Employers urged to offer furlough to working parents

A union body has also asked for increased government support to those impacted by the ‘last minute’ closure of schools

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), a federation of trade unions, has called upon employers to offer furlough to any parents that have been affected by the recent school closures.

A government U-turn on its decision surrounding the closure of schools has left employees across the country in the lurch regarding childcare.

While the job retention scheme allows bosses to furlough parents who cannot work due to a lack of childcare, TUC has raised concerns that not all bosses are aware of this fact, therefore forcing parents into unpaid leave or out of a job.

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Frances O’Grady, general secretary at the trade body, said: “With many schools closed, many families will be frantically trying to find a way to balance their work and childcare commitments. 

“Without further action, many will have no choice but to cut their hours or take unpaid leave from work. This will lead to further hardship and will hit mums and single parents hardest. Employers must do the right thing and furlough mums and dads who can’t work because of childcare responsibilities.”

TUC has also urged 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.

This financial aid would reportedly provide a “financial lifeline” for those who have been affected by the “last minute” approach to the latest government restrictions.

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