Parents routinely using holiday leave to care for sick children

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A new study finds that parents are increasingly being forced to use vacation leave to care for their children when they are sick.

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Research by Mamsnet and veteran Labor MP Harriet Herman found that while nearly nine in 10 parents took time off from work to care for an elementary school-aged child who fell ill, four in ten took leave. had taken leave. Therefore.

While nearly three in ten took unpaid leave, one in 10 cut their hours or skipped work they lined up.


The researchers, who surveyed more than 1,000 parents across the UK, most of whom were mothers, found that seven per cent had taken sick leave and two per cent were forced to quit their jobs.

Nine out of 10 British parents say they would support extending sick leave for parents when their children are unwell.

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One mom said: “I can’t afford to lose wages and I’m too sick to use annual leave because it means I don’t have any vacation or vacation every year nor can my annual leave be a full half-term or Summer kicks in, which means my husband and I are like a tag team.

“I can’t remember the last time the four of us – me, husband and two kids – had a vacation together. It’s disappointing.

“It’s realistic to expect the kids to get worse. I sent my kid over when he was sick because I couldn’t take time off from work. He probably made other kids sick but I wasn’t able to take any more time off.” “

Mumsnet founder and chief executive Justin Roberts said that most “economically developed” nations offer paid leave to parents to give short-term care to sick children.

Ms Roberts noted in her forums that she sees parents being forced to send sick children to school – noting that this has negative consequences for fellow students and staff working in the school.

Meanwhile, Ms Harman, Labor MP and chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said: “Public policy is completely out of date. Mothers are no longer at home but working to take care of the sick child. You cannot leave a young child alone when he is sick.

“But there is no right to take time off, let alone sick pay. Of course, it hits hardest those in low-paying jobs. The upcoming Employment Bill is our opportunity to urge that we keep it right.

Before the pandemic, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that Britain already had the most expensive childcare system in the world.

But the childcare sector has been thrown into further chaos in the wake of the COVID crisis – a study conducted by the Labor Party earlier in the year showed that nearly 20,000 childcare providers were expected to close their doors permanently within six months. is risk.

One woman said: “Children get sick. At the end of the day, someone needs to take care of them. I think it will make life easier for a lot of people because I find myself stressed about money and my sick child when I should be worrying about my child. “

Another mom said: “I left my previous job because I wasn’t allowed to go on vacation – paid or unpaid – and had no other choice.”


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