Actually its not a very P.C. question but sadly it can be a very appropriate question indeed.
Many years ago I was working in a cinema that employed mostly women.
We lost one hell of a lot of working time from them because…
Their kid was ill and they had to stay home and look after them.
Their kids usual lift home from school couldn’t make it today so that they had to go and pick them up from school.
It was parents evening at school.
The school wanted to talk to them about their childs progress.
Their childminder was away on holiday.
Their child needed to be fitted for new shoes.
Their child was being innoculated and afterwards they were going to stay with it in case there was an allergic reaction.
Their kid had to go to the doctors.
Their kid had to go to the dentists.
These are all actual examples of excuses that were used to have time off,to leave early, for coming in late and for failing to be able to work the overtime that they had previously agreed to.
And I must make it clear that we’re not talking about one or two regular offenders here but most of the female workforce,thats not being sexist,not one male employee asked for time off for child related reasons.
Any attempt to question the flexibility timewise of having to take time off for some of these incidents,let alone the truthfulness of the excuses was met with stunned disbelief at how anyone could be so callous about a childs health/safety.
It would bad enough if all of these excuses were genuine,a business to stay in business CAN’T operate around all of its multiple employees last minute family crisiss even if they ARE real.
But when the boss started checking up on unscheduled time off it was found that the majority of the excuses were pure B.S.
After that he started asking job applicants if they had children.
And could you honestly blame him?