Who Cares for the Sick Kids? Parents’ Access to Paid Time to Care for a Sick Child

June 12, 2012
 

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Summary

This brief analyzes employed parents’ access to five or more paid sick days annually to care for a sick child in 2008. Using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce collected by the Families and Work Institute (the most recent data available in the series), authors Kristin Smith and Andrew Schaefer analyze differences in access between employed mothers and fathers by demographic and work-related characteristics. They report that, in 2008, more than one-half—52 percent—of employed parents lacked access to at least five paid sick days to care for a sick child, and lower-earning parents had the least access. Although employed mothers and fathers have similar access to paid sick days to care for their sick children, mothers more often miss work to care for a sick child. Employed parents with paid sick days to care for a sick child are 1.9 times more likely to be very satisfied with their job than those without this access.

About the Author(s)

Kristin Smith
Kristin Smith is a family demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and research associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests focus on women’s labor force participation and work and family policy. Kristin has examined women’s employment, earnings, and wives’ contributions to overall family economic well-being; how families cope with economic turmoil due to either economic restructuring or recessions; the low-wage caregiving workforce; and workplace flexibility and policy.. Read More...
Andrew Schaefer
Andrew Schaefer is a Vulnerable Families Research Associate at the Carsey School of Public Policy. Andrew joined Carsey in May 2010 as a research assistant on the Vulnerable Families research team. Much of his work at Carsey focuses on poverty, the social safety net, and women and work, including policies and programs that support low-income and other working  families. Andrew is currently working on projects exploring the gender gap in leisure time and children's access to public health insurance during and after the Great Recession. Read More...