I work for a IT company and had my discussions with my manager around inability to work from home to support kid (child care age) when they are not well.

The boss (owner of the company) replied, "Well, I don't want to plan your family stuff, but my wife sacrified her career to take care of kids".

Does he imply that he expects the same from his male employees? Or am I reading too much in between the lines?

  • inability is not what you meant, probably. – Sourav Ghosh Oct 18 '19 at 5:07
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    Could you add a country tag? In some countries, you are allowed by law to take (unpaid) sick leave when caring for a sick child. While this might not make your boss happy, you should check out if you have this right in your country. – Dirk Oct 18 '19 at 6:56
  • Sounds more like he expects your family to follow the more traditional gender roles... But you won't know what he meant unless you ask him. – Llewellyn Oct 18 '19 at 12:07

A generous interpretation of that is... Rearing children is a full-time responsibility. He was giving his wife as a real-life example. He intended no implication of gender dynamics. Just that someone in partnership needs to do the work.

There is a less generous interpretation but it doesn't change the answer much. What he is telling you is that if you work for him, he expects you to find a workaround for things like sick kids. Your responsibility is to your workplace.

Do what you want with this information. I know what I would do. What I have done.

  • yes, plenty of men have stay at home type jobs for this reason while the wife works – Kilisi Oct 18 '19 at 6:17

You boss is telling you that he assumes all working parents have a partner who is responsible for the child care, because that was his experience.

Obviously this isn't true for more than 50% of parents, so the question for him is what would it take for him to employ some of those people? In the EU, I think you're entitled to take unpaid time off for child care. Otherwise you could offer to take a pay-cut to buy that flexibility, and make it worthwhile to the company.

If you do nothing, then one day you'll have to decide between your job and your child, and then call in the next day to see if they still want you.

You could ask your boss what he did/would do when his wife is to ill to look after his children.

  • OP is looking to work from home, not get an unpaid day off. I think that does fall back to meeting your manager's needs, if you're getting paid for the day. – cdkMoose Oct 18 '19 at 16:25
  • In Italy you get paid parental leave for a certain number of hours a month if you have children. I assume most other countries have similar paid leaves for the same reasons. – Bakuriu Oct 18 '19 at 21:52

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