Case Study #1
Patrick and his partner have two young children (a daughter 4 years old, a son 18 months old). Patrick works for a small firm that makes bespoke furniture and repairs antique. Patrick wants to take parental leave to visit his parents in Ireland for a month before his elder child begins school. He approaches his employer in May 2011 but he is told that as there is too much work at the moment, he must postpone his leave for 4 months. His daughter begins school in September, 2011.
In the above mentioned situation we face the problem which is connected with family friendly rights. Patrick, his wife and their two children are a family that is why they should know all the rights which concern their family. According to the law on family friendly rights which discuss the issues concerning maternity, paternity and parental leave, Patrick is one of the parents who has the right to have his parental leave.
It is known that according to the Family Medical Leave Act 2003, every qualifying individual who work for this or that organization has his right to have up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Parental leave is also included in this law. (Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations 2008)
The only condition of this right given to both parents is the fact that the individuals who are going to have their parental leave must have worked about 1,250 hours during the last year for the employer who has more than 50 employees in his organization. The compulsory condition is that the organization or firm of the employer must have more than 50 employees on the staff. (Bond et al. 1991)
In our case Patrick works for a rather small firm which has less than 50 employees on the staff that is why his employer refused him to give a parental leave when Patrick asked him to let him go to visit his parents who live in Ireland.
The other fact is that parental leave can be taken only with the main purpose – to take care for the child. Patrick wants to take his child to stay with grandparents who live in Ireland. It means that he is going to look after the welfare of his daughter and to spend more time with his family. According to the law Patrick has his right to do it. However, he works for a small firm which has problems and the employer has no opportunity to let him go. May be there are no other employees who will be able to substitute Patrick at the present moment or the employer values Patrick’s skills and considers him to be a reliable employee. (Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations 2008)
I think that Patrick should be glad that his employer set a high value on Patrick’s skills and that he is an important employee in the firm.
On the other hand, Patrick should know that today it is very difficult to find a well paid job because there is an economic crisis in the world. Some people have no job at all. They will be glad to substitute him. Patrick should value his job as it is his source of income which will allow him and his family to have a good life. (Parental Leave 2009)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that although Patrick has his right to take a parental leave (his daughter is 4 years old, Patrick worked more than 1,250 hours during the last year, he has a valid reason to spend his time with his family and to visit the grandparents in Ireland), Patrick’s employer has his right to refuse the employee’ s application connected with parental leave if a firm which consists of less than 50 employees has a lot of work at that period.