Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • Isolating Children and Childcare
  • Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    Someone at my children’s school has tested positive and my children have to isolate. My work have asked me to arrange childcare, as I do not have to isolate unless the children have symptoms.

    My understanding is that this is not appropriate as the kids have to avoid contact with people.

    I feel like my work are being a bit unreasonable requesting this or am I way off? I can’t find specific guidance for this issue.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Arrange childcare how, exactly? Are they expecting Mary Poppins to drop in wearing full PPE?

    Your username suggests you may work in a healthcare setting – do they not understand that you can’t palm off children who may develop the infection asymptomatically onto elderly relatives, or put them in another childcare facility when they have been asked to stay away from school?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    It’s on you fella, explain to work to er, do one.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Someone at my children’s school has tested positive and my children have to isolate. My work have asked me to arrange childcare, as I do not have to isolate unless the children have symptoms.

    My understanding is that this is not appropriate as the kids have to avoid contact with people.

    I feel like my work are being a bit unreasonable requesting this or am I way off? I can’t find specific guidance for this issue.

    What they mean is, you are a man can’t the mother do this? We employed a man so we wouldn’t have to deal with this sort of stuff! You are entitled to take time off short term to care for dependants – they don’t have to pay you for it.

    If however one of the kids seemed to have a temperature (or indeed you did) then…

    Premier Icon miketually
    Free Member

    As above, if your child is isolating it means they are isolating. If they’re not old enough to be left alone, someone from within your household needs to be there with them.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    I teach engineering apprentices. I’m only missing 3 days of face to face training.

    Also I’m a single dad with 4 kids under 10 it is not an easy task to arrange childcare!

    I can’t find anything that states whether or not it is allowed I would assume not.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Develop a cough, wait for a test and results if they want to be **** about it.

    Childcare cannot be arranged for those isolating.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Arrange childcare how, exactly? Are they expecting Mary Poppins to drop in wearing full PPE?

    That’s moot anyway … childcare could be wearing full NBC self contained suits and have active antibodies and a negative test and it’s still illegal. Kids can test negative and it’s still illegal.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    What they mean is, you are a man can’t the mother do this? We employed a man so we wouldn’t have to deal with this sort of stuff! You are entitled to take time off short term to care for dependants – they don’t have to pay you for it.

    Thats a pretty big assumption based on nothing but your own view.

    Premier Icon donks
    Free Member

    We are on our second round of this with our son… There’s only one year group currently not isolating at his secondary school. It’s meant we have had to leave him on his own with either me or the wife popping back at lunch. Luckily he,s just old enough to be on his own plus has an older brother…upstairs still in bed mainly as he’s on furlough. But I was only saying today at work what it must be like for parents with younger children who work in places that are not accomodating to this unpresidented situation. In many places I should imagine they are told that work from home not an option so unpaid for 14 days.

    Premier Icon stevious
    Full Member

    Here’s the general ‘looking after sick kids’ employment guidelines:

    https://www.gov.uk/time-off-for-dependants

    I hope it’s useful for you and that none of you get the bug.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    As above, it’s you.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    Thank you for the responses.

    Generally my work are very supportive with my home situation. I searched the guidance this morning but could not find a specific statement on isolating children and childcare.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Thats a pretty big assumption based on nothing but your own view.

    Any employer who engaged even the smallest part of their brain knows that the only people who can care for a child which has been told to self-isolate are the people within the child’s own household and any extended bubble. In the current situation if you tell a “father” that he should organise childcare you are basically saying get the “mother” to do it (the opposite, and equivalents for non-hetero-cis-gendered situations are obviously also possible). But of course, I was being a bit tongue in cheek, about hiring a man so you don’t get this kind of hassle but this kind of conscious and unconscious bias exists in almost all workplaces I’ve encountered.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    I hope it’s useful for you and that none of you get the bug.

    I think any enlightened employer would be mostly taking the same view. Their worst case scenario is your asymptomatic germ carrier infects you (who is not required to self isolate) who in turn infects half the company before you’ve got symptoms.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    are the people within the child’s own household and any extended bubble

    Soooo… not the mother then, but any member of the family, grandparents, friends, cousins etc.

    this kind of hassle but this kind of conscious and unconscious bias exists in almost all workplaces I’ve encountered.

    And in absolutely none of mine. I dont for a second think that it doesn’t exist, but to assume this is automatically what is happening here without any evidence whatsoever is just wrong.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    poly

    I think any enlightened employer would be mostly taking the same view. Their worst case scenario is your asymptomatic germ carrier infects you (who is not required to self isolate) who in turn infects half the company before you’ve got symptoms.

    ^^^^^^

    This….

    Here’s the general ‘looking after sick kids’ employment guidelines:

    They aren’t sick … but that’s irrelevant as this is emergency time off (or work from home) for any number of reasons.

    They are definitively EXCLUDED from ALL childcare (bizarrely unless they are ill) and there is nothing you can do about that.
    However as Poly said … what’s the alternative you possibly get thge virus, give it half the staff then they have to close completely???

    Premier Icon mjsmke
    Free Member

    …I do not have to isolate unless the children have symptoms.

    This is why its spreading. Most cases are asymptomatic.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    This is why its spreading. Most cases are asymptomatic.

    Some, many, most ??? Who knows?
    what is certain is it’s spreading and the rate is increasing.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    I have received a formal letter from my boss which is I assume constitutes a warning.

    The letter states that although the kids need to isolate I do not and need to put stuff in place to ensure this situation does not happen again, by which he means childcare.
    and that I’m putting a huge burden on both fellow staff and my students. By taking this time off.

    just feel a bit gutted to recieve this letter.
    not sure what to say back to it?

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    I’d be tempted to start with ‘up yer pipe dickhead’ but that might not be the most constructive entry.

    Your employer’s totally wrong. There’s no childcare you could in place for this situation. What do HR say?

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    Your employer’s totally wrong. There’s no childcare you could in place for this situation. What do HR say?

    We don’t have HR per say. But i assume who would of spoken to the compliance and procedure manager before sending it.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Any union around? Is this your boss being a dick or has he definitely got HR and his boss behind him?

    There was some sort of HSE whistleblower line during the first lockdown. There or the council’s Environmental Health seems a good place to start.

    Unless you know a tame solicitor who can reply on your behalf?

    I’d be polishing up my CV, to be honest.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Your boss sounds like a prick of the first order.

    Premier Icon MarkyG82
    Full Member

    Trying to understand why a normal person would knowingly hand over a letter like that.
    Maybe push back asking for assistance with finding suitable childcare. There is a legal number of days you can take (unpaid) to care for dependants assuming the correct contract is in place.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Ask them to suggest what the legal alternative is?

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    As above you’ve got an entitlement to a certain number of days unpaid leave for this kind of thing. Can you offer to do other people’s admin/online stuff from home. Any employer who wasn’t a total bumhole would meet you half way on this.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    Have spoken to ACAS but there is no legal stuff specifically relating to the virus and this is only covered under time off for dependants.

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    As above you’ve got an entitlement to a certain number of days unpaid leave for this kind of thing. Can you offer to do other people’s admin/online stuff from home. Any employer who wasn’t a total bumhole would meet you half way on this.

    I’m currently working from home but the letter says that they would not “anticipate the ability to work from home if this situation were to reoccur”

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    You can’t legally put them in to childcare. Which part of that is your employer not grasping?

    Either you have to do what work you can from home, take the emergency time you are allowed to take, or come to an arrangement about paid or unpaid leave.

    Anything beyond that starts to tread the line of harassment by the employer, so make sure you have everything documented.

    I’m lucky that my employer is bending over backwards to help staff during this crisis, and I know other workers and employers may not feel able to be as supportive/pragmatic.

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    I’m pretty sure i read somewhere that employers have a legal obligation to make allowances for this rather than sending threatening letters.

    Premier Icon northernremedy
    Full Member

    Today is the final day of my 4 year old isolating – huzzah!

    Firstly, hope you’re all ok and don’t have any issues.

    Secondly, as others have said the child is isolating so childcare arrangements cannot be made outside of the household bubble.

    I’m very sorry to hear your employer has behaved like this. It feels like they’re exploiting the situation quite frankly. I think you’d have a very strong unfair dismissal/discrimination type case were anything to happen. I’d consider writing to your mp perhaps? You could very constructively ask your employer exactly what childcare they’d envisage you put in place?

    Premier Icon loum
    Free Member

    Your letter should thank them for theirs and clearly state that it will be retained as record.
    Your letter may then include reference to the fact that they know there are no options that you can legally put in place, so you would like them to clarify exactly what they expect in such circumstances.
    It could also re emphasise that you would like all future correspondence on this issue in writing for your own records.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Your employer’s totally wrong. There’s no childcare you could in place for this situation. What do HR say?

    This ^^^^

    The letter states that although the kids need to isolate I do not and need to put stuff in place to ensure this situation does not happen again, by which he means childcare.
    and that I’m putting a huge burden on both fellow staff and my students. By taking this time off.

    Yes it’s unfair for everyone … I don’t see what you can do.
    If you want to give them a chance to be reasonable you could say how bad you feel but that this is unavoidable and outside your control and that it would be illegal for you to get in any childcare and ask for their suggestions and how you can work with them.

    If they tell you to break the law you can be pretty sure they are not consulting with compliance… if they suggest a partner takes time off instead then that is certainly hot water… so I really can’t see where they are going with this?

    Perhaps you could share this time with a partner ???

    Other than that your manager seems like a total dipstick. I totally see why you’d be upset but I guess it’s up to you how you handle it. Do you want to diffuse it or pour petrol? (I’m not saying either is wrong)

    WTF are they going to do if you do get told to self isolate? It seems they are the ones who need to put something in place or you can “work collaboratively with them” to “work towards”…

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    ^ what loum said…

    or start giving your **** manager a chance to correct themselves but in writing.
    To be honest they may not have actually thought what being told to self isolate actually means and you’d need to decide is your manager usually a complete **** or could they genuinely not realise you can’t get childcare as that is what self isolation MEANS.

    Premier Icon nparker
    Full Member

    Write a formal letter back explaining that your child is self isolating and that in accordance with government guidelines cannot mix with another household. Explain that you are the only person who can provide childcare within the household.

    Keep it civil and formal and keep all letters, in case the matter should go to an employment tribunal. Very much doubt it would – your boss is simply panicking because they haven’t done their job and prepared for the risk of something like this happening.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    As anparker said…and then start looking for a new job

    Premier Icon docgeoffyjones
    Free Member

    Thank you

    I’ve written a polite reply requesting to know what he action he felt I should of taken, that was within the guidance provided for people who have been asked to isolate by track and trace.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    I’ve written a polite reply requesting to know what he action he felt I should of taken, that was within the guidance provided for people who have been asked to isolate by track and trace.

    Yep and unless they are habitually dipsticks I honestly reckon nparker sums it up!!!

    your boss is simply panicking because they haven’t done their job and prepared for the risk of something like this happening

    or your bosses boss or …. if they haven’t actually made contingency plans for EVERYONE then they are the ones at fault.

    Perhaps just write an amusing letter to yourself you don’t send as well… you know like “I will be getting a vasectomy to try and prevent this sort of thing happening again” it might work for you… certainly helps me sometimes 😉

    I was working for an Indian company 10yrs ago and my child was rushed into ICU and I found out when I got off the plane in Mumbai…. my boss told me to get on a plane, expense it and take as much time as I needed… I called him a week later and he said “is your child still in hospital” … I said “yes” and he said “call me when he’s well not before”.. don’t worry about time off we’ll work it out later. Then some British guy from my project account called me…. I texted my boss who gave him one hell of a roasting…

    Sometimes I despair what we call a developed country.

    Your managers job is to help you… and MANAGE this .. putting this on you is very poor management.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Your managers job is to help you… and MANAGE this .. putting this on you is very poor management.

    That needs putting on every management training course

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