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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 22nd May 09, 12:10 PM
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    MSE Jenny
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Ian hire a waitress who may want kids?
    • #1
    • 22nd May 09, 12:10 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Ian hire a waitress who may want kids? 22nd May 09 at 12:10 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Ian hire a waitress who may want kids?

    Ian runs a small cafe, but business has been badly by the recession, and he's fighting to survive. He needs to hire a new waitress, but is thinking twice about picking Diane, who's got a great CV, but is recently-married, and he suspects may want kids quite soon. There is already one employee on maternity leave, and the company finances are so fragile that if Ian lost another worker for six months, the caff could face ruin.

    Click reply to have your say

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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 26-05-2009 at 7:09 PM.
Page 1
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 26th May 09, 3:34 PM
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    Flickering Ember
    • #2
    • 26th May 09, 3:34 PM
    • #2
    • 26th May 09, 3:34 PM
    I think the PC brigade has killed common sense in this country. I'm a female of child-bearing age and I think that Ian should put his business first and not hire a woman of child bearing age if that's what it takes to keep his business going. But I don't get why it has to be a waitress; what is wrong with a waiter?

    Another example of when I don't have a problem with certain level of discrimination is in ethnic restaurants. Eg I went to a Thai restaurant once and it was the worst meal I've ever eaten at a restaurant. My dining buddy asked for the chef to complain, and when presented with the chef, he wasn't Thai which may explain why the meal wasn't good.

    The more litigious we become as a nation and the more we're mollycoddled and nannied the worse these situations become. I'm looking for a job at the moment and wouldn't have any problem if I was turned down for reasons similar to the OP. It's life; these are tough times. And I want a baby in the next few years so couldn't pretend to not be maternal.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 26th May 09, 6:29 PM
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    scotsbob
    • #3
    • 26th May 09, 6:29 PM
    • #3
    • 26th May 09, 6:29 PM
    YES

    Who is going to eat in a restaurant where there is no tasty waitresses to look at??



    .
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 26th May 09, 7:24 PM
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    • #4
    • 26th May 09, 7:24 PM
    • #4
    • 26th May 09, 7:24 PM
    Someone who is there to enjoy the food/wine and the company of friends/family, perhaps? I don't care what the waiting staff look like as long as they're kind, polite and hygienic.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • narabanekeater
    • By narabanekeater 26th May 09, 11:22 PM
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    narabanekeater
    • #5
    • 26th May 09, 11:22 PM
    • #5
    • 26th May 09, 11:22 PM
    isnt Maternity leave 9 months?
    • corbyboy
    • By corbyboy 26th May 09, 11:29 PM
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    corbyboy
    • #6
    • 26th May 09, 11:29 PM
    • #6
    • 26th May 09, 11:29 PM
    YES

    Who is going to eat in a restaurant where there is no tasty waitresses to look at??

    .
    Originally posted by scotsbob
    Well there won't be a tasty waitress if she goes on maternity leave.

    He should choose a person based on what's best for his business. What's the point of hiring somebody if it might cost him his business? Then everybody loses their job.
  • SarahJay55
    • #7
    • 27th May 09, 2:39 AM
    • #7
    • 27th May 09, 2:39 AM
    As a woman 'of child bearing age', albeit one not interested in having children, and as an HR professional, I find this a very tricky topic!

    I am glad we no longer live in an age where marriage spells the end of a woman’s working life, but I definitely believe that maternity provisions are becoming financially and practically unbearable.
    The solution is a combination of greater sharing of childcare responsibilities between parents, and of placing a fairer (financial) value on jobs with true worth in society (eg carers of all kinds as opposed to say marketers or accountants - no offence to either of course!)- but that's a whole other tangent.


    In my professional capacity my advice has to be that, unless Ian has a genuinely better suited candidate for the job, he must select Diane. Not to do so would be infinitely more costly if he were taken to, and lost, an Employment Tribunal…
  • katemcg
    • #8
    • 27th May 09, 3:11 AM
    Of course
    • #8
    • 27th May 09, 3:11 AM
    It makes sense to hire Diane on the spot.

    a) the owner has no proof besides the fact that the woman is recently married. This is a very dubious reason.
    b) If the owner's finances are so precarious, it makes sense to hire the best and most efficient worker now. If she performs, it could mean finances improve quite quickly.
    c) even if Diane does become pregnant, she most likely wouldn't take maternity leave until quite a few months had elapsed, giving the owner time to find a replacement.

    Also, as a woman in a similar situation as Diane (i.e. recently married, in a new job, contemplating kids) I'm committed to giving my new employer at least 12 months of my time before getting serious about kids, and after that who knows how long it may take me to conceive, if at all.

    I wouldn't dream of taking on a new job if I were thinking of getting pregnant in the next few months and I think a lot of women would be the same.
    • Taffybiker
    • By Taffybiker 27th May 09, 7:10 AM
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    Taffybiker
    • #9
    • 27th May 09, 7:10 AM
    • #9
    • 27th May 09, 7:10 AM
    Ian could make it clear that he is hiring Diane as a temp for maternity cover. He can then offer her a permanent position at a later time. By then the employee on leave should have returned and even if Diane does become pregnant the business should be no worse off.
  • irritable
    He has to look after the best long-term interests of his business. If he believes that there is a strong chance of storing up future difficulty, he has an obligation to himself not to hire her.
    Sad perhaps, but as a small business he cannot afford the risks associated with taking her on.
  • purplegaily
    Ouch - isn't this now against the law....

    I know that Ian doesn't have to tell anyone his decisions, but if he can't justify why he took someone else on over Diane if she is the best person for the job - then he could end up in legal hot stew (unlikely, but could happen).

    In this day and age, you need to be able to justify the reason why you didn't hire - the old guy, the black lady, the teenager, the woman of child bearing age, the person with the speech impediment.........

    Or, he could employ Frank - the big butch chap, who then breaks his leg playing rugby at the weekend, and can't work for months - or Tony, the caring sharing hubby, who wants to take Maternity leave for his family - when his wife has their first child (in 6 weeks!!)

    I understand business isn't easy, but you can't make decisions on the what if.
    Always on the look out for a bargain. Thanks if you've helped me bag one.
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 27th May 09, 8:12 AM
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    Flickering Ember
    isnt Maternity leave 9 months?
    Originally posted by narabanekeater
    Generally it is, yes. With all due respect, but if you're doing a job like waitressing, you probably cannot afford to take the full 6 months off. I know someone in retail who took only 4 months off as her OH was only able to work part time when his hours got cut.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • essexgal
    • By essexgal 27th May 09, 8:32 AM
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    essexgal
    Unless he's got a crystal ball how can he tell if anyone's going to be a liability - apart from pregnancy, there's also paternity leave, long term sickness, stress, etc - and some people lie exaggerate on C.V.s anyway.....

    If his business is so fragile, wouldn't he be better hiring two or more waitresses on a part-time basis - at least if one fell pregnant the other might be able to increase their hours slightly to cover, and might mean that he won't have to pay out so much maternity (not sure how many hours/ how much the thresholds are now....:confused

    Not everyone wants to start a family the moment they get married (we didn't - we had nine years of fun first...) - and then again not everyone gets married (or even has a partner) before getting pregnant.....

    essexgal
    Last edited by essexgal; 27-05-2009 at 9:29 AM. Reason: can't spell pregnancy - need more caffeine...lol
    old enough to know better, young enough not to care
    • Dorrie
    • By Dorrie 27th May 09, 8:32 AM
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    Dorrie
    I don't think you should turn someone down for a job based on 'what if', as purplegaily said. After all, you have no idea what is going to happen. Not all women of child-bearing age and recently married actually want children or can have them.

    I married at 18 to a man of 20. A few years later we tried to have a baby but after a year, nothing had happened. He then died at the age of 24 from cancer. I remarried the following year and actually got a new job about 6 weeks before I got married. We did intend to start a family reasonably quickly but the worry was always there in the back of my mind - maybe I couldn't have children? After all, I had tried for a year. As it was, 8 months after we got married we decided to start trying for a family, and 18 months after we got married I had my first baby. But what if I couldn't have got pregnant? 19 years on I would probably still be working in the same job (local government). Should I have taken that job in the first place? Yes, why not? I had no way of knowing if I could get pregnant/carry a baby to term or even that my new husband could father a child. No-one knows what is going to happen.
  • Rememberscarborough
    People forget that an employer also has a duty of care to existing employees. If he made a decision knowing full well it could jepodise another employee's job he could be sued by the employee already on maternity leave.

    The maternity rules were brought in to protect the few from unscrupulous employers but, in the current climate, many small businesses can't afford to employ further staff to cover the 12 month maternity leave and it is putting huge stress on both employers and employees who have to cover this period. In the good times this may not have been as much of a problem but issues like this can now send smaller companies to the wall and then we all suffer.
    • quartile
    • By quartile 27th May 09, 8:52 AM
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    quartile
    There's no financial cost to Ian of maternity leave. As a small business he can reclaim 104.5% of the cost of statutory maternity leave back through NI. You can see this on the hmrc website.

    The only cost is of finding someone to cover.
    • essexgal
    • By essexgal 27th May 09, 9:40 AM
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    essexgal
    There's no financial cost to Ian of maternity leave. As a small business he can reclaim 104.5% of the cost of statutory maternity leave back through NI. You can see this on the hmrc website.

    The only cost is of finding someone to cover.
    Originally posted by quartile
    Yes, and in a larger company the amount of NI due out would be more than the amount he will be deducting - but if the business is that small will his payments due out for NI be enough to deduct all the smp from? and how fast will HMCR pay him the difference.... we all know how quick they are at grabbing tax....and how slow on the refunds...

    essexgal
    old enough to know better, young enough not to care
    • Mullhon2
    • By Mullhon2 27th May 09, 9:48 AM
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    Mullhon2
    I am also a 'woman of child bearing age' and do think that this is a very real issue. I have been married for three years and haven't had children. Not every woman wants to have children. As Dorrie said, not every couple can have them.
    I think if she is the best candidate for the job, he would damage the business not to employ her.
    Besides, I'm sure he will have done the whole 'where do you see yourself in five years' questioning. Did it involve her wanting to be a waitress for ever?
    ITV Winners Club Member (106)
    Thank you all who post comps and answer questions.

    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 27th May 09, 9:58 AM
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    Flickering Ember
    I know people choose not to have children or are unable to have them, but I think that wouldn't be appropriate to ask at interview; you may not know if you want them, and most people only find out they can't have children when they have been trying to get pregnant...
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • cozlw
    • By cozlw 27th May 09, 9:59 AM
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    cozlw
    Its a tough call... on the one hand she hasnt expressed any interest in having children but then being newly wed its likely that it could be on the cards. I can see Ian's dilemma but personally, I would still hire her. If she is a great worker then her personal circumstances shouldnt be an issue. Business could make an improvement. Anyone can have issues that interfere with work, whether they are male or female so this shouldnt be held against her. If he has any doubts, he could instil a probationary period to cover his back for a few months?
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