Mother-of-four sparks outrage online after saying 'parents of young children are unreliable employees'

Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 June 2018, 10:30AM
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Photo / Getty

A mother-of-four has sparked furious debate on social media after stating that parents of young children are "unreliable" employees. 

In an article published on Kidspot, Australian mother Julie Mellor said when she first started looking to get back into the workforce after having children, she was advised to "keep a lid on the fact" that she had young kids, the Daily Mail reports. 

And while outraged at the time about the advice - as it is illegal to discriminate against employees for that reason - she later left the paid workforce altogether because she believed the "reason for the discrimination became abundantly clear". 

"Yep, I'm calling it; even at a time when most of us have to work full-time, parents of young children are not reliable employees," she wrote. 

Mellor went on to say that this is not the fault of the parents, but the fact that schools call parents if their kids are sick or have misbehaved.

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"In my day (now I'm showing my age) when a child got sick at school they would end up in the sick bay... nowadays things are different,' she said, adding that she receives phone calls for minor issues like headaches."

Mellor concluded by calling for a "realistic amount of leave for parents" and for schools to have "adequate sick areas". 

"If we want parents to have the same career opportunities as everybody else, if we want them to be reliable, and to contribute as effectively as non-parents, then we need to do better than this," she said. 

While many believed Ms Mellor had a fair point, her words struck a chord with many and sparked heated debates on social media. 

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"I actually work in a school doing first aid and I can tell you we always try the glass of water and a rest technique before calling you," one woman wrote. 

"The biggest help for us in getting your kid back to class is for you to say no, you won't come get them. I think the parents who cave and collect their child every time are contributing to the problem... we have to notify you if they complain they're too unwell to finish the day."

Another said the claim that parents of young children are "unreliable" was "rubbish" and that it made their "blood boil".

"Studies have shown working parents often put in extra hours and work unpaid overtime to ensure they're not seen in this exact light. Some of the hardest working colleagues I've had have been parents," she wrote.

"I work just as hard now as I did before kids. But I can categorically say, in two work places I was working at before I had kids, I have had the bosses at both places say they won't hire mums of young kids as they are unreliable," another said. 

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Others said they felt as though they were in a lose-lose situation. 

"We can't win either way. You go to work, and it's a very hard balance doing the job itself, as well as spending time with the kids and keeping up with the housework," a woman wrote. 

"And if you stay home, you're made to feel as though you're a burden and lazy by those without kids. What exactly are we meant to do?"

Some women said that they did consider themselves 'unreliable' at times after having children.

I am a harder worker and I love working but I can honestly say that I cannot be relied on at times," one wrote. 

"95 per cent of me calling in sick is because I can't be bothered not because of the kids... but when I do go I always work hard," another wrote.  

This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.