Coronavirus: What leave and flexible working are parents entitled to during the pandemic?
Childcare is a key concern for many parents if employees return to work while the coronavirus is blocked. (Getty)
Now, unimportant stores are starting to open, including clothing, toy, and book stores, which means more people will work again after the block.
Many look forward to returning to normal life. Returning to work, however, raises a number of questions for those who have been on vacation or work from home in the past few months - including whether return is safe.
Childcare is a key concern for parents. "With many children not going to school for some time, employers who are trying to get back to normal may experience an increase in parents struggling with childcare," said Kate Palmer, deputy advisor at Peninsula, HR, labor law and health and safety consultancy.
“To do this, they must be familiar with the rights of working parents. If employees in this situation are denied their rights or are mistreated because of their request to exercise their rights, this can result in costly legal proceedings for the company. "
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Flexible work requirements
Employees who have worked for a company for at least 26 weeks have the right to request a change in their working hours. This can be a change in the start and end times.
"If, for example, you have difficulty taking care of children, changing your working hours can make childcare easier and, at the same time, do all the work," says Palmer. “Employers don't have to allow these requests. However, they must provide a solid business reason for their rejection. "
All employees have the right to take unpaid free time to deal with an emergency involving a relative like a child.
To work from home
Lockdown has caused employers to have to work from home for the first time, and some parents may want to continue to do so. Research has shown that most of us want to be able to work flexibly. A recent survey found that 58% of Britons consider flexible working for the future. In fact, more than a third (35%) said they preferred flexible job opportunities rather than a wage increase.
"Employers were encouraged to have more employees work from home," says Palmer. "Here, too, employers don't have to allow this, but homework can be requested using the usual flexible work procedures and must be treated in this situation in the same way as all other flexible work requirements."
READ MORE: Why we also have to look after non-parents during the coronavirus pandemic
Vacation and the job retention scheme
"Although the job retention program is scheduled to be closed to new employees on leave from June 30, 2020 to allow for flexible vacation, the government has confirmed that this does not apply to employees returning from family vacation," said Palmer.
"This means that those returning from maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parenting or bereavement can still go on vacation after the June 10 deadline."
Parents who have worked for a company for at least one year have the right to take unpaid parental leave. You can take up to 18 weeks of vacation per child to take care of them. According to the government's standard scheme, leave is limited to four weeks per year per child and must be in blocks of at least one week unless the child is disabled.
READ MORE: How to work from home when you have children
"Employees have to let them know at least 21 days in advance if they want to take parental leave," says Palmer. “Employers cannot prohibit or prevent vacationing, but can try to postpone it for up to six months if they can show that the business is unduly disturbed.
"However, employers should consider the unique situation that the pandemic could put parents in trying to postpone this vacation."
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