to refuse to answer job interview questions relating to childcare?

(86 Posts)
UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 18:55:16

I'm a single parent trying to get back to work after 7 years as a SAHM, but in virtually every job interview I've had I've been grilled about what childcare provision I would have in place if I got the job, even asked about my marital status, ages and number of my children! I am fairly sure they are not allowed to ask this (would they ask a man??). I have
not had any job offers yet and I am wondering if refusing to answer these questions would work in my favour or not. Opinions please?

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 31-Jan-14 18:57:47

They can ask they just can't base any decisions on it and they should ask all the candidates.

coco44 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:58:42

I don't think it's out of order.Men have children too.I have 5 DC and it has never stood in my way.I always tell them about childcare arrangements before they ask though.

Piscivorus Fri 31-Jan-14 18:59:51

You will definitely not improve your chances of getting a job by refusing to answer though

UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 19:00:43

I'm just wondering if it is putting employers off as I haven't had a job offer yet. And I have solid past work experience (albeit old) and good qualifications.

ChairOfTheBored Fri 31-Jan-14 19:01:28

Not at all. In fact I'm reasonably certain they can't ask.

To avoid confrontation it might be good to practice a general "should I be successful in my application I will put appropriate arrangements in place" but do not be drawn beyond that.

plutarch14 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:01:42

Depends whether you want to be idealistic or pragmatic. If they were convinced you had good childcare arrangements, you'd be more likely to get the job. If you won't tell them, why should they bother taking the risk when they could hire someone else who either would tell them or doesn't have children?

UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 19:02:52

That's a good way of dealing with it chair

BonaDea Fri 31-Jan-14 19:02:59

I agree with you that it is discriminatory and they shouldn't ask. How do they even know you are a single parent? If you mention your dc on cv or interview, stop. You don't have to tell them!

annieorangutan Fri 31-Jan-14 19:03:02

I doubt its because of that its more likely to be the very long gap. A lot of places I have worked in look down on big gaps. It will make it harder, but not impossible.

WorraLiberty Fri 31-Jan-14 19:03:05

You're not doing to badly to actually get to interview stage OP

Some people apply for 100s of jobs and rarely get an interview

Maybe you're over thinking it?

UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 19:03:43

I see plutarch, its good to try and think of it from the employer's angle

UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 19:04:27

worra you don't know how many I've been applying for!! hell of a job...been looking for over a year now!

TiredFeet Fri 31-Jan-14 19:04:31

I took the view that I wanted an employer who would be supportive so I was upfront about having a child etc and it paid off my employer has always been supportive when ds is ill etc.

SpoonfulOfJam Fri 31-Jan-14 19:04:58

Hmmm... I can see where you're coming from. they would never ask a man.

My first thought is of unions. Are you going back to a job where you would be a union member? Could you seek their advice?

My second thought would be to give a general answer like "childcare arrangements are in place for my children".

Perhaps there is something on directgov about equal opportunities and what employers are and aren't allowed to ask or discriminate against.

Not very helpful, I know. Good luck though.

Helpyourself Fri 31-Jan-14 19:06:25

How do they know?

Boosiehs Fri 31-Jan-14 19:07:01

It shouldn't be mentioned in interviews as it's horrendously discriminatory!!

Men don't get asked.

KirstyJC Fri 31-Jan-14 19:07:02

If they ask about childcare, just tell them you have childcare in place. If they ask more questions than that, you could ask them if they have children and how do they manage?

plutarch14 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:07:46

I don't meant to say that you're wrong, but for them hiring someone is a purely commercial decision. Any unknown factors will put employers off.

UnexpectedlySingle Fri 31-Jan-14 19:08:24

Help, on my CV I explained my gap with "raising a family", this is how they know. Wasn't sure what else to do!

plutarch14 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:09:05

I think men will increasingly be asked about this sort of stuff. As more women become breadwinners, it will become inevitable that it is sometimes the man who has at least 50% responsibility on the domestic front.

ProfPlumSpeaking Fri 31-Jan-14 19:09:32

I am pretty certain that it is illegal for them to ask.

Sexnight Fri 31-Jan-14 19:09:35

I was once asked if i intended to have any more children!! angry

Boosiehs Fri 31-Jan-14 19:11:51

You should say that you do not have any responsibilities which will interfere with the job. Other than that they are absolutely not allowed to directly ask if you have, or intend to have kids.

carabos Fri 31-Jan-14 19:13:21

If it was a deal breaker they wouldn't interview you.

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