Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


TUC calls for Furlough scheme for mums and dads while schools are off

Empty Classroom

Working parents trying to balance work and childcare should be put on furlough while schools are closed, the umbrella body for UK trades unions says.

Bosses may not be aware that they can use the scheme to support parents, according to the Trades Union Congress.

Many families would be “frantically” looking for a solution, the TUC said, after the decision to start the new term late or online for many pupils.

Employers must “do the right thing and furlough mums and dads”, the TUC said.

All secondary schools will remain closed to students this week, except for the children of key workers such as NHS staff. Students are expected to return on a staggered basis from 11 January.

Most primary schools are open to pupils from Monday, except in London and parts of the south east of England where the spread of a new, more infectious, strain of coronavirus is already high.

However, decisions over whether it was safe for pupils to return to school in person were still being discussed over the New Year holiday weekend, leaving parents with little time to find support.

“Without further action, many will have no choice but to cut their hours or take unpaid leave from work,” said Frances Grady, general secretary of the TUC. “This will lead to further hardship and will hit mums and single parents hardest.”

According to the rules of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, first introduced nine months ago, firms can furlough parents unable to work due to a lack of childcare.

The TUC said its research showed that in March, when schools were closed during the first period of lockdown, one in six mothers reduced their working hours due to school and nursery closures. It said single parents were also more likely to be affected.

Self-employed parents should also be given support through access to the self-employed income support scheme, the TUC said. It is calling for employees to be given a right to paid parental leave and flexible working beyond the current crisis.

One of the arguments for keeping schools open, rather than switching to remote learning, is to allow parents to continue to work.

However, there is a growing debate over whether the new coronavirus strain, which is significantly more infectious than the original strain of the virus, can be contained without closing schools for longer.

While cases of the virus are increasing in almost all age groups, the percentage testing positive is highest among secondary school age children, according to the Office for National Statistics. While schools practice social distancing where possible, students continue to mix with others within their bubbles.

“The health and safety of school staff, children and parents and the wider community must come first,” said Ms O’Grady.

Boris Johnson, interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday, said there was “no doubt in [his] mind that schools are safe”. But the prime minister did not rule out further closures.

Teaching unions have told staff at primary schools it is unsafe to return to work and are calling for remote learning to be introduced across all primary schools. Some local authorities have also expressed concerns.

Mr Johnson said that while school closures would be kept “under constant review”, the government would be “driven by public health considerations and by the massive importance of education”.

A government spokesperson said it would be “socially responsible” for employers to take account of a person’s childcare responsibilities and individual circumstances.

“We encourage both employers and employees to be as flexible as possible during this difficult time, to support colleagues with childcare responsibilities.

“That includes providing flexible working and home working arrangements, as well as considering requests from parents to be furloughed, which is at the employer’s discretion,” the spokesperson said.

Read more:
TUC calls for Furlough scheme for mums and dads while schools are off

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



Globe Telecom, Inc. said on Friday that it had inked loan facilities with BDO Unibank, Inc. and Land Bank of the Philippines for P10...


Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) announced on Friday that its president and chief executive officer, Jose Ma. K. Lim, will be retiring effective Dec....


REAL ESTATE developer Arthaland Corp. raised P3 billion from its Series D preferred share offering, according to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) said...


Venture capital firm Kickstart Ventures, Inc. on Friday said the Ayala group had invested in SlashNext, a company that combats phishing attacks. Kickstart manages...


Volunteerism has been a key part of Globe’s corporate culture through its various employee engagement programs. In contributing to nation-building, the company is encouraging...


The UK Government’s Flexible Working Taskforce has published practical guidance for employers designed to support hybrid working models, in a bid to help organisations...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...


As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.