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Time off for your child's hospital appointment

(45 Posts)
mumofom Tue 27-Oct-09 19:45:53

Does your employer give you time off to take your child to a local hospital appointment or do you have to take leave etc.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 27-Oct-09 19:47:40

TBH I have never asked, and have always taken leave. Will be interested to find out what everyone else does.

cheekysealion Tue 27-Oct-09 19:49:50

take it as leave
my boss is quite anti children!!! and if i get the phone call from school and have to go early to pick them up the next day when i go into work there is a holiday form for me to fill in..

llaregguBOO Tue 27-Oct-09 19:50:41

I've always taken leave or flexi. That's what it is for, unless it is an emergency.

StephHaydock Tue 27-Oct-09 19:50:49

My boss wont let me take leave for my own or children's doctors/dentists appt. He always says 'don't waste your leave!'. He is a good guy in general, though. His attitude is 'as long as you get your work done, it's fine to take time off for family commitments'. How al bosses should be.

sarah293 Tue 27-Oct-09 19:51:57

Message withdrawn

llaregguBOO Tue 27-Oct-09 19:53:09

Incidentally, when I worked in local government I once took a call from a social worker who was irate when I told her that there wasn't any provision for her to have special leave to move house. This was a council that had generous annual leave and a flexi-time scheme.

MarthaFarquhar Tue 27-Oct-09 19:55:26

llareggub, I did once work for a London council who gave an extra paid day's leave moving house!

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 27-Oct-09 19:56:21

When DS was admitted to Children's Hospital on an emergency basis, DP took time off as annual leave, just to get his shifts covered, but later got a letter from the Consultant outlining the reasons for being admitted.

Think HR wanted letterhead wink

mumofom Tue 27-Oct-09 20:09:23

Thanks for replies. I also have to take leave or unpaid etc, but the organisation is i work for is very big and I know that other parents (albeit another dept with another line manager) do get time off absolutely no problem - the way it should be. It just seems so unfair that one can get time off for ones own hosp appt but unpaid for a young child. (My child was born with a congenital condition that will mean hosp appts throughout her life - just seems so unfair. Probably wouldn't mind if it was a 'one-off' but I do have to use alot of hols and unpaid. I disagree that Annual leave is in place for this type of thing as having to use a chunk of Annuals for hosp appt year in, year out there is not much time for anything else - just stress!

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 27-Oct-09 20:26:12

Didn't mention that DP got his annual leave credited back as the company (also big company) has a domestic leave policy in place. While incredibly grateful that he was able to have this time paid, would not wish the circumstances on anyone.

Check your companies domestic leave entitlement. Alternatively, you may wish to review disability legislation which applies to carers, so you should be entitled to take reasonable time off.

mumofom Tue 27-Oct-09 20:35:57

Apparently in our organisation it is up to the line manager's discretion (not humanity!)basically it's pot luck who your own individual line manager is.

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 27-Oct-09 20:37:20

I don't understand. Why should you get additional time off because you have a child? How is that fair? Everyone has to be treated the same. If you're the person left in the office covering it's not fair.

The company I work for is quite clear in it's terms and conditions regarding time off work for medical appointments. It is unpaid unless for anti-natal.

However, like all things there is some latitude for common sense. If someone regularly does a bit of unpaid over time at the beginning/end of the day, or takes a shorter lunch for example then an hour off for a dentist appointment is fair enough. If it was a half day being requested then I would expect to take it as annual leave.

If there is an emergency and your child is ill and needs to be collected from school/ taken to the doctor etc then you are entitled to emergency compassionate leave. This leave is not paid so many people choose to take annual leave instead or work flexibly and make up the hours missed where possible.

The only additional statutory pay for being a parent is maternity, paternity and adoption leave. All other statutory entitlements are unpaid.

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 27-Oct-09 20:42:55

Suggest you get a letter from medical person outlining your DD's condition and that she will need hospital appointments for the foreseeable future.

Then make an appointment to see someone from H/R, assuming that since it's a big company, there will be a H/R department that is up to date with disability legislation. Say that you are concerned that you will be able to get time off for your DD's hospital appointments which are made by outpatients and you don't have any control over the time, but are anxious that: 1) you aren't penalized for her disability and 2) that she is able to keep the appointments.

anonandlikeit Tue 27-Oct-09 20:44:55

You are legally entitled to flixible working & time off for appnts if caring for a disabled child up until the age of 18 (i think may be 16).
BUT there is no lagal entitlement for that time off to be paid, so unless your terms & conditions state otherwise you take unpaid leave or use your holiday.

I'm in the same boat, I use all my leave for ds2's many appointments & don't have enough leave left to cover the school holidays, so have to take un paid.
There is no way DLA is that stretchy to cover such a big loss in income on top of all teh other expenses.
Thats life I guess, just another example of how raising a disabled child costs a bloody fortune!!
RANT OVER!!

anonandlikeit Tue 27-Oct-09 20:46:32

btw you are obliged to declare to your HR dept that you have a child with a disability or long term medical need otherwise the entitlement to flexible working ceases at a much younger age (maybe 6yrs?)

allaboutme Tue 27-Oct-09 20:48:58

'I don't understand. Why should you get additional time off because you have a child? How is that fair? Everyone has to be treated the same. If you're the person left in the office covering it's not fair.'
You could say the same about anything though couldnt you?
Why should you get additional time off if you are pregnant? sick? injured? etc
If you need the additional time off (and if you have a sick child with a hospital appt then you do need it) you should be able to take that time off.

anonandlikeit Tue 27-Oct-09 20:51:16

Justanothermanicmum...As much as it would be very helpful, ds2 cannot take himself to his appnts!
So as his parent I have to take him.

madwomanintheattic Tue 27-Oct-09 20:52:38

it's a problem.
realistically, this is one of the reasons that parents of children with disabilities tend to leave paid employment. personally, my employers have always been very good, but i have tended to take leave/ toil etc rather than just ask for the time off, but that is my own work ethic rather than any pressure from employers.
dh was asked how much time he would need off work due to our daughter's disability prior to his job transfer being approved however - ie this is an important job and we need someone who is prepared to put in the hours - you won't be able to get time off, if you need it then you won't be approved for the job.
i now work part time and only book appointments for my time off - that way is the fairest for all concerned really. not ideal, but you roll with the punches. life is a series of unexpected dilemmas with kids, dh and i argue all the time about who should do appointments etc, but ultimately one of us has to sacrifice our 'career'.

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 27-Oct-09 20:55:23

Are you in a union? The legal section should be able to help. There was recently (about a year ago) a case where it was decided that disability legislation applied equally to carers. So, if one was employed, then as a carer, you would be entitled to take reasonable time off for hospital appointments etc...

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 27-Oct-09 20:57:37

anonandlikeit Sorry meant additional paid time off. I was referring to mumofom's post of 20:09 which riled me a bit.

If you look at the rest of my post I think you'll see that we're saying similar things. It was the expectation that the OP should get extra paid leave that annoyed me as it's so unreasonable.

I am all for sensible, common sense and fairness at work smile

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 27-Oct-09 20:59:53

and allaboutme I missed out the word paid. My apologies.

Stand by rest of post and don't think it states people shouldn't have time off. It just needs to be reasonable and planned.

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 27-Oct-09 21:00:37

She should get extra paid time off work to take her disabled DD to hospital appointments. It's fair because if you have a disabled child, then you will also.

tribpot Tue 27-Oct-09 21:01:12

Not quite the same but I regularly take a couple of hours out for a hospital appointment for my dh. (I work for the NHS). I don't actually keep count but I more than make the time up. I have had to point out to a team member that he cannot expect unlimited opportunities to 'work from home' just because right now it's doable as his ds is only 6 months old. Equally, happy to authorise him to take leave to cover periods where he is in charge of childcare, although if it's only for a few hours it's easier just to agree to him flexing the time unofficially and making it up.

I'm prejudiced because the last place I worked was in Sweden, where all this is quite, quite normal.

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 27-Oct-09 21:08:46

ilovemydog why should she get extra paid time off work?

If person A has a family situation that means she had to take 25 hours per year off work more than person B why should person A get that paid for hours s/he hasn't worked?

If I work part time I don't expect to be paid for when I'm not working so why should anyone else?

If I need time off work to take my child to a hospital appointment or attend a care review for an elderly parent I need to make up the time, take it unpaid or take leave.

It is not fair that some people have difficult situations, but that doesn't mean someone else should have to pick up the bill.

Madwomanintheattic is quite right. When you have children you have to make all kinds of sacrifices - but no one made you have them.

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