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Key Workers and Open Schools

(34 Posts)
Louisa1986 Thu 07-Jan-21 21:47:18

Can anyone help me please? I have a 13 year old son who feels safer at home than he does going to school. Last year during lockdown, my employer let me work reduced hours so he wasn't home alone. This time around, they've said no. Where do I stand with this? I work in an admin role in a lorry garage/dealership so am under the transport/haulage keyworker status.
I got a little heated and told them if they believe in double standards, don't expect me in on Monday. However, the schools aren't closed like they were last year.
Any help gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Lemonpiano Thu 07-Jan-21 21:51:15

If you refuse to go to work they can dismiss you.

Smarshian Thu 07-Jan-21 21:55:54

Will they compromise by letting you WFH part of the week if that’s possible for you?

Smarshian Thu 07-Jan-21 21:57:23

But otherwise yes you need to go to work. As you are a key worker then you could send him in to school for part of the week?

MrsMomoa Thu 07-Jan-21 22:01:02

He's 13! Go to work!

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 07-Jan-21 22:03:55

He’s 13 he can stay by himself.

PotteringAlong Thu 07-Jan-21 22:05:27

The schools were not closed last year either, they were never closed.

But, that aside, he’s 13. Go to work and leave him at home.

Bunnybigears Thu 07-Jan-21 22:06:28

Cant he stay home by himself?

happytoday73 Thu 07-Jan-21 22:08:44

I'd see if they would be willing to allow some homeworking.. But at 13 he is fine at home...

PaquitaVariation Thu 07-Jan-21 22:09:49

Is there a reason he can’t stay at home without you there?

LoveACockatoo Thu 07-Jan-21 22:10:07


HercwasanEnemyofEducation Thu 07-Jan-21 22:11:09

Unless he has additional needs, he will be fine at home. He's 13 not 3.

Crakeandoryx Thu 07-Jan-21 22:12:30

Your options are furlough, reduced hours, unpaid leave. All at the discretion of your employer. If you don't do what they need you lose your job. Sorry op

NoSquirrels Thu 07-Jan-21 22:14:20

Either you’re a keyworker and can send him to school if he needs supervision, or he’s fine to stay home alone because he’s 13. I don’t think you can have it both ways if you want to keep your job.

Your employer says they need you in to work your hours. There’s no one to appeal to on that but your employer, who you’ve ‘got a bit heated’ with. It sucks if they won’t be flexible but they’ve a right to ask you to work if they need you.

seven201 Thu 07-Jan-21 22:16:20

If you don't want him to be at home alone could you take him to work and he share your desk? I don't think your employer is being unreasonable. He could go to school or be left at home.

Louisa1986 Thu 07-Jan-21 23:00:10

He's a very immature 13 year old, I don't particularly feel like leaving him home alone for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for the next goodness knows how long.

OP’s posts: |
HercwasanEnemyofEducation Thu 07-Jan-21 23:09:55

Phone and check on him. He should have school work to do. Perhaps it will be the making of him.

mrsm43s Thu 07-Jan-21 23:12:31

If he's neurotypical and without other disabilities or additional needs, then he's absolutely fine to be at home alone. Good parenting is about allowing them to grow into functional independent young adults, not about mollycoddling them and keeping them dependent.

You need to go to work if you wish to keep your job. Your choices are between taking up the keyworker place available for him, or trusting him to be home alone.

middleager Thu 07-Jan-21 23:19:32

Can you do a mixture of both school and home?

At 13 though he should be fine alone and if he doesn't want to go in to school then there's not much choice.

Louisa1986 Thu 07-Jan-21 23:30:12

That's what I've asked for. My normal hours are 9 to 5.30 but with travelling it's more 8.30 to 6. I asked to work 9 to 3, which is what they allowed me to do last year during lockdown so it's not like I'm asking to be put on furlough.

OP’s posts: |
HercwasanEnemyofEducation Thu 07-Jan-21 23:31:13

Can you work lunch to shorten your day?

Girlyracer Thu 07-Jan-21 23:42:48

You said yourself it's a key worker role yet you want to work reduced hours? And you work 50 hours per week? How many hours do you want to work?

He's 13 and there are such things as phones and FaceTime. I assume you'll get breaks in your 10 hour day so you can message him.

Chances are he'll want to take up that key worker school place if he's on his own 50 hours a week.

Or ask for paid and unpaid leave OP like other parents are doing.

Louisa1986 Fri 08-Jan-21 07:33:15

As I've said before, they let me work reduced hours in March right through to September. That was when there was only 2 of us in the office. There's now 3 of us, I'm asking for the exact same thing, but it's a no.

OP’s posts: |
NoSquirrels Fri 08-Jan-21 07:47:39

But they’re within their rights to do that. They don’t have to flex - you can ask, they can say no.

So ask for a keyworker place for some days
Or let him stay home alone
Or offer something else to your employer - ask to be furloughed, ask to change to part time days in the office e.g. 3 days a week full hours not 5 days.
Or quit - if you can afford to.

Do you have a DP/where’s his father?

Louisa1986 Fri 08-Jan-21 08:05:48

I did think about 3 full days but I figured they'd more likely want me in every day, like they did before, hence suggesting exactly what happened before, even my boss said I don't see it being a problem, but his boss is being awkward.

He hasn't seen his dad since he was 2. He's a waste of space.

OP’s posts: |

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