Since the children have returned to class after the Christmas holidays, infections among the little ones have been increasing, leaving school classrooms half empty. Faced with this panorama, there are many parents who see themselves, once again, at a crossroads in reconciling work and family that is so difficult to square.
Whether it’s because their child has tested positive for Covid, or because they have to quarantine due to close contact, or because their class has been confined, unless there is a family member or caregiver who can stay with the child, parents have to take time off from work to care for the child. of his son. How can fathers and mothers who are in this situation reconcile?
Can I take leave at work to take care of my child in quarantine?
Since the pandemic broke out almost two years ago, a real solution has been expected for parents who need to reconcile in these very common cases.
Currently, there is no paid sick leave for the cases of fathers and mothers who have to care for their children in quarantine for having tested positive for COVID, being in close contact or because of a confined class.
The solution that exists for parents in this situation is the “Plan Me Cuida” , which was extended until February 28, 2022 (unless further extension), as established by Royal Decree-Law 18/2021, of September 28.
“Plan Me Cuida”: what it consists of
Fundamentally, the plan created so that workers can reconcile their work and family life during the COVID-19 crisis contemplates two main options:
1) Right to an adaptation of the working day for duties of care due to exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19. This measure does not imply a reduction in salary, and may consist of:
- Change of shift or modification of schedule.
- Flexible schedule.
- Adapt your working day (split or continuous day).
- Change of functions.
- Carry out your task in another workplace.
2) Right to a reduction in working hours for legal guardianship to directly care for someone under twelve years of age or a person with a disability , with a proportional decrease in income, which can be up to 100%, in the event of a total reduction in working day. In other words, it can lead to salary losses due to the reduction in the working day.
How to apply
The worker who needs to take care of a minor can ask the company for a conciliation measure that is justified, reasonable and proportionate.
It is advisable to notify the company in writing or by email 24 hours in advance .
In the document, the requested measure must be detailed, such as: change of shift or schedule, split or continuous shift, change of work center, change of functions, or a special reduction of their working hours and salary until reaching 100%. . (Here you have a working day adaptation model and here one to request a reduction in working hours).
The worker and the company must do everything possible to reach an agreement within a reasonable framework and in accordance with the organizational needs of the company. In the case of refusal by the company, you must go to court to resolve the conflict.
Who can take advantage of the “Plan Me Cuida”?
Any employee who needs to care for their “spouse, common-law partner or family member by consanguinity up to the second degree” can take advantage of the Me Cuida Plan. It does not cover the self-employed .
In other words, the measure may be requested by any salaried person who needs to make their working hours more flexible to be in the care of: husband/wife, son, brother, grandfather or grandson, who needs to be in quarantine due to possible contagion or direct contact. with a positive.
Grandparents who work for others and show that their children cannot take care of their grandchildren and only they can do so, they can also benefit. Although precisely grandparents, for health reasons, may not be the most suitable to take care of a child with Covid.
Can they fire me?
The adaptation of the working day does not enjoy special protection for the working person. However, the dismissal without cause of a worker with a reduction in working hours does convert the dismissal directly into null dismissal .
In Babies and more | What we do with children when they are sick: the right of parents to take care of their children