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whats unreasonable sick child and work

(49 Posts)
ghostspirit Mon 17-Nov-14 16:58:23

hi all just thinking really. i'm a single parent do not have any support. I work part time. sometimes my kids are ill ie sickness/belly bugs. there has been a couple times i have not been able to go to work or have been called away from work. Area manager told me i have to sort out better childcare. I kind of have managed to do that. my daughter will have them if they are ill. but i am stuck on the mon/tues.

is it reasonable for them to tell me to find childcare, the covers me 100% if the kids are ill. cant ask daughter to take time of college that's just wrong and i don't have anyone else. I'm thinking even if there was a childminder/nanny or who ever surely they cant be expected to look after a sick child anyway.

DidoTheDodo Mon 17-Nov-14 17:01:25

Several places I have worked have a policy that allows you one day off for emergency family leave, in which time you are supposed to sort child care if your child is sick for longer.

How you actually do that is up to you.

confusedandemployed Mon 17-Nov-14 17:01:51

An employee is entitled to a statutory maximum of 2 weeks' unpaid parental leave. If you have taken more time than this then I'm afraid that YABU.

DidoTheDodo Mon 17-Nov-14 17:02:04

Sorry, should have said, you'd probably be expected to use annual leave if you can't find an alternative.

PepsiTwirl Mon 17-Nov-14 17:02:55

A childminder won't take a sick child.
A nanny normally does, but unsure in emergency nannies

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Nov-14 17:05:01

It's reasonable for them to expect you not to have too much time off work, and they shouldn't need to tell you what you need to do to enable you to be at work the majority of the time.

It will be almost impossible for you to be 100% covered, even with support the final responsibility is yours. I have no idea if emergency nannies like those from Sitters would take sick children, but it might be worth finding out for next time.

Are your children sick often enough for this to be an ongoing problem?

WipsGlitter Mon 17-Nov-14 17:06:04

It depends on how often they are sick. I have two kids oldest is six. I think he's been I'll enough to stay off once, and once I had to take him home half day. So in three years he's mussed a day and a half.

girliefriend Mon 17-Nov-14 17:06:18

Your employer is BU to say you can't take off any time to care for a sick child. However the time you take off will probably be unpaid unless they will let you take emergency annual leave.

There is no childcare I know of that would want to take a vomiting child.

CantBeBotheredThinking Mon 17-Nov-14 17:06:35

there is a common misconception that you are allowed time off work to take care of ill children but this isn't the case the legislation only allows reasonable time off for you to sort out alternative childcare.

The statutory right to unpaid parental leave only applies in pre arranged situations and must be taken a full week at a time with 21 days notice it isn't designed to cover this sort of situation.

raltheraffe Mon 17-Nov-14 17:08:31

Nurseries will not take in a child with diarrhoea or any other contagious bug as they have to protect the other children from catching it. Ours has a 48 hour D&V policy.
Childminders who have more than one child in their care will likewise not take in a child that poses an infection risk to others.
It is a very difficult situation. As an employer I have to allow my employees time off if their child is sick. Problems arise however when a minority of employees seem to be repeatedly taking lots of leave as this interferes with the smooth running of my business.

girliefriend Mon 17-Nov-14 17:10:11

If you are a single parent with no family/friends to support you not sure what employers expect you to do? confused

I will do whatever I can to avoid taking time off work if dd is ill but sometimes (for example if she has d&v) there is no other alternative. I'm also a single parent and this is one of the many things that does cause stress. Luckily dd isn't ill that often <touches wood>

ghostspirit Mon 17-Nov-14 17:26:58

I have not been so bad recently. i have 4 children but 2 that need looking after as the oldest are 12 and 17. the other 2 children are 7 and 4 so do need looking after. Theres been a few times that the school has called me to collect one of the kids due to being ill. and as i said before been times when i have had to stay home with them. Then if its the belly bug it could be passed from one child to another so both of them could end up being off Touch wood it wont be so difficult now that i can get childcare from wed-fri, it only leaves me stuck for the mon/tuesday. But im just wondering there must be people who have no body at all.

ilovesooty Mon 17-Nov-14 17:35:08

You have 3 days childcare so how often seriously is this a problem? I would imagine on the odd unexpected occasion you'd get initial flexibility but after that it would be annual/unpaid leave.

ghostspirit Mon 17-Nov-14 17:37:09

i did not have the 3 days of childcare before. so the wed/thurs/fri is ok now. did nto have that before. i was more just wondering... Because there will be people in my situation that dont even have a teenager that can help.

ilovesooty Mon 17-Nov-14 17:40:57

They take unpaid leave. I know a lot of working parents and only one of them seems to have children sick sufficiently often for her efficiency at work to be an issue. She has a working partner too but her employer doesn't feel able to do anything but allow the time off unpaid.

brokenhearted55a Mon 17-Nov-14 17:41:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorriedMutha Mon 17-Nov-14 18:02:18

Could you come to an informal arrangement with a friendly mum at your children's school. Perhaps you could offers some reciprocal favour, especially as you have an older child who could offer babysitting. You can never cover all eventualities but if you could line someone up for the occasional ad hoc intervention, it's all you can reasonably do.

DaisyFlowerChain Mon 17-Nov-14 18:07:29

Yes it's reasonable as its sounds like you have already had quite a bit of time off. The law states time off for dependants but not for every day, it's designed to allow you time to arrange childcare.

How flexible and accepting an employer is depends on many factors, length of employment, number of times they have been let down etc.

Kiffykaffycoffee Mon 17-Nov-14 18:13:10

Hi ghost, I'm part time with 2 DC at primary. if they are ill my boss lets me take the time off that I need on the understanding that I make up the time later. I work 4 days so that would mean I'd have to work 5 days a week until I'd made up the time.
Alternatively I could work a bit late each day, but cos of school runs I can't do more than half an hour extra each day so would take me ages to make up the time that way.
Is there any way you could do this? Do you do the kind of work that could be taken home to do in the evenings when Dc in bed?

Carrierpenguin Mon 17-Nov-14 18:15:45

I would say that if your children are fairly healthy normally then this shouldn't be a problem. I'm a single parent with a toddler in childcare and haven't had any sick days for 18 months. I never use sick leave for myself, so although it's wrong, if dd were ill I'd probably phone in sick as me rather than her to avoid employer issues. Though as I said, I have a very good attendance record so I can't see it being an issue.

ghostspirit Mon 17-Nov-14 18:17:28

daisyflowerchain. Thats partky what i dont understand. how do people arrange childcare for sick child. how do you say to someone oh can you have dd for the day she;s got the poops and vomiting seems odd to me. im not sure theres a fool proof answer really.

But i also worry about combination of things. i did have to have 1 day of about a week or so ago because daughter was ill. But then there was a time when i had to go in late because i was meant to be getting evicted and had to go housing to sort it out. Then also sometimes i have appointment for pregnancy related things. for pregnancy i had one day of for morning sickness. oh anther due to bleeding and the late into work due to scan. if thats all combinded dont look good at all sad

ilovesooty Mon 17-Nov-14 18:20:26

It isn't your fault your children are ill. But it isn't your employer's fault either
Sums it up really. Not your fault if you have children who are sick but if it happens a lot and it means someone losing time from work every time it disrupts the service the employer is providing, and it's not surprising they're asking for solutions.

Purplepoodle Mon 17-Nov-14 18:20:30

Er I don't. I usually call in sick myself or if called away from work I have to make up the hours or go unpaid.

ExtraVolume Mon 17-Nov-14 18:21:06

This really worries me. I am starting a job soon, also a single parent and have no-one. DS is at nursery. The only other people I know are parents from playgroup who, quite reasonably, wouldn't take a sick child as they have their own at home.

My friend is also a single parent and lives in Norway. I was asking her how she manages with work and she says all single parents in Norway get double the amount of sick days, to take into account the time they might need to look after a sick child.

ghostspirit Mon 17-Nov-14 18:21:07

hi coffee. not sure how i could make up for it really. i work term time only in a school kitchen. Im not as worried as i was before as i said i at least have the 3 days sorted out. it was i was wondering what others do if they dont have a good support system.

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