I have to care for my child. Does my employer have to accommodate me?
Question & AnswerI have to care for my child. Does my employer have to accommodate me?
3. Ask your employer for accommodation
You know best what your needs are. Think about how you'll talk to your employer about finding a solution that works for both of you.
Talk to your employer about your childcare obligations. Explain how your responsibility makes it impossible to follow a rule or job requirement. Tell your employer that you would like to be accommodated.
Explain to your employer what other childcare options you have tried and why they don't work for you. You employer should have a sincere discussion with you about your needs.
If your child has a medical condition, it's a good idea to give your employer medical information to support your request. Your employer does not have the right to know your child's diagnosis. But you can give your employer a doctor's note that:
- confirms that your child has a medical condition
- explains what you must do to provide care, and
- estimates how long the care is expected to last
You employer might also ask you questions about your job duties, and how the rules and job requirements interfere with your ability to provide childcare.
Types of accommodation
Your employer might need some time to figure out whether or not they can make changes to the rules or job requirements to you.
Some examples of workplace are:
- working at a different location, if your employer has that option
- letting you take a leave of absence to care for your sick child
- adjusting your schedule or the number of hours you work for a period of time while you care for your child
- changing your job duties to ones that allow you to fulfill your childcare obligation
- allowing you to work from home
You have to co-operate with your employer in trying to find and agree on what is reasonable for them to do. Every employer is different, and they might not be able to accommodate you in the way you asked for if they can show it would cause them .
You may want to get advice about asking your employer for accommodation. You can contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for free legal advice and information. For example, they can help you decide:
- what you need to tell your employer, and
- what you need to ask your employer.
They can also talk to your employer about different ways to meet your needs.