Low numbers of parents being furloughed for childcare reasons

A workingmums.co.uk survey shows a high percentages of parents are being turned down for furlough for childcare reasons during the current lockdown.

Mum helps daughter with homeschooling at the table


Large numbers of parents are being turned down for furlough due to childcare issues, according to a workingmums.co.uk poll.

The poll found less than 3% had been successful in getting furloughed due to childcare issues, compared to 53% who had asked and been turned down. A third hadn’t asked and 13% were not eligible.

The survey on childcare and homeschooling issues during this latest lockdown, found nearly a quarter of parents were worried about losing their jobs or losing self employed work as a result of homeschooling issues. Forty five per cent said they were not worried about this and the rest were either unsure or had already lost their jobs.

Nearly two thirds were working from home and not sending their children to school. Some could access school, but weren’t, mostly this was due to anxiety about Covid, but the survey highlighted that some key workers who don’t work from home have been turned down for school places.

More than twice as many parents felt nurseries should be closed except for key workers’ children and vulnerable children as those who felt they should remain open.

Over three quarters said their employer was sympathetic about them having to homeschool, but a clear majority said their employer was only sympathetic ‘to a certain degree’. Sixteen per cent said their employer was not at all sympathetic.

Another small-scale poll on the workingmums.co.uk site showed many parents are relying on childcare bubbles to help them with homeschooling, though for some this was impossible because their childcare bubble consists of elderly relatives who are vulnerable. One mum said she has no relatives nearby and no access to a childcare bubble, no flexible hours and one of her children has ADHD and autism.

Others are using a combination of flexible working, childcare bubbles or leave while a small number are using nannies, childminders or babysitters. One mum said: “I’m fortunate to be able to work from home at the moment, but I’m thankful that my parents share the house and try to look after the boys to allow me time to concentrate on work. If they didn’t, I don’t know how I’d cope.” Another said that during the first lockdown her employer had offered flexible hours, but that meant she was working and homeschooling around the clock and was left exhausted. This time she is on maternity leave. Another who was doing a similar pattern commented: “It just feels like you have no down time.”



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