Seven in 10 working mothers who have applied for furlough as a result of the latest school closures have had their requests declined, according to a survey conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
While the job retention scheme currently allows bosses to furlough their staff on the grounds of a lack of childcare, 71% of those surveyed missed out on the financial support.
Moreover, according to TUC, 78% of the 50,000 working mothers who responded to the survey had not even been offered furlough by their employers.
The impact of this on mental health is clear, with 90% of respondents claiming that their anxiety and stress levels had increased during the latest lockdown.
Moreover, as a quarter of working mothers are reportedly using annual leave to manage their childcare, the impacts also delve into tangible financial problems.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary at TUC, said: “Tens of thousands of mums have told us they are despairing. It’s neither possible nor sustainable for them to work as normal, while looking after their children and supervising schoolwork.
“Making staff take weeks of unpaid leave isn’t the answer. Bosses must do the right thing and offer maximum flexibility to mums and dads who can’t work because of childcare. And as a last resort, parents must have a temporary right to be furloughed where their boss will not agree.”
In response to the issue, TUC has once again called upon the Government to introduce ten days’ paid parental leave as parents currently have no statutory right to paid leave in order to care for their children.