Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

can i be fired for this?

76 replies

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:45

i had to call in sick last week because my childcare flaked. boss said i ruined her weekend away and wants a meeting. i have a 0 hour contract and she’s taken me off the shifts i was meant to be on this week. have a feeling if she’s taking me off the rota that she’s going to axe me. not sure what i was meant to do though? leave my 1 year old at home on her own?

im also 25 weeks pregnant and now worried about smp, will i still qualify if i can push it to 26 weeks?

probably outing but i don’t care. fed up of everyone praising working mums then giving them no leeway when they’re stuck for childcare. what is the point i feel like i might as well be a stay at home mum until kids are in school

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Overandunderit · 04/10/2022 21:48

YABU to call in sick when it was a lie.

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:49

Overandunderit · 04/10/2022 21:48

YABU to call in sick when it was a lie.

worded that wrong. i didn’t call in ‘sick’ i told her the truth but not sure what else it’s classed as if not a sick day?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

lannistunut · 04/10/2022 21:49

Yes, you could be sacked for any reason if you haven't been there for two years.

Did you say you were unwell? Is there any way your manager can know you were lying?

It is very difficult for working parents to juggle, but that is the reality.

Please
or
to access all these features

lannistunut · 04/10/2022 21:50

If you didn't lie you are in a better position as you can't be fired for gross misconduct, but yes they could let you go.

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:50

lannistunut · 04/10/2022 21:49

Yes, you could be sacked for any reason if you haven't been there for two years.

Did you say you were unwell? Is there any way your manager can know you were lying?

It is very difficult for working parents to juggle, but that is the reality.

no i told her the truth that my childcare flaked and i was stuck. i told her i had called around (which i did) and none of my family could take daughter for the day

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

OverTheHillAndDownTotherSide · 04/10/2022 21:51

Emergency parental/carers leave.

If you’re zero hours she doesn’t need to sack you. She can just not give you any hours. Your SMP entitlement is met by whether you worked there before you became pregnant and your average weekly earnings in weeks 17-25. You may have just screwed that.

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:52

what i don’t understand is that a colleague came in (3 separate occasions) 1. half drunk from the night before 2. hid in stock room crying about boyfriend argument 3. fell asleep at desk

and she just got a warning but no shifts removed. feels quite unfair when this is entirely out of my control and those things aren’t

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:53

OverTheHillAndDownTotherSide · 04/10/2022 21:51

Emergency parental/carers leave.

If you’re zero hours she doesn’t need to sack you. She can just not give you any hours. Your SMP entitlement is met by whether you worked there before you became pregnant and your average weekly earnings in weeks 17-25. You may have just screwed that.

i worked there before pregnant and am 25+4 now so have qualified for the smp but i’m confused as online says 15 weeks before due date but then something about 26th week?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

IndiGlowie · 04/10/2022 21:56

It sounds a vile place to work

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:59

IndiGlowie · 04/10/2022 21:56

It sounds a vile place to work

there is a high staff turnover for a reason

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

ChickinMarango · 04/10/2022 22:01

This would come under time off for dependants. There is info on the Gov website. If they stipulate this is the reason, I am sure you would be able to raise it.

www.gov.uk/time-off-for-dependants/whats-an-emergency

Please
or
to access all these features

XDownwiththissortofthingX · 04/10/2022 22:01

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:52

what i don’t understand is that a colleague came in (3 separate occasions) 1. half drunk from the night before 2. hid in stock room crying about boyfriend argument 3. fell asleep at desk

and she just got a warning but no shifts removed. feels quite unfair when this is entirely out of my control and those things aren’t

To be honest, from your employer's perspective your childcare arrangements are entirely within your control, and it is your responsibility when it falls through regardless of how that happens. What goes on between you and a totally unrelated third party is not their concern. You are either ready and available to work the hours offered, or you are not. In this case they'll view it as you saying you can work those hours, when in actual fact the truth is you can't guarantee that. It's not the same as a sickness absence, because that is entirely outside your control.

Also, what your colleague may or may not have done, and how they chose to deal with it is entirely irrelevant. If I was you I wouldn't bring that up as they're unlikely to respond well to it. I think all you can do is try to arrange some emergency agreement for childcare if your first option falls through, and hope that they'll be satisfied that you will be able to honour your agreement with them from here on.

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 22:04

XDownwiththissortofthingX · 04/10/2022 22:01

To be honest, from your employer's perspective your childcare arrangements are entirely within your control, and it is your responsibility when it falls through regardless of how that happens. What goes on between you and a totally unrelated third party is not their concern. You are either ready and available to work the hours offered, or you are not. In this case they'll view it as you saying you can work those hours, when in actual fact the truth is you can't guarantee that. It's not the same as a sickness absence, because that is entirely outside your control.

Also, what your colleague may or may not have done, and how they chose to deal with it is entirely irrelevant. If I was you I wouldn't bring that up as they're unlikely to respond well to it. I think all you can do is try to arrange some emergency agreement for childcare if your first option falls through, and hope that they'll be satisfied that you will be able to honour your agreement with them from here on.

but see i don’t understand this emergency childcare option? i work weekends so nursery isn’t available and i can’t imagine a hired childminder is going to say yes to someone asking for random childcare that may potentially spring up one day every 6 months?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LIZS · 04/10/2022 22:10

They might, who was your childcare? Do you meet the minimum earnings threshold for smp if you only work two days on 0 hours though. Don't complain about your colleague now, it won't help your case.

Please
or
to access all these features

XDownwiththissortofthingX · 04/10/2022 22:11

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 22:04

but see i don’t understand this emergency childcare option? i work weekends so nursery isn’t available and i can’t imagine a hired childminder is going to say yes to someone asking for random childcare that may potentially spring up one day every 6 months?

Again, not your employers concern.

I'm not trying to be deliberately difficult, honestly. I'm involved in these sorts of situations constantly in a professional capacity, so I have some insight into how (mostly terrible) employers view these sorts of situations. They don't take a humanistic, objective approach, understanding that 'life' isn't always straightforward, for them it's entirely about protecting their business interests, and if you can't do what they need you to do then they'll just shove you out the door and get someone who can.

I agree with the others that your employer sounds like a terrible employer, and all I'm trying to do is share with you my experience of how these places work. A large supermarket beginning with "T" is the absolute worst I have encountered for treating employees like dirt, not knowing their arse from their elbow when it comes to employment law, and generally trying to get away with doing whatever the hell they like, but they're all pretty awful in my experience.

As I said, all they'll want to know is that you are going to turn up for the agreed hours. They don't give a hoot about your childcare issues, so if you really want to keep this job they only thing you can do is try to reassure them that just isn't an issue from here on.

Please
or
to access all these features

Sapphire387 · 04/10/2022 22:11

I'm a trade union official, so I'm looking from that point of view.

You need to be employed during the fifteenth week before EDD to qualify for SMP. Even just a part of that week will count. It sounds like you have not actually been dismissed from your role so I think you will be ok.

Maternity allowance would be a potential fallback option if the timings didn't quite work out.

The suggestion of a potential discrimination case might sober your boss up. Letting you go at this stage of pregnancy would look dodgy and from what you have said about your other colleague, I think a decent case could be made that it is influencing your boss' decision.

It does sound like an unpleasant place to work.

Right to time off for dependents is reliant on having employee status rather than worker status - this is a complex area of employment law and needs some reading around. However most decent bosses wouldn't be sacking someone for emergency childcare issues.

You do need some proper advice - either your union if you are with one, or ACAS.

Please
or
to access all these features

caroleanboneparte · 05/10/2022 08:39

Either way you need to look for a new job now, before you look too pregnant.

You'll still get maternity allowance

Please
or
to access all these features

Brefugee · 05/10/2022 08:44

but see i don’t understand this emergency childcare option? i work weekends so nursery isn’t available and i can’t imagine a hired childminder is going to say yes to someone asking for random childcare that may potentially spring up one day every 6 months?

If you want to work, you have to have childcare like the countless other millions of us do. And if you don't have a plan B, plan C and plan D, then you run the risk that your work may dry up. It is not your employer's issue, it is yours. Harsh? sure. Fact of life? also sure.

What your employer does in respect of other employees is between them and i wouldn't bring it up in your shoes. Unless you are in a union and they are going to help you out here or you have a lawyer who wants to have all relevant info (not sure what the rules are in the UK: here you have to show that you are consistent with how you treat employees, but there is leeway for circumstances)

Please
or
to access all these features

ThatGirlInACountrySong · 05/10/2022 08:52

Couldn't dad have taken the time off?

Please
or
to access all these features

PeekabooAtTheZoo · 05/10/2022 08:54

Meanwhile in the real world people do have childcare issues and have to take time off work. Most of them lie to avoid this sort of situation. But on MN of course you have to have three on-call nannies waiting to take your kids while you work for minimum wage or you're just not trying.

Pregnancy is a protected characteristic. The trade union person upthread had some very sound advice. If she does sack you, don't hesitate to take her to tribunal and sue for wrongful dismissal.

Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 05/10/2022 10:39

ThatGirlInACountrySong · 05/10/2022 08:52

Couldn't dad have taken the time off?

dad was at the other end of the country visiting family and wouldn’t have even made it in time for my shift to finish nevermind start, told boss this as he is usually who has her so i usually don’t have this issue

it was my parents who were going to have her and they cancelled as i was getting ready for work

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

bishbashboosh1 · 05/10/2022 10:41

PeekabooAtTheZoo · 05/10/2022 08:54

Meanwhile in the real world people do have childcare issues and have to take time off work. Most of them lie to avoid this sort of situation. But on MN of course you have to have three on-call nannies waiting to take your kids while you work for minimum wage or you're just not trying.

Pregnancy is a protected characteristic. The trade union person upthread had some very sound advice. If she does sack you, don't hesitate to take her to tribunal and sue for wrongful dismissal.

thank you. exactly how i feel i understand bosses don’t always care about the ‘real world’ but that’s just simply how it is sometimes
i think part of the issue is one of my colleagues has a similar age toddler and has childcare at the drop of a hat as her parents are retired so never calls in sick, can start last minute, etc etc and i feel like boss sees this as standard but that’s just not how it is for me. i wish it was!!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DoodlePug · 05/10/2022 10:53

Unfortunately this is what happens when you have children and work, with the best will in the world there will be times when it goes pear-shaped.

Good employers understand this, and unless it happens frequently shouldn't give it a second thought. Sounds like you have a bad one.

Have the meeting, detail your child care plans and stress that it was a very unusual sequence of events that led to this and is unlikely to happen again. From your crap employers view, once you have 2 children there's twice the chance for it to happen 😬

On a zero hours contract they don't even need to let you go, they can just not give you any shifts. Can you get a 'proper' job? Even at a lower wage the perks of being a 'proper' employee may make up for it.

Please
or
to access all these features

MissMaple82 · 05/10/2022 10:53

bishbashboosh1 · 04/10/2022 21:49

worded that wrong. i didn’t call in ‘sick’ i told her the truth but not sure what else it’s classed as if not a sick day?

Parental leave!

Please
or
to access all these features

DrinkFeckArseBrick · 05/10/2022 10:57

I agree with you OP

In the real world people need to take time off for personal issues (breakups etc) emergency appointments (sick pet to the vets, plumber because your heating or hot water have gone), peoples kids get sick, peoples parents get sick. Unfortunately a lot of people have no help, I'd think a lot of people would struggle to get a one off emergency babysitter especially if their kid was sick...and probably the sick kid wouldn't be too happy either.

I'm not sure of the legalities of sacking you (I dont think they can legally sack you for this but they could reduce your hours if you're on a 0 hour contract).

From a work point of view it really backfires in my view not to realise this is a part of employing humans not robots. If you treat your employees well they are generally more productive, less likely to go off sick with stress, less likely to leave etc so it is in their interests in the long term.

If an employee is taking the piss or has constant issues then there need to be discussions about how this managed, but I dont think a one off or occasional issue warrants an official meeting to be honest.

If a majority of people can't accept that employees will have to have emergency leave for various reasons every so often then we should go back to a one earner per household society so that there can always be someone at home to deal with all the last minute emergencies that life throws at us

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

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

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?