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Time off for kid's school functions?

by on
in The HR Specialist Forum

Question: "It's back-to-school time, which means a lot of parents in our plant are going to need to take time off for various school-related activities. Trouble is, we're in a relatively small community and most of our kids go to the same schools, which means everybody needs time off at the same time. Any suggestions on how to handle this so we can keep our plant running smoothly and be good parents?" -- A.G., Alabama


We have this same problem a few years ago. We decided the one with the most senority was the one to take time off for the school events. Even for myself it was hard because I didn't get to go to some of my kids events.

Here's an opportunity to be an "employer of choice" and look good to customers - if indeed everyone needs "to be gone at the same time" - (if that means the same day), give them a floating holiday to use for school conferences on that day. You can plan on closing that day, leaving a message on phones, e-mails, etc., saying "We value our associates and encourage their involvement in their children's education - therefore we are closed to day to give them time to attend parent-teacher conferences." What customer would take issue with that sort of dedication? Plus, wouldn't that really make employees feel pretty special! Win = Win

It's so hard for employees to have to choose between being a good employee and a good parent. As employers, we should encourage parent involvement, because the end result will be healthier, happier, and overall better employees.

Would it be helpful to hire some temporary employees to fill in "the gaps?"
Or the employees could take turns taking days off.
It is important for employers to understand and encourage parental involvement. It provides a happier working environment and a better community.

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