Some of my employees are parents and their child’s school has been closed. Are they entitled to time off and will it be paid?

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  • The Government has announced schools across the UK will close from the end of the day on Friday 20th March until further notice
  • Some schools will be expected to remain open to provide care for children of key workers needed to tackle the spread of the coronavirus
  • If employees can work from home then this would be paid as usual
  • If employees can work from home but do not have childcare, consider the age of the child and if it is reasonable for employees to be able to work whilst caring for their child
  • You can also consider being creative for example allowing employees to work outside normal working hours when they have childcare or their children are asleep, if this is feasible for your business
  • If employees cannot work from home then they may choose to take this time as holiday in which case the normal annual leave process and pay should apply
  • Employees could also be granted emergency leave or parental leave, which would normally be unpaid unless your company policy states otherwise
  • If the school has a confirmed case of Coronavirus then in line with Government guidance it would be advisable for the parent to self-isolate. If they can work from home then they would be entitled to normal pay, if they cannot work from home then they would be entitled to SSP from day one.