One of our employees has just returned to work from Maternity Leave. She has had some problems with childcare recently but she has now established a reasonable routine. She is an external Sales Rep so can usually manage her time and territory well. However, she has been requested to attend a Sales Meeting at our Head Office [which is about 1.5 hours drive from her house] but she has said she can attend. However, she has suggested that future sales meetings are held on 1 day and not two as they are at the moment as it makes it hard for her as the Nursery is open from 8.30 to 5.30.

Her Manager has asked me if I can “make someone work their contractual hours” and is completely unsympathetic to her circumstances. She is working her hours, it is just these monthly meetings over two days are difficult for her but he cannot see this.

She is NOT suggesting she is not going to work her contractual working hours; what she is saying is that she will find it difficult to attend a meeting at these times due to childcare. Her external role makes it easier to prioritise her day so that customer visits etc. are done closer to home at the beginning and the end of the day. She has actually stated she can attend the meeting this time as she has made alternative arrangements. I think she is looking for a little flexibility which is not forthcoming. I don’t think it is unreasonable of of the Manager to to ask her to attend a meeting but if he insists she does and she cannot,if she resigns would she have a good case for constructive dismissal on the grounds of sex discrimination?

Sorry this is so long.
thanks in advance
Lorraine Whale

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