The world finally went to pot this morning.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by 2nd man down, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Is it just me? Maybe someone with a bit more time or who has heard the whole story can shed light on all the facts because I just heard the briefest outline of the story on Radio 2 while coming to work this morning, and I'm staggered at what I heard.

    Now I'm not a sexist. Nor am I racist. I believe in equality, but only where it makes sense.
    The story (as I heard it) was that a woman had won a sexual and racial discrimination case against the MOD because her commander had criticised her for not turning up to drill because she was unable to arrange child care for her child.

    He had said to her that the Army was a war machine and as such was not a suitable place for a single mother who couldn't find a baby sitter.

    Ok, he should have said single "parent" and not mother. To singe out her gender was wrong, but lets face it, probably only a slip of the tongue, having a rant without measuring what he was saying first. But should he be taken to court over it?
    But does she really think missing drill is reasonable? This is the military for crying out loud! (I didn't hear what particular service she was in). It's not Macdonalds or Tesco, it's the military. The people charged with the defence of the realm. With our defence. Do we tell invading forces not to attack today because we're struggling finding cover for some of our kids?
    I know that all people should be allowed the chance to do all jobs, but come on...if your circumstances don't suit then do something else! We need a military that is there, ready for action, and tougher than the rest. Not one that only turns up when child cover is available and that doesn't get upset when someone tells them what sex they are.

    Unbelievable. :mad:
  2. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    I think the problem arose because with a UK citizen there would have been help available for enabling family members to stay on site to provide child care but because she was 'commonwealth' not 'UK' the MOD refused to help with any immigration proceedings (would have needed a work visa), which was seen to be unnecessarily unhelpful.

    There is also an obligation for an employer, ANY employer, to make an effort where possible to offer alternative employment to allow a parent to adequately care for children whilst still working. An initial superior officer offered to change her shift patterns to enable this, but then when the supervising officer moved on, the new officer deliberately put her on continual night duties, knowing full well this would not be possible.
  3. Di B

    Di B Member

    If she was on continual night duties why did she not escalate it at that point?
    People are always trying to blame others nowadays - if you don't respect yourself enough to stand up for your rights, what makes you think anyone else will?
    The MOD can offer alternative employment - a desk job. She should have asked for a transfer if she couldn't do her job within its constraints.
    She needs to stop blaming others and grow a backbone. Only if she had escalated it as far as possible and nothing was done would I condone this sort of action.

    Hope she doesn't go to war. She might sue again if she gets shot at it was the MOD's fault that they put her in a battlefield!
  4. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    That's exactly what she did - and got sacked and an employment tribunal has agreed with her that the sacking was unfair.
  5. manx_yessir

    manx_yessir Member

    Indeed what is the world coming to. I've just been reading this

    A medical technician killed himself after being suspended from work after someone complained that he made a politically-incorrect joke about a black friend.
    Roy Amor, 61, who was devastated at the prospect of losing his job making prosthetics, shot himself in the head outside his house.
    He was facing a disciplinary investigation after suggesting to the black colleague that he ‘better hide’ when they noticed immigration officers outside their clinic.
    It is understood that the man was a close friend of Mr Amor and was not offended. However, it was overheard by someone else who lodged a formal complaint.

    Well I hope whoever the politically correct do gooder who reported this is feeling proud of themselves now. Are we not allowed a bit of banter anymore? Whoever it was that complained should be made to stand up in front of this guys family, friends and the rest of his colleagues and explain why he/she felt this joke distressed them so much that they had to complain.
  6. Di B

    Di B Member

    If she got sacked for requesting a move to a more appropriate role, then fair do's for taking them to court.
    The detail above however, does not suggest this was the case hence my comments :)
  7. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I hate hate hate the fact that as a woman I can be asked, at a job interview, whether I have children....what the hell difference does it make whether I have children or not? I wouldn't be applying for the job if I didn't think I could do it, and why presume that it will be ME that has to provide the primary care for my children anyway?

    My husband (who has children - it takes two unbelievably) has NEVER been asked if he has children...ever....I have been asked at EVERY job interview I have had.

    Its about time that employers dragged themselves in the modern age and understood that it takes two to make a baby, and regardless of whether both parents are 'present' both of them have a responsibility...its not a one-sided issue.

    For example, next year (or possibly the year after), I will begin a degree in nursing (hopefully)...this is a nightmare logistically when it comes to childcare...but rather than leaving it all to me to organise, my husband is already beginning to think of ways around it (working from home, doing flexi-hours etc) so that HE will be the primary child carer for a while. We are lucky in that his company are fairly flexible about this sort of thing (it really makes a difference to have a caring employer).

    I feel really sorry for parents who have an 'absent' co-parent, and have no support towards caring for their children...perhaps the state should do more to help in these cases...either by forcing the absentee parent to pay for child-care/adequate child-maintenance OR by providing the support themselves (if the first option isn't available for whatever reason).
  8. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    For the record, I've been asked if I have children or not at previous interviews. When I said not, I was once asked if I "had any other examples of balancing conflicting time priorities."

    It's not always about being able to fit the job around family life - it's an example of your ability to manage your time in general.

    Some employers see having a family as a good thing.

    Swings, roundabaouts.....
  10. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Indeed. I work in sales, and to most companies looking for salespeople the more financial commitments you've got the better, as they know you'll put the effort in to earn the money.
  11. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    Jockinafrock...they might well not be allowed to, but that doesn't mean that they HAVE to ask a man that question does it? They can ask anything they like at an interview...and like I say, I've been asked at every job interview I've done whether I have children, or if I'm planning on 'staying long-term' ('are you planning on staying with this company long-term, do you have plans to have a family?').....

    I find it hard to imagine them asking a man this question, because the predominant view in today's society is that the WOMAN will be the main child carer.

    What they should ask is if I, or anyone else, has anything in their life that could affect their ability to do the job to the standards that are required. For example, there are carers out there with adult dependants, there are fathers who are the main child carers, there are woman who are single mothers, there are men in the TA, there are women going to night school, there are men in brass bands, there are women into athletics etc etc etc etc etc, the list goes on, and the sex of the applicant IS IRRELEVANT TO WHETHER THEY CAN DO THE JOB!
  12. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    scotchgirl, going back to the OP, what is your view on Miss Debique claiming more than 10 times the amount awarded to a serviceman crippled in action, in Afghanistan?
  13. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

  14. HaleStorm

    HaleStorm Member

    The only problem is, if they do ask, and you turn round and say "your not allowed to ask me that" then the interviewers first reaction will be that your being defensive and hostile to the questioning and be even less likley to consider your application any further.

    But on the otherhand being as i am, i would probably do the same as you and challenge them about it aswell.
  15. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Ok so maybe the army need to do more to help families with children but I don't think she should have been able to claim that much money! She could leave the army and get a job better suited to her needs. But a soldier or any service person crippled in Afghanistan is in a worse of situation because they now have to live with their injuries for the rest of their life.
  16. manx_yessir

    manx_yessir Member

    Why would anyone be offended if an interviewer asked if you were planning on having children??
    Let's say they didn't ask and 3 months into the job, you announce your pregnant and will be leaving once you've had your baby or leaving temporarily on maternity leave and you're not sure when you'll be back. They'll have to go through the whole interview process again. If you gave this information at interview then they could possibly inform the 2nd best candidate that a temporary or permanent position may be available in the next few months. Surely they're only protecting their own interests?
    I certainly wouldn't be offended if I was asked this question, I'd just be honest and say, either I was planning on having a family & inform them of the time-scale I think I'd likely be on leave for so they can plan on what what is in the best interests of their company or say no I wasn't planning on having a family but this could change. I'd call it being honest and open!

    Next thing is, it'll be illegal to ask what age or sex you are or even whether you speak English!

    What a stupid overly politically correct world we sometimes live in.:rolleyes:
  17. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    OR even that you are planning on having a family and you're a MAN!! Shock! Have you been asked this question in an interview? How would you answer? If you really were desperate for the job? There are just as many chances that a man will want a family some time in the future, and he will have to arrange childcare as well (its not the woman's 'job' to look after the children is it?). What will happen if the child is sick and you have to have time off work? Are you really gonna 'fess up' to wanting to start a family? Well the answer is, YOU probably won't be asked the are the wrong sex....according to most employers men don't look after children and won't be effected by any issues of childcare or illnesses etc....yeah...right! lol!

    I can tell you that in the last 7 and a bit years (I've got two kids), my husband has had to have several times off work due to either my illnesses (not being able to care for the kids) or the children's issues (illesses, appointments, school plays etc etc). And this is taking into consideration that I am a full time mum! I can't imagine what a logistical nightmare it would be if we both had to work. But would my husband's employer feel that it was up to me to look after the children if we both had to work? What about my employer?

    I say makes no difference what sex you are...both sexes have children...the discrimination arises because it is felt that women look after them...not the men...
  18. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    To turn it round the other way then, Scotchgirl, do you think an employer would genuinely believe a bloke who said he was going to take 6 months paternity leave so his wife could return to work early?

    I agree there's no reason that they shouldn't - however the attitude that discrimination only works one way is pretty misguided.

    I'd suggest you read a book called "Stiffed" by Susan Faludi. I used extracts from it in my foundation year and it puts into far better terms than I can how sexism betrays men as well as women. Both in the workplace and domestically/socially.
  19. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Thank goodness someone's got a bit of common sense.

    Miss DeBisque, who was claiming over £1,100,000 from the MoD has been awarded just £17,016.
  20. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    My recent employers must have been a bit more canny than this. They've all asked about my personal circumstances, probably to help get a better understanding as to who I am as a person (I'd like to think), or possibly to get a handle on how often they think I'll be absent due to family duties. I note above that you put in school plays as an example as an issue. To me, if you're working, you miss the kids play and get someone to tape it for you. Life's tough sometimes.

    Having a large number of small businesses as clients I can fully understand why they ask these types of questions. You've got to understand that in order for them to scrape a living they often require help to get the job done, pay the minimum wage to the helper and then watch the helper take the mickey and walk away with higher earnings than the employer gets.