Channel Mum Chat

They can't do this can they

I’m on Maternity leave at the moment, only been on maternity leave for 2 weeks so far.
I’ve been talking casually to a friend (she works for the same company as me) who usually (when I’m not on maternity leave) is managed and reports into me. She has a 4 year old, since covid we have all been working from home, she’s been working from home with her 4 year old, sometimes he overhears and occasionally interrupts video meetings/calls, we all didn’t see a problem with it and i certainly didn’t see a problem with it but now my replacement according to my friend has complained internally saying he’s apparently a “breach of confidentiality” and they’re apparently considering sacking her! They can’t say sack her for this can they? A 4 year old is not a breach of confidentiality in my opinion.

If she’s working from home, due to Covid and is also providing childcare for her child, then it sounds like a gross overreaction and I’d advise her to contact Citizens Advice or ACAS for advice.

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She has emailed her union rep but they haven’t replied yet.

What do they expect her to do with him? It’s not like he’ll understand any of what they are saying anyway. :thinking:

I agree with @charlotte-a I’d talk to ACAS and the union too, she can’t be dismissed for this really unless there are other factors at play that they’re aware of but you aren’t? It might also depend on any contracts she has signed and the wording in those contracts.

Employers are expected to be more flexible with parents working from home and should really work together to find a solution. If they are important and confidential meetings then it might be reasonable for them to expect her children to be cared for elsewhere, but then you’re getting into contract agreements and employment law and different rules for working from home so again, I’d urge her to discuss everything with the union and/or ACAS.

I hope your friend is okay x

Hi @Ellie.thornton8, how did your friend get on with her union rep? Did she manage to get any helpful advice on this problem?