Wednesday, June 03, 2015

cancer and workplace policies

Each employee in my office gets 20 days of paid recreational leave a year. 

Each employee in my office also gets 10 days of paid sick leave a year. This can be claimed if employees can produce medical certificates that show that they themselves were sick or that they had to care for a sick person in their family. 

My workplace defines family as spouse and children. 

I told my workplace that I need leave to care for my mother who has cancer.  They told me to file it under recreational leave. It's not sick leave because, OBVIOUSLY my mother is not my family. 

Obviously, visiting the chemotherapy day care centre, endless chasing up with insurance guys, going for follow up tests and doctors appointments is pure recreation. 

I'm almost so jealous of how refreshed I'm going to feel after each such session.  


My mother goes for chemotherapy roughly once a month. After each session, she needs about 10 days rest before she feels normal. 

My mother needs her job because it comes with a health insurance cover which we otherwise cannot afford.

My mother offered to work from home on her toughest days, usually the 10 days  immediately after each chemo cycle, because this is when the side effects of the medication really kick in, leaving the person exhausted. 

Her workplace said no. They said no because if they allow one person to work from home, apparently EVERYONE will want to start working from their homes on their sick days. 

Also, apparently, if you want to get paid, you need to physically be in the office. So, no salary for the 10 days of rest that she needs .... the 10 days when her mind needs distraction the most, to be able to fight of the depression that chemotherapy can bring and the very 10 days that she offered to do her work from home. 


I'm wondering who these idiots are, who formulate workplace sick leave policies. It is safe to say that most people who do this kind of job DO in fact know a person who has had chemotherapy. I'm wondering how it is possible to be aware of how cancer works and STILL be okay with handing down these policies with a firm rap to their fellow colleagues. 

I'm wondering when it became normal to be desensitized.