The impact of the BC teachers’ strike is hitting employers across Vancouver and BC, as employees struggle to find adequate child care, leading some employees to ask if they can bring their kids to work during the BC teachers’ strike. The Province newspaper and CKNW AM 980 radio asked Vancouver-based Clear HR Consulting for human resources expertise and advice on this topic.
Bringing kids to work depends primarily on the culture of the company. It may make sense for a flexibly-oriented office environment, but be completely inappropriate for a construction site due to safety issues. Business owners and managers will also be very concerned with productivity issues for their staff, as well as the impact on their customers. Again, corporate culture will dictate what is appropriate or not.
How should companies handle this situation? Our discussions with our clients show there are a few options that companies are taking when it’s not possible to bring kids to work. Employees can get approval from their manager to use vacation time to take time off to care for their kids. Some other companies have a personal leave policy where staff can take time off to care for relatives. Some others promote remote work arrangements and having staff work from home. Other clients are firmly against remote work arrangements because they are concerned about lost productivity – they think the staff won’t be able to work with young kids underfoot.
The corporate culture as it relates to flexible work arrangements, workplace productivity, safety, and impact on customers will determine the appropriate response for bringing kids to work during the BC teachers’ strike.
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