New research suggests 3 million working days are lost caring for sick children each year.
67% of parents have taken a day off work in the last 12 months, and 1 in 3 of them felt uncomfortable doing so.
Almost two-thirds (59%) struggled to make last-minute childcare arrangements, while 36% were able to call in a family friend or relative at short notice to help care for a sick child.
Research conducted by the on-demand video GP appointment service PushDoctor.co.uk found that parents 'lose' on average 3 hours per month taking children to medical appointments or staying off work to look after a sick child.
A third of parents (34%) said they had taken three or more days off to look after an ill child in the past year.
Almost one in three (28%) of those surveyed said they felt uncomfortable taking time off work to look after a child, or take them to appointments, despite employees being legally allowed time off to care for a dependent.
Respondents stated workload pressures (57%), and a culture of presenteeism (31%) as the main reasons for feeling uneasy about leaving work to care for their youngster.
Although there are no set limits on how much time a carer can take off work, employers can ask their employee to take annual leave or unpaid parental leave for extended periods of care.
Unsurprisingly, the research confirmed that women do the lion's share of childcare even when the kids are sick, with 72% of the women surveyed saying they were the one most likely to take time off work to look after an unwell child.
Residents in Yorkshire (78%) and Derbyshire (73%) topped the list of regions most likely to take time off work to care for a dependent, due to reduced primary care coverage and limited transport options. Those in Greater Manchester (47%) and Newcastle (49%) are least likely to take time off work to care for a sick child.
We'd like to hear your views on this story. Have you ever felt 'guilty' for taking time off work to care for your child, or been denied time off to care for your little one when they were unwell? Or have you been blessed with a supportive and understanding boss? Come and share your experiences over on our Facebook page.
TOPICS: Parenting Tips