Working Parents Stand Up for Their (Remote) Rights ⋆

Working Parents Stand Up for Their (Remote) Rights

In November of 2018,  the Bank of New York Mellon Corp told its employees that their days of remote-work would soon be over. Belgian and U.K.  workers were told that they would need to be office based again by June of the next year, regardless of any flexible arrangements in their contracts that allowed remote work.

This didn’t go over well with these employees, especially those who had children.  Per an anonymous source in a Financial News interview, the company’s decision was causing her stress, an imbalanced work-life balance, and other personal problems.

Another employee said that she would most likely have to leave the company to find another job that allowed her to keep her flexible work schedule.

The parents who benefitted from remote work were those who needed to be available to take their children to school or make sure they were at the bus stop.  It removed the need for child care, especially for parents who had long commutes and would be at risk of leaving children unattended.

Remote work schedules also allowed parents to spend more quality time with their kids and to run errands if needed, or attend school events.

Surprising Change of Heart

Workers had already hired legal representation to fight the policy change when a surprising change of heart came from CEO Charlie Scharf on March 6, 2019.  Mr. Scharf explained via email that all proposed changes to flexible scheduling would be paused.  He went on to explain that his company had no idea how much the proposed change would interfere with its workers’ lives.

As it currently stands, the remote workers of BNY Mellon have gotten a reprieve although the company is continuing to evaluate its flexible work arrangements.

Amazon’s working mothers, numbering about 1,800, are fighting to receive childcare benefits when their work schedules interfere with their ability to provide care for their children.  They claim that when a working mother takes time off for her children, for example, because of a kid’s illness, their promotional chances are diminished.

According to the Associated Press, this benefit is currently only available to 9% of the companies who have more than 1,000 employees. Momazonians (Amazon’s working mothers) are hoping that BNY Mellon’s decision will help Amazon see things their way.

We’re rooting on the Momazonians. If the parents of BNY Mellon can effect change, so can they.