Last week’s teacher strikes closed 6,000 schools in England and over 900 in Wales, leaving many parents without childcare and unable to work.
Nick Jew, employment partner at law firm DLA Piper, said there may be little employers can do to mitigate the disruption. However, he added: “Employers may have policies in place to allow employees to take a days’ holiday or alternatively unpaid time off. To avoid or minimise potential disruption from this industrial action, it is also advisable for affected employers to consider whether they can implement temporary flexible working for employees whose children are unable to go to school due to strikes.”
Meanwhile, emergency back-up care provider My Family Care said it experienced a 90% rise in requests for emergency childcare. One bank saved 48 working days by providing their employees with this benefit, which gives employees access to local nannies, childminders or nurseries with as little as 30 minutes’ notice.
Ben Black, director of My Family Care, said: “More and more companies are realising the benefits of being a caring company, and looking after their staff when they need it most. When you consider the costs of having a significant number of your staff out of the office for a whole day with the costs of childcare it’s a no-brainer.”
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