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