Since the U.S. Department of Labor announced the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) it's been uncertain how employers plan to implement rules to keep their employees and their families safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are a lot of moving parts, specifically the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, a temporary rule that allows certain employees to take paid time off. Since the schools have closed, people have been forced to balance their time between full-time parenting and being a full-time employee. Thanks to these new rules, employees who are caring for children are allowed time off.
According to a report by Thurrott, Microsoft has implemented these regulations by offering “Paid Pandemic School and Childcare Closure Leave” (PSCCL) to those who need it. The benefit provides 12 weeks of paid leave in total. The time can be taken on an alternating basis or continuously. Allowing time off will permit employees to focus on their children for, at the very least, a couple of days a week. It will set up an easier adjustment period and employees will not be forced to choose between their children and their jobs. The program allows employees to choose which days to take, aiming to ease the coordinatation of childcare duties with a partner. Already, employees like Merill Fernando on Twitter are expressing satisfaction with these new regulations.
Amazing! My employer @Microsoft just announced a '12-week Paid Pandemic School and Childcare Closure Leave' policy. Juggling life with four school going kids and remote work is not going to be easy but at least Microsoft's got my back. #microsoftlife #grateful
— Merill Fernando (@merill) April 7, 2020
These aren't the first changes Microsoft have made due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given the announcement of moving conferences online through to the middle of next year, these working from home arrangements may be in place for a while.