Due to coronavirus pandemic, what the whole world is going through is a real crisis especially if you are a mother. Many working mothers are in real trouble these days due to work policies that oblige them to work from offices and refuse a work from home policy.
With schools and nurseries shut down and social distancing from grandparents, mothers are clueless, helpless and do not know where to leave their little ones. Some mothers are considering quitting their jobs while others chose to bear unpaid leaves so they can stay with their children. Some were wise enough to file complaints to The National Council of Women, yet they are worried about getting fired.
Last month, Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, announced that pregnant ladies and mothers of kids less than 13 years old will be given exceptional work leaves. However, the government stated that the private sector is not entitled to the declaration and it’s up to each company to adopt their policy or not.
Without a doubt, we understand that from a business and economic perspective, many companies might be forced to urge employees to work within their full capacity and not have the luxury of operating with half the workforce. However, this doesn’t cancel the real issue that many working mothers are facing especially for jobs that could be done from home where going to the office is not essential.
We listened to some Rahet Bally moms who are dealing with inflexible work policies and this is what they said.
- “I work as a marketing manager in a big family business and my working hours are still the same and no flexibility due to the current situation. My main problem is that my kids have to attend e-learning classes in the morning and they are still too young to sign in by themselves, so they never attend. When I’m back home, I just finish some classwork with them and send to the teachers.”
- “I’m a consultant engineer and work technicalities require operating from the office just a week per month, so I filed a request to work the three other weeks from home, but the company refused. Besides, taking a day off has become more difficult than before. I’m Christian and they informed us that there might be an issue in taking the feast days off! The only thing that saved me is that my husband is staying at home, otherwise, there would be no one to stay with my toddler.”
- “Being a cargo manager in an airline company, I see it pointless to have to work from the office while flights are suspended. I asked for an unpaid leave, but they refused and told me to take some days off from my annual leave and I’m already running out of days. I used to drop off my son at my parents’ every morning, then we both got sick, so I asked for a sick leave and still waiting for the company’s reply.”
- “Although I’m a teacher and schooling became online, the school I work for refused to make us work from home!”
- “As an architect, not only can all my work requirements be done from home, my company compromised and expect me to go to the office three days a week and I won’t get paid for the other two! Me and my husband take turns in babysitting the kids.”
As we always say every story has two sides and of course employers have much to say about this. However, when it comes to forcing a mother to find a place or someone to babysit her little one in such a critical situation or risk getting infected and transfer it to her kids, we can see only one side!
Support and understand before professionalism and profit!