Second COVID-19 Wave and Parents’ Dilemma on Returning to Work
The article summarized below, by Stefanie Marotta, was originally published on The Globe and Mail, on October 12, 2020.
As the second wave of the pandemic approaches, parents and guardians are bracing themselves for the possibility of not only contracting COVID-19 but also the slowing down of the global economy. Parents facing job loss or reduced hours are struggling to balance their careers, taking care of their children, and making ends meet.
Parents are delaying payments, reducing or cutting out saving altogether, or taking on debt to cover expenses. “Even a brief unpaid leave from work can have long-term implications,” says Sandi Martin, financial planner and partner at Spring Financial Planning.
Women comprise a key demographic to have been adversely affected by this pandemic. According to Statistics Canada, over 50 percent of mothers are working less than half of their standard hours, compared to 23.7 percent of fathers. More mothers also spent their working hours from home, which
“may indicate that more mothers than fathers were trying to balance work and childcare responsibilities”.
Sandi says that “Unless there is a significant investment in a gender-equal recovery from this pandemic, women may pay for this for a very long time in their careers and in lost earnings.” She believes it is important to know one’s values and not have any shame about possibly falling behind elsewhere.