Policies on babies or children at work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas --

I have an interesting question for you all. I work at a small food co-op (only 15 employees) doing part-time bookkeeping and HR and when my daughter was 2-11 months, I brought her with me every day for 5 or so hours. Now she's 20 months and comes one day a week for a few hours. Our General Manager's granddaughter (11 years) comes on the occasional day to be a "mother's helper" to me, or help out with a few other tasks as part of her homeschooling. The arrangements have worked for everyone. Now, our Board of Directors has asked us to include a policy in our employee handbook about children in the workplace and I'm interested in  seeing if there are any other policies out there on this. Have any of you brought your kids to work, and was there a policy about it? I think a policy instituted by a large corporation would necessarily be different than a policy that could apply in a tiny organization like ours. But I'd be interested in seeing anything -- we have no idea where to start with this.

 

Thanks so much!

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#2 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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We have no formal policy.  I work for a county library and there aren't a ton of us with young children, but it is understood that those of us with offices or out of the way jobs can bring your kids in a pinch.  Well, I maybe abuse it a bit, my ds1 rides the bus here after school 3 days a week, but he's only here for about an hour or so before my husband comes and picks him up (he sits in my office and has a snack or plays on the computers in the children's area).  But he's not in my hair or preventing me from working, so I've not hear anything negative about him being here and this is his 2nd full school year doing it.  I've also brought him, and sometimes ds2, when they were feeling a bit icky but not bad enough for me to need to stay home with them.  Ds3 is still too little (he'll be 2 next month) for me to be able to get anything done with him here.

 

If I were writing a policy, it would be as loose as I could get it.  It just seems too "one size fits all" for the type of situation you describe.


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#3 of 9 Old 08-30-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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We don't have an official policy either and I have certainly used that to my advantage.... I try to keep a lower profile so that no policy is created. Mine is a little different in that the nature of my work is very, very part time but it could be last minute. I am an RN/IBCLC that provides breastfeeding support through my local health dept. I can and do take my children on home visits if I have no child care and the mom has oked it and IF I feel comfortable taking my children into that particular home. When I work in the office, I take my babies with me until they are 12 months, no else ever has but I almost always go into to the office for a two hour or less time period. 

 

Like the PP said, I'd try and keep the policy as broad and loose as possible. Maybe giving no timetable for children under 1 year, just that children under 12 month of age are welcome at work, other children are welcome... I am not sure what I would what to see here. I am guessing that they don't want someone coming in with say a 2.5 year old that is going to be there every single time the parent is there. So maybe older children may attend with parent once in a while? I am not sure. 


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#4 of 9 Old 09-01-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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I don't have a written policy but I do bring my LO on occasion. If I were to write something it would likely say something like : children in the workplace are acceptable for as long as they don't interrupt the work of their parent (s) and/or the other employees in the workplace.

Short. Sweet. Not too restrictive...

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#5 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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We don't have a policy, but I would recommend keeping it vague. The only thing I might specify is that if is going to be a reoccurring situation, the the boss is informed and schedules and expectations are discussed ahead of time. For one-offs/emergencies, just inform your boss as soon as you can (either when you get to work or quick call on the way or whatever). I like chiromama01's suggestion for both situations otherwise.

My boss actually asked me if he should write a maternity leave policy as I was the first one to need maternity leave at our company (we're small enough to not be covered by anything official and a field that tends to have more men than women). What I did with him is over one quick conversation and one lunch figure out something that worked for both of us. I told him he could add a policy, but if so to keep it vague and encourage the pregnant woman to figure out what she needed. It helps that my job if you are taking off more than a week or two, at that point it makes no real difference if you take off 3 weeks or 6 months for our workflow. So that's why I make the suggestion of something vague or just not have one, but it sounds like they want one.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-07-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Quote:

We don't have an official policy either and I have certainly used that to my advantage.... I try to keep a lower profile so that no policy is created. Mine is a little different in that the nature of my work is very, very part time but it could be last minute. I am an RN/IBCLC that provides breastfeeding support through my local health dept. I can and do take my children on home visits if I have no child care and the mom has oked it and IF I feel comfortable taking my children into that particular home. When I work in the office, I take my babies with me until they are 12 months, no else ever has but I almost always go into to the office for a two hour or less time period.

I have to say I am suprised. I also provide BF support in teh home as an RN through our local health department and I have never seen anyone bring their child to work, nevermind a home visit. There is no policy around it, it is just understood that no one whether nurse,dr, OT, SLP, reception, security guard, or any occupation within the entire healthregion, community or hospital bring a child to work. I have worked for 3 different health regions in 2 provinces and have never seen or heard of anyone bringing a child to work, even once.  Even with "bring your child to work day" there is a specific policy and if you do anything involving patients or health records where there could be a breach of confidentiality, you do not bring your child.there is BF policy wiht our union in that you could have someone bring your child to work/leave for break if allowed to leave(hospital nurses cannot leave the site during a shift even on break) to BF for 3 breaks a day, but you would be on a break and not seeing patients. Most people return to work after a year so you don't really see people acutally do this, but you could if you wanted to.

 

I'm not even sure how you could bring a baby along on a home visit. I can't imagine trying to examine a mom or baby, do blood work, focus 100% on the mom/baby with my baby there. Even with just breastfeeding alone I often end up kneeling beside mom stuck between a wall and a chair. 

 

 

As far as making a policy, the things I think you would have to look at would be if there are any confidentiality issues you would have with older kids, any insurance issues you might have if a kid was injured. Clearly workman's comp isn't going to cover them. Also you might need separate part of the policy to deal with babies vs, 1-5 year olds, vs kids old enough to quietly do their homework/read a book. 

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#7 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 10:59 PM
 
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I brought my daughter to work (I was an attorney at a law firm) from about 4 months to about 12 months.  I didn't ask for it, but my boss suggested it to me.  When she started walking it got too hard to keep her busy and I decided to stop bringing her.  There wasn't a policy.  Now I work for a state agency and I can bring my daughter in occasionally.  She colors in my office or whatever.  I wouldn't do it more than a couple times a year. 


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#8 of 9 Old 09-14-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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I work in a pharmacy and would not bring a baby to work. Maybe if I had a very young one who would sleep in a sling and absolutely no other alternative and my husband were picking her up in an hour and there weren't another pharmacist there (if there were, I'd just tell them I'd be late, they'd probably rather that). I wouldn't be able to get anything done with a baby and you can't let them run around in a pharmacy. And I'm pretty sure our employee policy doesn't allow for it. I'm not sure about a 10 yo camping out in the break room with a novel. My husband teaches at the college level and has brought our baby daughter to meetings occasionally when he can't get childcare (he wouldn't bring her to class, but in a meeting he can step out if need be). It's not a great situation but it works okay for them in a pinch. I think their policy is that children on campus under age 14 need to be supervised by an adult, and I would probably have your policy be something similar. If it's a liability issue you might throw something in there about that. 

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#9 of 9 Old 09-15-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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I used to bring my dd to do daycare relief and later when I was called in at odd hours as a dorm manager in a setting for pregnant and parenting teens. It wasn't something I liked doing because it was hard to balance work and a toddler but I managed when I had to. I think that it might work to have non-mobile babies in a store setting but it might be too disruptive to have toddlers wondering around in the store while their parent is working. Maybe each situation could be examined on a case by case basis and reexamined frequently to make sure it is still working. Not all infants are quiet and easily to work with and not all toddlers are difficult to work with so it makes sense to make a policy that can allow for a child to come to work but doesn't guarantee the right to do so.
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