Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


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:

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 02/10/2018 14:51

Could you suggest a teleconference/webex as a compromise?

Agree that while frustrating for you, it must also be frustrating for your co-worked AND your employer who is trying to do something positive/find out how the current situation is working for you.


GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 02/10/2018 14:51

*worker not worked


EssentialHummus · 02/10/2018 14:55

Conference call?

Otherwise agree to go in on the Wednesday/Thurs this time, on the basis that next year (or whenever there's another similar situation) it happens on "your" day.


Botanica · 02/10/2018 14:56

Friday was a fair suggestion from your employer, impacting neither one of you over the other.

You are being unreasonable to expect to have the timing catered to you over and above your colleague. Having a baby doesn't make your time and needs any more important than hers.

Flexible working requires you to show some flexibility in return.


Feellikeimthemaid · 02/10/2018 15:01

This is the issue when the job shares do not have a day/time when they're both in together to hand over. In one way the employer IBU in asking either of you to attend the office on a non work day, but at the same time they're trying to find something that works for all parties. Could you and your colleague have individual meetings with your employer to give feedback, and then you find a mutually convenient time for everyone to jump on a Skype call for an hour on a Friday to discuss? If your employer is going to insist on everyone attending a face to face meeting, then someone somewhere has to compromise - maybe the Friday - and I would agree with others who suggest maybe the baby daddy takes some time off to look after the baby.


DarlingNikita · 02/10/2018 15:18

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.

It does just come down to this, unfortunately. I used to work in a jobshare and it has a lot of upsides, but this is one of the downs.

I will admit that neither I nor my jobshare partner had children, so I'm not coming at it from the same perspective, but it is something you just have to deal with.

Does your boss have form for expecting you, not your partner, to compromise? If not then I'd probably just find a way to deal with it. If so then you'd be reasonable to feel aggrieved, and you may be justified in pointing out to them that you also had to come in on one of your non-work days last time. In my case we all (boss, me and partner) used to be mindful of whose 'turn' it was to be inconvenienced.


scottishdiem · 02/10/2018 15:26

"Is employer being unreasonable?"

No employer is unreasonable to want to speak to their employees. It would probably be better if you and job share could arrange something that works for you both and then take that to the boss.

Its faffing and resistance like this that makes employers reluctant to accept job shares. It should not be hard to meet your own employees.


Tiredtomybones · 02/10/2018 15:35

When I worked part time things such as this really annoyed me. My days off were very structured - dance classes and swimming lessons all paid for a term in advance and no child care arranged for those days because I didn't need it. Nursery couldn't just have my 2 DC at the drop of a hat and as we live away from family there was no one else. I'd suggest conference call when the baby is sleeping, unless as others have said, DH can take a day off.


ThisMustBeMyDream · 02/10/2018 15:40

This thread is just another reason why working as a parent feels absolutely impossible.

I'm a single parent with no family support. Childcare isn't as flexible as "just book another day of childcare". I'm not sure why others think it is?! As for finding childcare, have you ever tried finding last minute childcare for a kid with additional (behavioural) needs? Next to impossible.

My employer does not own me. They do not own my time when not at work. I have a contract, and that is for set days at set times. And it's for very good reason.

OP, just say "that won't work for me". You've given alternative options which is more than I'd have been able to do!

Employers need to recognise that "find childcare" simply isn't acceptable to tell their employees when it comes to their non contracted work time.


ThisMustBeMyDream · 02/10/2018 15:40

Oh good, glad it isn't just me Tired.


serbska · 02/10/2018 15:42

What about a conference call? You could dial in from home with the baby.


stiltonontoast · 02/10/2018 15:44

Thanks everyone.

I've suggested skype OR I bring the baby along. We'll see what response I get.

OP posts:

Tinkobell · 02/10/2018 15:44

Sadly, a good job share is very hard won OP. Be careful. I would very much think that it's in your and your job sharing partners interests to just sort something out as a one off and keep the employer sweet. Don't get huffy about it fgs.....think of the bigger picture.


serbska · 02/10/2018 15:45

Of arrange for the meeting to be early on your non working day? Like 8am?

So your DH can just go in late that morning if that is acceptable to his employer. He could even be waiting outside your office with the baby so he barely has to be late at all.


GeorgeTheHippo · 02/10/2018 15:48

I'm sure you can make arrangements, you just don't want to. It's not unreasonable for your employer to want to meet you both. This kind of nonsense is what puts employers off job shares.

What solution do you suggest?


L0kiWh0 · 02/10/2018 15:48

Why can’t the colleague phone in on a conference call on a day when OP is at work? Why can’t the colleague book a half day annual leave from her job rather that ops husband? Why is the onus on her to be the one to find a compromise rather than her colleague?


londonrach · 02/10/2018 15:50

Friday the fair day. Can dh get a morning off to watch baby. You both sound very inflexible


DeaflySilence · 02/10/2018 15:51

"Is employer being unreasonable?"

No. You and your colleague are being inflexible. If the job-share can not meet the needs of the company, even at such a basic level as you both attending whole-team meetings, then it's not working, is it?

If it's not working, then where does that leave your job-shared post?

If I were you, I would offer to go in at a time most convenient to your employer, with the understanding that your job-share colleague made that sacrifice on the next occasion the whole-team met.


WeLoveFlowers · 02/10/2018 15:54

It sounds like your employer is being flexible for you generally, so in your shoes I’d just go to the meeting for the sake of goodwill.


ilovemylurcher · 02/10/2018 15:54

I agree with Deafly and George.
In my industry part time work is really hard to come by for this very reason (so much so that I had to be a sahm for some years as there was literally nothing)- and tbh I blame the attitude of the employees.
We are shooting ourselves in the foot and then blaming employers.


ThisMustBeMyDream · 02/10/2018 15:59

George This kind of nonsense is what puts off parents (especially mothers) from working.

I think people expect you just to abandon your children to suit an employer. Childcare isn't that simple!


FanciedAChangeToday · 02/10/2018 16:01

Your compromises are

  1. coming in on your day off and

2. bringing the baby
What else are you expected to offer?? She is NBU to want a meeting, that makes sense. But why should you be the only one to compromise?

PoohBearsHole · 02/10/2018 16:04

I work pt and the reason it works is that I am flexible to fit in with other employees who don't have the advantage of working pt.

This meeting could be crucial to working out how you both progress and possibly make your lives easier.

The likelihood is that it won't be all day, therefore if you can find a relative, friend, partner who can look after your baby for the short period of time (partner takes day off and comes with you to the city where you then have the rest of the day together?).

If you value your role, it will be great when you have more flexibility during term time when your dc is at school. If I were you and I valued my role/ enjoyed my role then I would be as flexible as possible. It is a one off and you will be seen as valuable to your employer if you can do your best to accommodate them. If your job share is being difficult then who is the employer likely to hold onto in a situation where one has to go?


GeorgeTheHippo · 02/10/2018 16:08

I have worked three days a week for eighteen years. Occasionally you have to put yourself out.


Purpleartichoke · 02/10/2018 16:09

I occasionally have this issue with work. My husband takes off from his work and covers child care. Once when our daughter was very young and they were letting me work a ridiculously flexible schedule that let me be available to nurse on demand, I had to spend a day in the office. My husband took the entire day off and sat in my office taking care of the baby and I popped in to nurse between meetings.

These days were horribly inconvenient for us, but my employer was generally so accommodating that it would have been ridiculous for me to not find a solution.

Now that she is older, it really only becomes an issue when I have a rare bit of travel. We cobble together coverage and that often means my husband using his leave. I don’t feel guilty about this. My daily flexibility allows him to work the job he does. Sometimes he has to sacrifice some leave in exchange.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?