Sick child


Balancing work and family life is not always easy. When a child is sick, schools and daycares often refuse to keep the child for fear that the child will infect other children and spread the disease.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have grandparents, a nanny or a neighbor willing to watch a sick child on short notice. When both parents work, this situation is particularly problematic. Organizing short-term care for a sick child is far from simple.

Parents' rights

Taking care of a sick child is a legal obligation. When a parent has to stay at home to care for a sick child, it is a non-culpable impediment to work.

The employer will have to grant a leave of limited duration to the parent who requests it. The situation of the employee who is absent for a longer period of time may be delicate.

In principle, the employer will have to pay the employee's salary while the child is ill. When these absences are combined with the employee's inability to work, the duration of the salary payment may be limited.

Parents’ obligations

The employee is bound by his/her duty of loyalty to his/her employer. He/she must make every effort to safeguard his/her interests and find a childcare solution as soon as possible.

To avoid absenteeism, the employer must request proof of the employee's child's illness. The employer should also ensure that the child is not already being cared for by the employee's spouse or another person.

Accident or Serious Illness

Sometimes a minor child becomes seriously ill or suffers a serious accident. In these cases, the child is particularly in need of intensive parental care. As of July 1st, 2021, parents will be entitled to paid leave through the loss of earnings insurance, if they meet certain conditions.

This leave is limited in duration. It can be shared between both parents. During a certain period, the employer will not be able to dismiss the employee who takes leave to take care of his or her child who is seriously ill. Will the employer be able to reduce the employee's holiday entitlement when he or she takes time off to care for the child?


Fewer tedious commutes and a better balance with family life, telecommuting is popular with employees! However, the situation can be tricky when the employee takes advantage of working from home to look after his or her sick child. The employer can react to safeguard his or her interests.

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