Just last week Rachel (our Founding Director) received a call from not one but two working mums who had been denied time off to attend their child’s first day of prep. Unfortunately, this is not surprising to us as we hear stories like this all the time where inflexible employers deny their employees leave to attend important milestones in their child’s life. What’s interesting is that we hear these stories because those employees are now looking for another job.
Rachel shared this story on a LinkedIn post and was inundated with messages of support, more stories from parents who had had the same experience, and unfortunately, a couple of comments which perpetuate this kind of discrimination towards working parents. Here is Rachel’s initial post:
The original post was liked by 3,250 people on LinkedIn with over 200 comments and 295,000 views. This is just a snapshot of some of the comments received:
“This is terrible, I have been very lucky to work for a business that offers flexibility and work life balance. Missing a milestone like first day in prep is a very sad situation”.
“I know parents who have taken annual leave for the week just so kidlets can be settle into school. Being a Prep parent this year, I can’t imagine how distressing it would have been for my boy if I just “dropped (him) off”. Really boo to those inflexible & inconsiderate managers. They do say, you don’t leave your employer, you leave your manager”.
“Unbelievable. When leaders get it right there is such a positive impact on everyone including the company. When will we see this as the norm?”
“Dads get denied this special opportunity as well. Working with a clinical nutrition company a number of years ago, the GM denied me the chance to accompany my oldest daughter to her first day of school. I will never forget how upset that made me and how I will never forgive the person who did this”.
“Any employers who allow parents to attend important events with children or family in general will be rewarded ten fold.”
The last comment here makes an important point about loyalty, because if you expect your employees to be loyal, the least you can afford them is flexibility.