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New Mum Online: Taking Time off Work for a Child's Critical Illness

Do you remember the days when you only had to worry about work deadlines and whether you’d get up early enough to make that breakfast meeting with a client or get a train to an offsite location. Then kids come along and all of a sudden you’re juggling those worries which all of a sudden seem inconsequential with the bigger worry of your children’s welfare, both now and for the future. The worry of working parents begins the minute the sperm meets the egg I think. Or perhaps even before, when the twinkle is in Daddy’s eye. My first worry was giving up my role and that my maternity cover may be better than me. Oh with hindsight, that’s the funniest thing ever with what did actually transpire. Anyway I was in bed at 21:30 for the first trimester which was amazing as that used to sometimes be the time I got in from work. Things were looking good and I had a spring in my step. It was 2009. Then that Christmas my employer got management consultants in at a cost of I think 500k. We had to do long hours for the next 6 months to impress them and keep our jobs. Heavily pregnant I was sometimes running to Pizza Express for 10 pizzas for “men” in the boardroom at 8p.m. at night. Such a change when I used to be at those boardroom meetings and our management team used to be 80% female. Before I went on maternity leave my politically incorrect new MD (not from the UK, with NO idea of employment law) started to drop hints that I could go part-time. His way of instigating this, was to insist I employ a maternity cover part-time but luckily I did a business case for all my role involved and I was allowed to get a full-timer, but alas she made SUCH a hash of my role, that not only did I need to come in from maternity to fire her (I was the HR Manager if that sounds harsh) but I also had to work from home during maternity. Some members of the management team phoned me whenever they felt like it, so it was unsustainable and I was looking at my BlackBerry longer than I’d look into my baby’s eyes. So I told them it had to stop. They THEN did get the part-timer they wanted this time and this time she was given the mission to make ME part-time despite it being an illegal thing to do to someone on maternity leave. If you Google it, you only find ladies themselves wanting to go part-time not the other way round. So to cut a long story short I got compensation out of them (not a huge amount) and returned to work part-time and made it suit me, which eventually it did. My first few months back at work I didn’t take any time off due to Aaron being sick as he wasn’t. But fast forward to another new MD and there was a day I could not go in. It’s bad that parents get tarnished with a reputation for taking time off with kids as I think that was the only day I had but later after I’d been made redundant I would have needed time off for his chickenpox and this week now 2016 I would have needed a week off as we both have flu. Oh and noro virus was way worse than chickenpox. Whether it’s Mummy or Daddy that stays home, the little one needs parental love to speed up their recovery. Add hospital visits to that scenario and the logistics get more complicated. You don’t get paid when your child is sick which I guess is why sometimes parents pretend to be sick themselves. The best thing to take is parental leave[1], which can be taken in blocks of one week, but that is unpaid[2]. As a Mum, your root chakra demands that you provide for your child, so financial worries during times of critical illness are far from ideal. So imagine my delight when I found out about Insure With Max. I don’t need it now as I am a stay at home mum but I will certainly be talking it through with Daddy. Imagine though, if the illness was something more severe than flu or chickenpox, God forbid. What would you/we do?!?!? Insure With Max’s tagline is: While you look after your child during a serious illness, we look after your take home salary Any parent with a seriously ill child relies on the NHS to provide world class treatment. The parents become part of the round the clock care team ensuring that their child has the best chance of recovery. However, who is going to pay the bills, while a parent stops working to care for their child? This was the question faced by Max Robinson s father, when Max s half-sister was born with a rare medical condition. Max s father and step mother had to drop everything as they were consumed with hospital visits. Eventually his father became the full time carer and his step mother went out to work; but they had less take home salary. This was reflected by other families with sick children suffering financial hardship from reduced employment. Max felt that the insurance industry could be a force for good by helping working families. He not only worked in insurance for many years, but also was a qualified practitioner. In 2015, Max carried out in-depth market research around what working parents wanted in terms of a new insurance. He leant that nearly half the market found his product known as ChildMax very appealing. ChildMax is offered by Insure With Max[3], for working parents who are employed, self-employed or a company director. It covers children, either natural, step or adopted from 3 months to 18 years old. The take home salary that can be insured, ranges from 1,000 to a maximum of 5,000 per month. The actual premium paid by the parent is worked out using the size of take home salary, the number and age of the children. The premium starts at the equivalent of 33p per day for an annual policy. Following the child s diagnosis, the ChildMax will pay the parents take home salary within 30 days of the claim being agreed. The parent can elect to take a 12-month unpaid leave of absence from work during the policy period, or in the following 10 months after the policy expires. Knowing that parents have different patterns of work, ChildMax offers claim flexibility by allowing the parent to return to work on a full-time, part-time or other flexible basis. ChildMax covers 12 child illnesses: aplastic anaemia, benign brain tumor, bacterial meningitis, cancer, blindness, deafness, kidney failure, loss of hands or feet, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis, paralysis of limbs and stroke. It also covers 7 medical conditions: coma, traumatic brain injury, loss of a hand or foot, blindness, third- degree burns, deafness and paralysis of limbs. Parents have peace of mind knowing that the sale of ChildMax is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). For more information, visit InsurewithMax.com to see: special ChildMax features[4] or telephone the UK call center team on 0333 323 0098.

References

  1. ^ parental leave (www.acas.org.uk)
  2. ^ unpaid (www.acas.org.uk)
  3. ^ Insure With Max (www.insurewithmax.com)
  4. ^ special ChildMax features (www.insurewithmax.com)