Work from home

Mom dragged for requesting to work from home to avoid paying childcare

A mom has been dragged for requesting a hybrid schedule to avoid paying for childcare.

Mumsnet user Workdilemmahelp turned to the internet for advice after her initial childcare plan fell through. The woman states she worked full-time in the office before giving birth, but that now her maternity leave is ending and her mother can no longer look after the baby five days per week.

She states: “I can only really afford to send [my] darling son [to nursery] twice a week.”

Last year, Care.com, surveyed 3,003 U.S. adults and 51 percent of parents said they spend more than 20 percent of their household income on childcare.

The average cost of childcare in the U.S. is $14,760 annually, according to Illumine, a childcare app.

Woman working with baby
A stock image of a working mom with a baby on her lap. A Mumsnet user has been slammed for asking to work from home to avoid paying for childcare.StockRocket/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Care.com also revealed that 59 percent of parents are more concerned about childcare costs now than in prior years, which is driving significant changes for people, such as taking on a second job, reducing hours at work (26 percent), and leaving the workforce entirely (21 percent), to foot the bill.

The mom has told other users she asked to work from home for three days a week and that her mom will be able to help with the baby for four hours a day. However, this request was denied by the employer.

“HR [has] said it is not fair on other staff and to work effectively I would need to be in the office more days than I work from home,” she wrote.

Newsweek reached out to Tara Furiani, the founder of the Not the HR Lady podcast, who has more than two decades of experience in the corporate world.

She said: “It would be prudent for the employer to consider the employee’s request for a work-from-home arrangement and to explore potential accommodations that would enable the employee to perform her job while also addressing the financial burden of childcare. Additionally, it is important to be cognizant of the legal implications of denying such a request and to ensure that the decision is not discriminatory in nature.

“Employers and leaders can ensure that their workplaces are fair and people-first by taking a proactive approach to creating a positive and inclusive work environment. Here are a few specific steps they can take:

  • Develop and implement a clear non-discrimination policy: This policy should outline the types of discrimination that will not be tolerated in the workplace, including discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other protected characteristics.
  • Foster a culture of inclusivity: Employers and leaders can create an inclusive culture by promoting diversity, encouraging open communication and collaboration, and providing training and education on topics such as unconscious bias and inclusive leadership.
  • Provide equal opportunities and resources: Employers should ensure that all employees have access to the same opportunities and resources, regardless of their background or protected characteristics. This includes providing accommodations for employees with disabilities and pregnant employees, as required by law.

Mumsnet users have sided with the employer as 95 percent of 1,319 have voted “you are being unreasonable.”

One person said: “Unfortunately you don’t have any choice. Do what boss request or look for another job.”

“Also, if you are thinking of working at home with your child, one or the other will lose out (you can’t really do both at the same time),” said another.

Another comment said: “I think part of the problem is you want to [work from home] wfh to care for your child. This is a big no no at my organisation and many others. If your contract states your place of work is the office that’s where it is.”

Newsweek wasn’t able to verify the details of the case.

Have you had a workplace dilemma? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

“HR [has] said it is not fair on other staff and to work effectively I would need to be in the office more days than I work from home,” she wrote.

Source: https://www.newsweek.com/mumsnet-mum-dragged-requesting-work-home-avoid-paying-childcare-1775750

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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