Husband and wife employed on farm what to do with kids.

Timboh81

Member
Mixed Farmer
Just wondering if anyone else is in our situation and what they came up with if anything... We have been working full time on the same farm for a long long time sheep beef and arable doing all/most jobs ourselves. Bringing the kids with us when ever needed.. Now obviously covid has messed up a lot of stuff and last lambing we brought them with us and they done their home schooling in the lambing shed.. Until the wife was furloughd to home school them after lambing until the summer... The kids usually get passed between grandparents when school holidays etc but obviously due to the current situation that is not an option.. Anyway when we are lambing (1000 ewes) the wife would bring them back down the lambing shed where they would help (they are 8 and 11 BTW) feed bedding lambing etc after school ... Now we have nearly finished lambing the boss has suddenly decided he doesn't want them on the farm due to insurance etc etc which I do understand but what are we ment to do with them especially as Easter holidays are fast approaching.. All he says is its not his problem but I think he is forgetting that it will be as I will be pretty much on my own as the wife is gonna have to take holiday to look after them. Any advice would be greatly received.
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
As you say - it is his problem, as one of you has to care for the children. Book the holiday off - explain why in writing. Then see if he is willing to have a more grown up discussion. Short notice childcare is always going to be an issue for all parents when employment situations change.

This is not to say he hasn't got a valid point about insurance and it might have been something raised by an assessor, but you can't just snap your fingers and magic childcare - especially at the moment.
 

Cowmansam

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Shropshire
With the law change on agencies been able to bring in foreign staff there is huge demand on skilled farm workers speaking to a recruitment guy recently said he’s got ten times more jobs than he reckons he can fill without having people training on the job
 

beefandsleep

Member
Location
Staffordshire
I think the answer is to bring in extra help at peak times, particularly lambing. I know it’s a very sexist view but in reality it makes practical sense for your wife to concentrate on keeping the lambing team fed and watered and you and the kids looked after during that period. It would probably be better for your relationship too.
It used to be called a fair division of labour but it’s out of fashion to say now.
 

Timboh81

Member
Mixed Farmer
We have tried since we have been here to convince the boss to get vet students to help.. I really rate a vet student as you can mould them into how you want stuff done previous place we were lambing 2000 ewes and had had 8 vet students split over the period of lambing..
 

beefandsleep

Member
Location
Staffordshire
We have tried since we have been here to convince the boss to get vet students to help.. I really rate a vet student as you can mould them into how you want stuff done previous place we were lambing 2000 ewes and had had 8 vet students split over the period of lambing..
I think new boss too then. What part of the country are you in?
 
I think the answer is to bring in extra help at peak times, particularly lambing. I know it’s a very sexist view but in reality it makes practical sense for your wife to concentrate on keeping the lambing team fed and watered and you and the kids looked after during that period. It would probably be better for your relationship too.
It used to be called a fair division of labour but it’s out of fashion to say now.
Very well put I have to say.

Your suggestion is a very traditional approach, and there is a reason it works now, as well as in the past...
 
Just wondering if anyone else is in our situation and what they came up with if anything... We have been working full time on the same farm for a long long time sheep beef and arable doing all/most jobs ourselves. Bringing the kids with us when ever needed.. .

All he says is its not his problem but I think he is forgetting that it will be as I will be pretty much on my own as the wife is gonna have to take holiday to look after them. Any advice would be greatly received.
Rather a silly attitude to take by your employer, when the highest level of stress and need for experience of the whole Year is about to hit...

Although on re-reading the OP, maybe the employer is thinking that NOW is the time to wave a stick as the pressure comes off... I hope that this is not the case....
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
It's not the bosses problem, amazed he's let you bring the kids to the workplace to be honest.
It may be that you can't both be in fulltime employment in that job if you can't sort out childcare.
It's a problem most families have these days.

I think the answer is to bring in extra help at peak times, particularly lambing. I know it’s a very sexist view but in reality it makes practical sense for your wife to concentrate on keeping the lambing team fed and watered and you and the kids looked after during that period. It would probably be better for your relationship too.
It used to be called a fair division of labour but it’s out of fashion to say now.
It certainly makes sense for one of them to go into a part time role.
Interesting that you think it should be the wife that does it. She may be the more valuable employee for the boss.
Having said that the OP seems to think it should be his wife that takes the holiday too.

I wonder what she thinks?
 

milkloss

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Sussex
It's not the bosses problem, amazed he's let you bring the kids to the workplace to be honest.
It may be that you can't both be in fulltime employment in that job if you can't sort out childcare.
It's a problem most families have these days.



It certainly makes sense for one of them to go into a part time role.
Interesting that you think it should be the wife that does it. She may be the more valuable employee for the boss.
Having said that the OP seems to think it should be his wife that takes the holiday too.

I wonder what she thinks?
It's fairly common for children to want Mother and only her when they graze their knee or feel ill, I know ours can be inconsolable without some contact with mum in times of worry. I don't think it was a comment made in a sexist manner.
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
Slightly off topic but I was talking to someone the other week that was having the opposite problem. As an employee he was having problems with the bosses kids always being in the yard and wanting to ride on tractors and generally hang around the workplace all day. One of the tractor drivers said he wouldn't let the son in the cab with him as he wasn't a babysitter and got a pile of abuse for it.
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
It's fairly common for children to want Mother and only her when they graze their knee or feel ill, I know ours can be inconsolable without some contact with mum in times of worry. I don't think it was a comment made in a sexist manner.
I'd agree for younger children but 8 and 11 it shouldn't matter.
It's just interesting that the first thought is still "mum should stay home".
 
Slightly off topic but I was talking to someone the other week that was having the opposite problem. As an employee he was having problems with the bosses kids always being in the yard and wanting to ride on tractors and generally hang around the workplace all day. One of the tractor drivers said he wouldn't let the son in the cab with him as he wasn't a babysitter and got a pile of abuse for it.
Who from, the Boss or the lad? Not acceptable from either...
 

beefandsleep

Member
Location
Staffordshire
I'd agree for younger children but 8 and 11 it shouldn't matter.
It's just interesting that the first thought is still "mum should stay home".
It was said from the perspective of what I thought would be best for the children’s welfare actually. P-C it may not be and while every child needs a loving father, women are better suited to a child care role than men. I’m sure the wife in this instance is a more than competent worker but for a happy home and productive workplace I think traditional roles in this instance are generally the best solution. Men’s fragile egos have as much to do with that as anything else.
 

Treemover

Member
Location
Offaly
I can see both sides, but you both can reach still reach an agreement. I dont think it is fair that employees bring children to the workplace unless that arrangement is fully thrashed out. if an accident was to happen, it could be one hell of a mess.
 

In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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