Union wants more support for parents working from home
Many parents currently working from home are struggling to both help their kids with their school work and put in their hours at their jobs, according to a study by research agency Totta for trade union FNV. The union is calling on the government to come up with more support for these parents, even if schools can partially reopen in the near future.
The study showed that 92 percent of parents with primary school age children help their children with their distance learning. The same is true for 58 percent of parents with children in high school. For 54 percent of parents, distance learning with their kids takes up to 2 hours out of their day. 34 percent spend 3 to 4 hours on school work. On average, women spend more time helping kids than men. Ten percent of parents are now using their vacation days in order to teach their kids.
40 percent of parents indicated that they are putting in extra hours at night and over the weekends so that they can get their work done. Especially parents of toddlers (56 percent) and children in primary school (45 percent) are struggling to get both school work and their jobs done.
FNV is concerned about this. "Schools and day care centers have been closed for five weeks now and structurally working longer can have unpleasant consequences such as overstrain or burnout. There is also permanent unrest in the family," Judy Hoffer of the union said.
The union points out that other European countries granted extra leave days to parents when schools and daycare centers closed. Norway, for example, gave parents 20 extra care days. Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Romania and Austria implemented similar measures, according to FNV.
"The Netherlands has never been at the forefront when it comes to the combination of work and care duties, and once again this shows that caring for children is primarily regarded as a private matter," Hoffer said. "Let that change now. In these exceptional circumstances, emergency leave and extra days off are excellent ways to accommodate parents. The government should facilitate this."