employer / job it is.

BeautifulPossibilities · 02/10/2018 14:22

I think part of part time working is making it successful by compromising. I would expect you to be an adult and make a suggestion such as this time you are happy to attend the meeting on Wednesday, if next time it can be on a Monday or make a suggestion that you use the time to be flexible on another day. With an 8 month old you are going to need the time for sick kid, etc

And yes I work part-time in a typical full time full time job.

Jeezoh · 02/10/2018 14:23

I’d be worried that your inflexibility will affect your employer’s view of whether a job share is do-able with the current set up. At my work, job sharers have to overlap on a day or be prepared to make reasonable adjustments to attend events on their job working days (with enough notice to make alternative arrangements as needed).

I think you need to accept you’ll have to find a solution that works for everyone. Flexible working only works out when there’s give and take on both sides.

maxelly · 02/10/2018 14:28

Unfortunately this does come up from time to time when you job share - we have lots of people at my work who work flexibly/part time and/or job share and maybe a couple of times a year there are meetings which are really essential to have everyone in for. We always give lots of notice (at least 3 months) and the time is paid (either time off in lieu or overtime) but ultimately I think it is reasonable to expect someone to arrange additional childcare for a short period of time if it is genuinely important- I think some rope in favours from family or partners and others pay for a babysitter or extra sessions at nursery. We do occasionally also have people bring their kids with them but TBH it is not usually conducive to a useful/productive conversation - everyone is too busy cooing over the cute baby to concentrate!

Witchend · 02/10/2018 14:29

Friday sounded very fair as neither of you would normally be in. I would have taken that.

Satsumaeater · 02/10/2018 14:33

I think you should get baby's dad to muck in and go in on a different day.

I work FT at the moment, but when I worked PT I often swapped my days around.

Jlynhope · 02/10/2018 14:37

Your employer is being perfectly reasonable and both you and the other employee need to figure it out. Getting extra child care to cover one meeting shouldn't be a huge issue. She's not asking for this every week. I'd be unimpressed if my employees were being this rigid.

dueanotherchange · 02/10/2018 14:41

I think that this is a very tricky one, and you should be considering a conference call as a solution rather than an in-person meeting. (there are free solutions - it's not hard to set up.

Her work doesn't trump your childcare issues, and your childcare issues don't trump her work.

Your employer went about asking this the wrong way.


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BlackrockMum · 02/10/2018 14:42

I'm guessing the employer suggested Friday as it was fairest to you both, and I'd echo everyone who said if you cant fit in with this just the once, then what are you and your colleague going to suggest? if you really cant do it can the other worker come in later or earlier one day, to have an early morning or late evening meeting if this suits boss who may have her own childcare/ or life issues to arrange. I do believe there is an onus on you (both) to work as efficiently as possible on the days you are in, and if this means arranging some additional childcare occasionally that's only fair.

LittleLionMansMummy · 02/10/2018 14:46

Your employer offered the only day that would be equally fair (or unfair) on both you and your colleague. I'd do what I could to attend on the Friday - I.e. find some kind of childcare solution (can dp/ dh take a half day, do you have any non working family or friends who might fancy a shopping trip and wouldn't mind looking after the baby for an hour while you attend the meeting?)

I'm fully supportive of employers being as flexible as possible to retain good employees who are parents of young children. Given that you job share I'd guess that your employer has been quite flexible thus far. I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect some flexibility in return. Particularly as a Friday was an obvious first choice to try to treat you both equally.

ilovecherries · 02/10/2018 14:49

I’m afraid flexible working means all parties have to be flexible on occasion - it’s not all down to the business to make it work, each of you need to make compromises sometimes. I suggest the two of you put your heads together and suggest something workable.

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