Time Off for Child Care can be a Human Right

Summer can be a challenging time for working parents of young children.  Childcare available during the school year is often not available during the summer months.  A few recent human rights cases have highlighted the need for employers to accommodate the need for parents to take time off for childcare.  Denying time off may constitute discrimination on the basis of family status.  Employees are expected to make reasonable efforts to find alternative childcare solutions that will not require them to be absent from work (this duty generally does not apply when the need for childcare is sporadic or unexpected).   However, if no reasonable alternative exists, an employer has a duty to accommodate the employee’s need for time off, provided it does not cause undue hardship to the employer.