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Q about My Job interview..... today

mattw 17 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2006 8:33AM
Rod - don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad I don't work for your company!!

abel 17 518 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2006 8:57AM
Hi Sara,

This has been an interesting thread - lots of good avice here. I can see the small business's view inasmuch as I have seen a few women fall pregnant and literally stop working straight away and go on the sick for the rest of the term, and this could be crippling to a tiny enterprise. I'm not stereotyping though - equally I know some women who worked bloody hard during their pregnancies - my wife is one of them, working nights in an old people's home right the way up till two weeks before, in a shift that started with lifting elderly people into bed and ended with lifting them out. Usually without any help - and when she was nearly due and struggling with the weight she was told "well, you've been lifting and handling trained - what's the problem?" .

Personally I don't think I would want the job after all. I would be concerned that someone with this sort of attitude isn't going to be the best or most understanding employer in the future. Almost inevitably with a new baby there will be times when you have to care for your child, and this guy is quite obviously going to take a dim view.

Good luck - with the job AND the trying for a baby :O) Let us know what you choose to do.
SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
9 Feb 2006 10:28AM
Rod - just a gentle observation:

Quote:As I said, I'm paid to do a job and I do it, very profitably.

I'm wondering how profitable it is when you have such a high turnover of staff. I really would question the management behaviour and ethic, and I'm surprised they can't see that if you treat employees as two a penny they will not have any loyalty towards you or the company. Why should they. But treat them with dignity, and appreciate the work they do, and you will see a different workforce altogether. Anyone who does 'cause trouble' in whatever way will tend to be sat on by his or her peers too in that kind of environment, because their behaviour will stick out like a sore wotsit.

Management of however big or small a company need to be grateful for the people who give up their own precious time to come and work for them - which is what it boils down to. You are paying to keep them at your place of work, and if you don't respect that fact or you belittle and undermine them, or shout and yell, or begrudge them each penny, then there is absolutely no reason why they should bend over backwards to fill your pockets. Respect is a two way street, and they are the ones initially doing YOU a favour, no matter how the employment situation tends to distort that fact ..

Sus 16 3.2k 9 England
9 Feb 2006 10:52AM
Even big companies that promote themselves as being 'family friendly' or whatever, often have more rhetoric than action, and some of the policies promoted are in practice biased to suit the employers convenience rather than the employee. For example, working from home - because there is insufficient office space rather than to fit in with the the lifestyle of the employee. Yet they provide document upon document - web pages, dedicated officers etc - to show how they are addressing work-life balance, diversity, discrimination etc.

The pity of it is, that women ARE burdened with the greatest demands, whether it be children, elderly parents, household tasks - whatever - in the majority of cases (a generalisation I grant you, but a fair one). But any woman who is lucky enough to find an employer that recognises these demands and shows some adaptability will reward that employer many times over. Research has shown that part-time workers, job-sharers or staff allowed flexible working methods are actually more productive than their full-time equivalents, and job loyalty is much greater, reducing staff turnover and therefore company costs overall.
robmox 17 25 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2006 4:33PM
very silly question, to ask whether in an interview or not!! But he may be interpreting the law his way, wrongly.
having worked for similar companies (both good and bad) you may find that a better company may require a disclosure contract to be signed. This protects their intelectual property from being copied. I think this is better than any such maternity restrictions, whether legal or not. Who is to say that you will not leave in 12 months time have a child and then set up a rival comapny.

Remember there are (or was?) paye' requirments for new staff who become pregnant. An employer can write legally in a contract that if staff become pregnant within 6 months they are not entitled to maternity pay.
My wife fell foul to this with our first child,they are not allowed to fire you and have to keep the position open.

The employers problem is that you still have the option not to return, which is at their fincial cost/training.
The only option left to the employer is a long term(2 year)contract, irrespective of maternity leave, but again they are gambling they have the right candidate. But hey life is a gamble, after all.

ps do you rearly want to start a job with a lie?
Ask them about the question, why such a strange request. what are the options, re disclosure, contract etc?

Oh! Rod, I do hope non of your female staff read this forum. You may see yourposts in a future tribunal.
Sus 16 3.2k 9 England
13 Feb 2006 10:18PM
What was the outcome Sara? - do let us know!
Jay44 15 1.4k Wales
13 Feb 2006 11:25PM

Quote:So if he has less than 4 employees he can ask away and discriminate away!

Well that just makes a mockery of the law!

So how did it go Sara?
JuliaB 16 110 2 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2006 11:43PM
Rob, it is still sort of true. Employers don't have to pay maternity pay if you have less than 26 weeks service before the 15th week of the Expected week of childbirth, however you can claim pay direct from the government. In those cases the maths balances out that a woman would be pregnant when she started the job. Employers get to claim SMP back back too, which does lessen the financial burden for small companies but that doesn't take away the cost of re-recruiting, training etc. The right to return to the same post remains unchanged if you come back within 6 months and it must be comparable if you come back after Additional Maternity Leave of up to 52 weeks.

Sara, if you get offered the job and after the battle with your bosses attitude, do decide to take the post then, if you could bear it, I'd be inclined to wait just a little longer until paid Statutory Maternity Leave is longer (it'll be 9 months first then to 12). Then you can split it with your husband, it's coming soon and may give you much more flexibility (and if his firm are more in tune with current legislation and benefits you may be better off). This government has generated lots of family friendly legislation around to protect you. Good luck. JB

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