Ethically, what would you do? Emotional support and workload

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Mark is a full-time indeterminate employee, and has worked in the same section for the last 8 years. He is married to Claudette, who suffers from progressive cancer. Claudette has been under life-prolonging treatment regimens on and off for the past three years.

Mark has been very grateful for the flexibility shown by his employer, which has allowed him to take various forms of leave to assist Claudette.

Mark now has an increasingly negative balance of available paid leave. At the same time, he very much wants to keep working; he wants to support his coworkers, and he needs the income since Claudette is no longer able to work.

Mark comes to work regularly, and is obviously under serious stress. He spends a considerable amount of time talking to coworkers, which is an important source of support for him.

One of the employees in the section, Mike, has come to the manager to express concerns in confidence. Mike is concerned that there is a serious obstacle to productivity in the section. He thinks the personal support results in one or two employees (including himself) carrying a disproportionate share of the workload. He believes something has to change.

What would you do as the manager?

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