No childcare for training sessions

A year ago I started to work in a new job. We have a two-year-old daughter who is not yet going to kindergarten because she did not get a funded place there. My partner was offered a promotion in the same company and we had to move cities. My partner informed his employer that he is happy to move if they will also offer the job to me. The employer offered it and we moved. The employer was aware of the situation that we have a small child who will need to be with one of us all the time, because unfortunately we don’t have any relatives here and also our salary is not big enough to afford a babysitter. My partner is working early shifts, I am doing late shifts in the same workplace. However, my employer has training sessions/meetings I need to attend to. Because my partner is working, I have no other option than to attend to them with my two-year-old daughter. One was a fire training on the roof of the building. It was very narrow there and there were also dead pigeons there, which my daughter saw. It was a big trauma for my daughter. I told my manager that I am happy to to attend training/ meetings if they are organised after my partner finishes work (3pm) or on my partner’s day off. He said he would see what he could do. Around two weeks later there was a professional kitchen cleaning chemicals training (I am working in the kitchen) at 10:30 in the morning, when my partner is at work. I said I could not attend. This was not passed to my manager who questioned why I was not at the training. I have now received a warning letter threatening me with disciplinary action. What can I do?

There are certain rules your company should be aware of as you are a part-time worker you are still entitled to the same rights as a full-time employee.

Legally training should be scheduled as far as possible to allow part-time workers to participate.

Representatives are entitled to paid time for training as is reasonable to acquire the skills and information to represent their colleagues effectively and understand health and safety issues in the workplace.

Your training should either be scheduled during your shifts or, as you say, when your husband is not at work so he can look after your daughter. You have done the right thing by informing your supervisor of the situation and they should consider this when booking you in for training. At worst case scenario then your husband could take leave then you could attend then, but remember you are entitled to be paid to attend the training when it is outside of your working hours.

I would ask for a training time table for all the sessions you are going to have to attend, so you can plan this in advance.

You should not be forced to attend the training with your child, as I am sure this is against all health and safety rules. You should ask for alternative dates.

The Company could start a disciplinary against you, but I do feel this would be unfair as you have discussed your requirements with your supervisor and are doing everything you can to try and attend. It would be worth contacting the person who sent you the warning letter and discussing your situation further.

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