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What happens to working parents if the schools have to close?

72 replies

SeaGale · 12/03/2020 15:20

What exactly are people meant to do? No childcare provisions, possibly can't WFH effectively with younger children around. I know there isn't a one stop solution but how are people going to manage?

(I'm lucky that my two are teenagers and although I do WFH, I don't actually NEED to. )

OP posts:
MindyStClaire · 12/03/2020 15:24

It's going to be tough. DH and I have the same employer, they've said we can take emergency leave for a couple of days and then need to work as normal or take annual leave. Fortunately our jobs are very flexible and can be done from home, so we should be able to cobble enough time together to be productive. We have a toddler and no family nearby so not that straightforward.

steppemum · 12/03/2020 15:26

The government must be putting somethign in place to help employers so they can give emergency leave to employees with kids.

nocoolnamesleft · 12/03/2020 15:26

I'm more worried about the NHS staff who have children, as we're going to need all hands to the pumps...

neversleepagain · 12/03/2020 15:29

I do work from home but it's almost I possible to do so with two 7 year olds. I can realistically put in two or three decent hours work a day but they cannot be ignored all day so I can participate in conference calls etc. DH thinks we have the perfect set up and he can continue to work while I struggle to work from home and provide childcare. Dreading it.

lyingwanker · 12/03/2020 15:38

I'm lucky that I'm a SAHP but I'm worrying about the cost of having 4 children at home for so long! Mine get free school meals and seem to eat like locusts when at home which costs me so much money each week. Not to mention all of the ridiculous panic buying going on which has left me struggling to find my regular weekly shop, let alone any to buy extra of if the kids are off school.

dottiedodah · 12/03/2020 15:45

Nocoolnamesleft Agree ! Was thinking this yesterday!

TreacherousPissFlap · 12/03/2020 15:50

I work for the emergency services and have no choice. Fortunately DS is a self sufficient teen and will obviously use the extended break to fit in loads of revision
On another thread there was a suggestion that a skeleton staff would remain in school and the children of essential staff could still attend.

FudgeBrownie2019 · 12/03/2020 15:51

I work mainly from home and travel across Europe most weeks, so can be quite flexible with the DC. DH does a similar role and is equally flexible. We've had phone calls from two sets of friends asking if we'd be willing to help out if schools close over the next few weeks.

I think it really could be so difficult for many families, and am hoping that it doesn't come to it.

itsallthedramaMickiloveit · 12/03/2020 15:51

Luckily I'm on Mat Leave.
However the wonderful company DH work for have sent a great email saying they will not pay anything at all if workers have to take time off because their children's school closed.

This is a company who love to brag what great employers they are. Who love to brag how many multi millions they've made each year.

What cunts.

moanyhole · 12/03/2020 15:52

all schools. creches etc closed from today in Ireland, announced this morning
DH and I are both nurses working in different organisations, grandparents too elderly to cope with kids. Not sure what to do as yet

ScrumptiousBears · 12/03/2020 15:54

DP and I can both work from home however doing so with you youngsters is almost impossible. I think we have to take it in turns to entertain them whilst the other puts some hours in and maybe do some in the evening. That said work maybe limited as I doubt any of us will be that productive under these exceptional circumstances

theworstwife · 12/03/2020 15:55

I work as a doctor in the NHS and I have no contingency childcare for my DCs if schools and nurseries close. I work with a whole bunch of drs and nurses in the same position

LadyR77 · 12/03/2020 15:57

I would have to WFH, although that wouldn't be easy with a very active 7 year old boy to look after at the same time!

Growingboys · 12/03/2020 16:00

I have three children, one with severe SEN who needs full-time care, so as of next Monday (their school closes then) I am fucked.

Babybel90 · 12/03/2020 16:03

My company doesn’t allow WFH if they know your looking after a child, and they don’t allow you to use holiday if they know it’s for emergency childcare and they won’t allow us to make time up at the weekend when the other parent can look after the child, even though that would make no difference to our clients (very petty in my opinion) so I would have to use unpaid carers leave.

userxx · 12/03/2020 16:03

However the wonderful company DH work for have sent a great email saying they will not pay anything at all if workers have to take time off because their children's school closed.

A number of my clients won't be able to pay their staff, they dont make millions though!

Ceebeegee · 12/03/2020 16:04

I don't honestly know what I'd do. I'm in a customer facing role so can't work from home. All my holidays are booked for the school holidays so I cannot use them. I have mortgage payments and bills to pay so I can't take two weeks / a month unpaid leave (my employer wouldn't allow it and I would be a serious financial problem) . Single parent so no help apart from grandparents. So it'll be a struggle.

Superlooper · 12/03/2020 16:05

All schools and colleges have closed here which means post primary pupils are off, some of our 16/17 year old neighbours have babysat before in school holidays.

Would creche workers babysit, e.g.medical professionals children?

GPs have underlying health problems so will keep clear.

Will keep work to the essentials and juggle with Dh, half day each or something. Technically could work 7am-3pm/3pm-10pm, a shift each.

Childcare swaps with other parents may be an option too.

Someone had a work-awayer coming at just the right time (personally wouldn't want someone coming from abroad right now)

Considering options for staff, e.g. part-time staff working more hours so fulltime can take time off. I feel service (queues) may suffer but expect customers to realise these are exceptional circumstances. I'm sure some will just complain tho.

Normandy144 · 12/03/2020 16:06

I work from home as does DH. I will continue to work and between us both we will manage our two children and work in the evenings if needed. There's absolutely no way I'm wasting annual leave to sit at home in isolation entertaining children who are climbing up the wall. I highly doubt my employer will do that, they are very flexible. I think it's bloody cheeky of an employer to expect you to do that given the fact we may not have a choice.

JuanSheetIsPlenty · 12/03/2020 16:08

Mine get free school meals and seem to eat like locusts when at home which costs me so much money each week

plan ahead now and do a meal plan. Either Make up a snack bag/box for each child and then hide all other snacks in the house. Once they’ve emptied their snack bag for the day that’s it. Or keep all snacks locked away and only to be given out when you decide. Keep to scheduled meal times. Keep to the meal plan.

userxx · 12/03/2020 16:13

I think it's bloody cheeky of an employer to expect you to do that given the fact we may not have a choice.

Better then not being paid though isnt it.

Love2cycle · 12/03/2020 16:16

Yes I'm abit worried about this. I would have to use unpaid suck leave. But, I have thought I would just go sick, as then I would get paid.

Nicknacky · 12/03/2020 16:21

I’m screwed if the childminder can’t work, I will be calling in favours with other parents and doing the same for them

Scotinoz · 12/03/2020 16:29

My employer is having an official pow-wow about this tomorrow, but the general advice is 'work from now if you want, and if the schools shut we'll make it work'.

MushroomTree · 12/03/2020 16:50

We've been told we can take unpaid leave if nurseries shut. I work in a support role so can't do my job from home, except writing up notes, but if I'm not seeing clients then I won't have any notes to write.

Besides which, DD is 2 so there's no chance of working with a toddler at home. And I'm a single parent so it's just me providing childcare.

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