Survey shows impact of childcare issues on employers

A new survey shows employers are increasingly finding problems linked to childcare issues.

Mother With Baby Working In Office At Home trying to grow her retail business


Employers are finding childcare is a growing issue for employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of more than 300 employers by People Management found 65 per cent were concerned about employees’ ability to balance home working with parenting commitments.

A similar survey last month found 52% said staff being unable to work because of school closures would be their main challenge.

Fifty two per cent of employers taking the current survey said they were encouraging parents to work around childcare, making up their hours at different times of day.

Forty one per cent said parents were working their normal hours but at home. However, 27 per cent said parents would have to take annual leave to look after children and 24 per cent said they would need to take unpaid parental leave, despite both options being unlikely to cover the potential length of the lockdown.

Eighteen per cent said most of their workforce were key workers and could work despite childcare and school closures. Nineteen per cent had asked staff who are not key workers to still attend a place of work.

There is concern employers are more likely to furlough female workers than males due to childcare issues, assuming that women are the main carers.

The Government says key workers should have access to nurseries and schools, although many have closed due to financial or other difficulties. It says it has put in place a package to help early years settings, but nursery owners say this is not adequate. 

Comments [4]

  • M C says:

    Hi, husband was furloughed been back to work three weeks but only working 3 days instead of 5. He is looking after 10 year old, 4 year old. Suspended contract with childminder when government stated all child care to close immediately in lockdown. 10 year old has on Wednesday been going to school as I’m essential keyworker for NHS. Now my dilemma is childminder been in contact saying she is open 1st june, needs 3 days notice what days children are coming back, now I’ve viewed another setting via whattsapp and have been recommended this other childminder which I’d like children to go as I had few issues that have been on my mind eith previous child minder taking lots of kids etc. Technically I have contract with other child minder for mon tues, and have to give 4 weeks notice. I’ve stopped tax credits and have been told by them to let them know when to restart. My question is will I still get charged those 4 weeks in termination period? How do I write termination letter etc

    • Mandy Garner

      Mandy Garner says:

      It would depend on your contract and what you negotiate with your childminder. If she has not been charging while the service has been closed and she restarts before you start the notice period, you may have to pay for those four weeks. You should contact HMRC about the tax credits in this situation.

  • Julie Weightman says:

    Does anyone know if the “grey area” around younger healthy grandparents being allowed to provide childcare has been clarified? Thanks, Julie

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