One-third of parents worried about losing jobs when staying home with sick kids: Survey

One-half have missed work in last year to care for child
||Last Updated: 10/25/2012

One-third of parents of young children in the United States are concerned about losing jobs or pay when they stay home to care for sick children.

Almost one-half of parents with young children in child care indicated that they’ve missed work in the last year to care for sick kids, and one-quarter missed work three or more times, found a survey by the University of Michigan which polled 300 workers.

Along with the 33 per cent of parents who were concerned about losing pay or jobs because of missing work for sick kids, 31 per cent said they don’t have enough paid leave to cover the days they need for sick children.

Nearly two-thirds of parents of children younger than six years old in child care say their children could not attend because of illness in the past year. One-half of the parents of young children in child care said finding alternative or back-up care is difficult.

“Improving employee benefits related to paid sick leave appears to be important for many parents,” Andrew Hashikawa, clinical lecturer in pediatric emergency medicine at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “More supportive sick leave policies would allow parents to care for their sick children at home or give parents the opportunity to go to their child’s usual health care provider instead of the emergency room.”

About 40 million workers in the U.S. lack paid sick leave benefits, according to Matthew Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“We hope these latest poll results will spur national discussion about the importance of providing workers with the tools they need to be productive, but also care for their little ones when they are not feeling well,” he said.

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