24 hours notice of training

Evening all,

Been combing the internet looking for guidance but nothing really has come up.

My Wife has been working part time for an employer since June 2023. She has today been told she must attend a mandatory Health and Safety training course tomorrow (24 hours notice) that is approximately 3 hours long and outside of her normal working hours, or she’ll be put on unpaid leave until she attends one. The training is delivered via a member of the health and safety team and cannot be completed as an online course.

We have a 14 month old that my wife picks up immediately after her shift ends (2pm) and I’ll be at work so cannot cover her. She has spoken to the area manager who replied saying the above r.e. unpaid leave and has asked ignored a further email.

Does anyone have any insight into whether this is reasonable? I know employers legally have to ensure all staff have been trained in H&S but with such abrupt notice and the threat levelled of unpaid leave for non-compliance, is this a reasonable request and appropriate consequence?

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • JJG
    JJG Posts: 329
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    Too little information to give any useful advice. Is this course a requirement to do her job? Is it overdue? Should it have been booked before now. Does her contract stipulate that they can put her on unpaid leave?
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,220
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    Such a demand suggests that's something far bigger has triggered mandatory attendance on this course. Ultimately senior management carry personal liability for the H&S of employees under their care. 
  • JJG said:
    Too little information to give any useful advice. Is this course a requirement to do her job? Is it overdue? Should it have been booked before now. Does her contract stipulate that they can put her on unpaid leave?
    She works as a catering assistant, nobody has offered anything further than mandatory Health and Safety training in terms of content. Based on the job role I would say yes, at least in terms of compliance.

    It isn’t overdue, no, it’s the first she’s heard of it today.

    Regarding the contract she’s working on locating it to check.
  • Hoenir said:
    Such a demand suggests that's something far bigger has triggered mandatory attendance on this course. Ultimately senior management carry personal liability for the H&S of employees under their care. 
    That was my first thought if I’m honest, however it’s only two of the newest members of staff, Wife included, that have been told they need to attend.
  • BoGoF
    BoGoF Posts: 6,772
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    Just keep in mind that with only 6 months in the job it would be very easy for them to sack your wife if, in their eyes, she was being 'difficult'
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,850
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    It's not reasonable to expect someone to arrange childcare for a 14 month old child with 24 hours notice. However, the employer may have no choice about sending her on leave while she hasn't completed the course - it may be a requirement of their insurance - but if she was safe today, I don't see how they can say she is unsafe on Wednesday. Unless it is new insurance and starts on Wednesday, and it has a condition about H&S training, it does seem unreasonable.

    As BoGoF suggested, you might want to cover the childcare yourself so that she is not seen as being difficult. Why can't you take the afternoon off as emergency childcare? 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
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