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sick children - what do you do?

(13 Posts)
Sibble Wed 29-Jul-09 06:56:17

I went back to work, albeit part time, a few weeks ago. I'm on time sheet and flexible with my hours so am lucky enough to not have to work too much of the school holidays and be flexible when they are sick. Today though ds2 was sick, I had 2 meetings that couldn't be moved. I called in to see if they wanted me there or if I shouldn't go. I was told I needed to go in, so went with ds2 in tow, intending to stay for the meetings then grab some work to take home. I was absolutely torn off a strip though by the Manager, in public, my protestations that I had checked first fell on deaf ears. I am interviewing for a few hours tomorrow, I have to be there but at the moment can't see that ds2 will be well enough to go to day care. So what do you do when your children are sick????????? At the moment I feel like saying stuff it, it's too hard and giving up but know a. I need to work for sanity as he starts school in 2 weeks and b. the money does make a difference.

Flgihtattendant Wed 29-Jul-09 07:43:08

That sounds really unfair sad its one of the things I'm terrified of if I go abck to work tbh, so interested to know what others recommend.

Sorry you are having a hard time about it. Hope ds is a bit better.

bigchris Wed 29-Jul-09 07:57:03

do you have a partner who could share the sick days? i'd consider making a formal complaint to your boss, that sounds crap management sad

risingstar Wed 29-Jul-09 10:15:28

well, i work full time. we definitely have a no kids at work rule and would think that most employers do the same. maybe your boss thought that this was obvious? depends on the company

the key to this is to always have contingency. i work in a team full of working parents so we usually have enough cover between us. you are entitled to take unpaid leave to look after ill children and that is what most of us do. i think that i have averaged a couple of days up to a week per year.

so for example, if i am due to deliver a presentation/do an interview or such, i will nominate a colleague as stand in and run through with them just in case.

i have a dh who realistically cant take time off at short notice so i guess i have sort of developed my working life in that knowledge.

i think that you need to have a 121 with your boss to discuss what is expected if your kids are too ill to leave.

flowerybeanbag Wed 29-Jul-09 10:22:37

You have the right to take unpaid time off for dependants, which covers unexpected emergencies, such as illness, although wouldn't allow you to necessarily take the whole duration of an illness off - you would be expected to take the time to make alternative arrangements if it's going to be more than a couple of days.

Unless your employer specifically said it was fine to bring your ill DS2 to work with you, I'm not surprised that didn't go down well tbh.

Your employer must let you take the unpaid leave, but it's also reasonable of them to expect that, assuming there is a DP/DH/father in the picture, he will also take some of the burden. If it ends up being regular and being you taking the time off all the time, you can see why it might be a problem for your employer.

It's a constant problem obviously, for working parents, so it is always better if you can have alternative emergency childcare in place for these types of situations. Of course that isn't necessarily always possible for lots of people unfortunately.

Sibble Thu 30-Jul-09 03:34:36

Hi thanks everybody. Well ds was sick today so dh went in early (5am) a friend came over after the school drop to sit with ds until dh came home mid morning, I raced home after the interviews at 1pm dh went back to work and will be home about 9pm tonight. Not an ideal solution but at least I got to go in. Fingers crossed he's better tomorrow.

I think what annoyed me was not the sentiment, I actually agree that it's unusual to take children, especially sick ones, into the workplace but I've worked there before, it's not been an issue and people have on many occasions taken children in. I also did phone and check first with my immediate boss (who was very apologetic when she found out). It was the way it was done so publicly and the fact she wasn't interested that my immediate manager asked that I go in and take ds. I guess swine flu has moved the goal posts.

Sadly I'm not entitled to leave of any description as I contract on timesheet - my choice as I thought it would help with not having to ask for time off - seems to have backfired though this time.

Not sure about when it happens again - will cross that bridge then but at least today is over!

StealthPolarBear Thu 30-Jul-09 05:37:34

Do you have family nearby?
I struggle with this, but luckily have mum and MIL who can usually pick up the burden.
Last week though I was interviewing on Friday, my boss wasn't going to be there because of a death in the family (he was in the end, long story) and then DS was sick on Thursday morning. Mum wa away and we couldn't get hold of MIL. Stressful!

Sibble Thu 30-Jul-09 06:06:53

Hi, no we don't have family sadly that's alot of the problem. We're in NZ so along way from mine. dh's parents are both dead and siblings live 3 and 8 hours drive away. I've built up a good network of friends over the past few years and we all muck in after school, for sports etc but it's only when they're sick. I have to say a few did offer and I did say yes today to one out of desperation but I hate to ask as would feel terrible if they got sick or passed it onto their children etc...

Anyway, tomorrow is another day and tbh the same manager tore me off a strip today because she'd had no input into the poxy interviews (nor did I, I heard I was on the interview panel yesterday and found out today there are more tomorrow) so have concluded; I'm either sensitive, she's got it in for me all of a sudden or she's having a bad week. The latter I hope grin as at least next week will be better!

StealthPolarBear Thu 30-Jul-09 06:10:06

she's an idiot!

lechatnoir Thu 30-Jul-09 16:40:00

DH & I have a strict agreement that we alternate who takes days off if DS is sick - our jobs & salary are of equal importance and neither has an understanding boss so it's horrible to call in & be off for both of us & at least this way there's no argument on the day. I've had to let important clients down (even missed a court appearance once shock) but if my child is sick & can't go to nursery we simply don't have anyone else to cover.


SoccerMum Thu 30-Jul-09 16:43:32

I am entitled to 5 days carers leave, granted at my managers discretion. If either child was ill I could take CL for the first day of the illness but after that I have to take unpaid or use up annual leave.

Thank god it hasnt happened very often, I can normally nip in and bring work home with me.

Of course, you also have the option of phoning in saying its you thats sick wink

messalina Thu 30-Jul-09 19:35:49

This is one of my major bugbears too. I actually use nanny agencies who supply emergency nannies. I am on the books for a couple of agencies and the nannies they have supplied have been good. Not as good as her usual very sociable childcare - she goes to a mini-nursery - but worth it to be able to get into work. It does cost me 90 quid a time but I use it when I really cannot afford to miss work. I am a teacher and hate letting my classes down by not being there. I'm sure lots of people would worry about not knowing these nannies, and yes, I am handing over DD to a complete stranger for the day, but they are all police-checked and fully trained and I have been happy with the ones they have sent. If you have no alternative, it's something to consider. Some companies do actually use a company called Emergency Childcare as an intermediary to hire emergency nannies or book emergency nursery places for their employees and they pay for them. I wouldn't go through them as an individual - go straight to the agencies - as they are really expensive.

Sibble Fri 31-Jul-09 03:33:07

thanks messalina I had considered it and helps to know it works for you. I ended up taking today off but did a few hours from home and emailed the work in before he woke this morning.

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