Carer's leave for staff required to care for their children during Victorian school closures
Members have been contacting us with their stories:
"I have only recently started at Monash and do not have the leave balance or personal wealth to cover this requirement. I have no choice but to let my kid’s education suffer as I cannot assist them and fulfil the full requirements of my role."
"I have two children in lower to middle secondary school. Their schooling has shifted online, which requires me to monitor their schooling from 8.30am to 3.15pm each week day, and react to technical and learning issues throughout the day. In a non-COVID19 environment, I acquit my fractional hours by working uninterrupted during school hours from Monday to Friday (8.30am to 3.30pm). I am no longer able to get the uninterrupted school hours, so I am working much later into the evenings and on weekends, and this is impacting on my ability to look after my children outside of school hours and to assist my mother with the care of my father, who has Alzheimers."
"I am the parent of a 5 and 6 year old. The 6 year old is in the process of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and needs close and constant supervision. It is not possible to do any work at the same time as home-schooling. I am seeking carers leave to cover two days a week and my partner would be undertaking the other three days. I will spend the three work days fulfilling my teaching and engagement obligations, and will forego my research during this time. Clearly this is likely to impact on my track record for ARC grant applications and my next promotion application, but I feel I have no other choice due to pressures from my department."
"I have a secondary school-age child. She has some significant health problems including anxiety, I have to spend a considerable amount of time keeping her on track with her learning. I also have an elderly mother (78) who lives on her own. I therefore need to regularly do her shopping, something she would normally do for herself, but should not at the moment because of the health risks of her leaving the house. Now when there is the prospect of me actually being able to take COVID-19 related leave, it has suddenly been withdrawn. This feels like a slap in the face, especially given the generosity of the university toward students. By contrast, for academics the so-called generosity has been swiftly removed, making a farce of the entire "thanks for being so incredible working overtime" statements that have been made routinely during the crisis. Personally, I worked more than 12 hours a day for 3 weeks, with no days off, and received nothing in recognition, except hollow words."