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Another furlough one - dependants leave

(16 Posts)
RumbaswithPumbaas Mon 04-May-20 15:45:00

I work in an essential service sector and can’t work from home (not key worker) DH is keyworker working weekdays with some nights on call and some weekends.

I have been on furlough up to now but my employer wants me back next week as they have been running on skeleton staff and everyone is exhausted (plus workload is creeping back up) so I totally get it.

I have 2 primary age children and a toddler, our nursery think they can help as DH a keyworker but school can’t commit right now as we’re not both keyworkers and they’ve had lots of similar enquiries this week to work through.

I have only worked there 6m so am not entitled to ask for flexible working/parental leave. As no one else has had holiday for months I can’t see my boss letting me take annual leave to cover it either, basically she wants me in.

The best solution would be for schools/nursery to open for us so I can work and take some pressure off my colleagues. (Obviously for me furlough is the next best thing but that doesn’t help my boss).

My question is, if school can’t help and my boss refuses further furlough/flexible hours, how much ‘dependants’ leave can someone take? Acas say that your employer can’t refuse or discipline/sack you for taking it, but it is only designed for short term use. (I could try to do some evening/Saturday sessions but couldn’t get anywhere near my normal hours without childcare).

Has this happened to anyone else where furlough is ending but schools not back?

I don’t want to lose my job but I’m worried that’s where things are heading

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RumbaswithPumbaas Mon 04-May-20 16:47:52

Update, it was daily fail but said that keyworker kids possibly back next week, this might solve our problems, still not sure if you were a non keyworker in this situation?

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MagentaRocks Mon 04-May-20 16:50:16

Dependents leave is for short term unforeseen circumstances so it is unlikely you will qualify for it.

Dialdownthedrama Mon 04-May-20 16:51:40

Keyworker DCs have always been able to go in. And government guidelines do not say both parents have to be keyworkers. The NHS would be fucked if that was the case.

Alsohuman Mon 04-May-20 16:53:35

I might be talking out of my arse but, given that people have been told to work from home if possible and it’s not possible for you, added to which one parent is a key worker, is your children’s school allowed to refuse?

Angeldust747 Mon 04-May-20 16:53:36

You can take unpaid parental leave, up to 4 weeks per year

BuffaloCauliflower Mon 04-May-20 17:16:54

Dependents leave is for random unforeseen days when you need to care for someone, like ‘my child has broken their leg and we’re in A&E’ or ‘my child has a bug and there’s no one else to care for them for 2 days’, it’s not for long periods and wouldn’t be appropriate for what you’re asking.

It’s really difficult though, we have no policies really as HR to deal with this situation.

dairyfairies Mon 04-May-20 17:27:59

You can take unpaid parental leave, up to 4 weeks per year

but you need to apply 21 days in advance and your employer can delay it. you also need to be employed 2 years to qualify. OP had 6 months of service. It therefore is a nonstarter.

RumbaswithPumbaas Mon 04-May-20 17:54:07

Thanks all smile pinning my hope on the school it is a large primary (3 class intake) and apparently they were overwhelmed with keyworker requests in the first week so limited it to 2kw/single parent families...

hopefully things are different this side of the peak and starting to shift towards the ‘new normal’

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RumbaswithPumbaas Mon 04-May-20 17:55:47

Otherwise might as well give notice on nursery and start dusting off the cv for September brew

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chocolateisavegetable Mon 04-May-20 21:41:03

* you also need to be employed 2 years to qualify* actually it's 1 year, but doesn't help the OP!

RumbaswithPumbaas Tue 05-May-20 19:22:51

Well school can now help but nursery being a bit evasive/awkward, the 4 way emails trying to pull something together which is the biggest pita

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Rhayader Tue 05-May-20 19:36:41

Only one of you needs to be a key worker to qualify for childcare. I am a key worker and DH isn’t and we qualified (but I’m also pregnant and can work from home so we chose not to send them).

AuditAngel Tue 05-May-20 19:43:10

Although the Government rules said only one parent needs to be a key worker, schools are not working on that basis. Our primary would only accept kids where both parents were key workers and had no other options.

Jane10000000 Tue 05-May-20 20:03:21

I would email NHS HR requesting a letter to say that your husband is a key worker and is essential for work. Then send it to your local council school lead responsible for key worker place allocation.Not all key workers who applied for the place are using it. You can only try, who knows what other options they might suggest.

RumbaswithPumbaas Thu 07-May-20 08:03:52

School have been great and fitted us in, but nursery can’t match the hours for toddler, aren’t doing breakfast/after school club and school closed for May half term which I’d already booked as annual leave...

Boss has decided it’s not worth taking over my salary when I’m so little use to them and will carry on furlough for a few more weeks.

I’m kind of relieved but also disappointed at not going back to work. I’m still sending older the older kids in to school for a couple of days so I can do some training from home (allowed under furlough), I don’t want to mess them around and or have to do this all again in 3 weeks time.

It does grate when politicians say we’re addicted to furlough when it’s almost impossible to come out of it with children (even key worker entitled).

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