TUC urges employers to offer furlough to parents affected by school closures

04 Jan 2021

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on employers to offer furlough to working parents affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures.

The TUC said that last minute decisions by ministers mean many working parents are now without childcare. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) allows employers to furlough parents who can't work due to a lack of childcare. The CJRS is available from a minimum of seven days – which would allow mums and dads to share childcare over the coming weeks – and can also be given on a part-time basis.

However, the TUC is concerned that 'not all employers are aware that caring responsibilities are acceptable reasons to furlough', so many mums and dads will have no choice but to take unpaid time off work to care for their children.

'The health and safety of school staff, children and parents and the wider community must come first,' said Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC.

'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.'

Southampton Office

12-14 Carlton Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EA

Tel: 02380 234 222

Winchester Office

6 Charlecote Mews
Staple Gardens
Winchester
SO23 8SR

Tel: 01962 842000

Reading Office

3 Richfield Place
Richfield Avenue
Reading, Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Tel: 0118 9511 115

London Office

90 Long Acre
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9RZ

Tel: 0203 470 0777