School closures: Employers should consider 'alternative arrangements'

Limited statutory time off

clock
School closures: Employers should consider 'alternative arrangements'

XpertHR offers guidance to employers with employees affected by school closures during coronavirus

On Friday, Boris Johnson announced that schools across the UK would close due to coronavirus from today (Monday 23 March).

There is limited statutory provision for time off for employees who have to look after their children when schools, nurseries and other childcare providers are closed.

The statutory right to time off for dependants provides for a period of unpaid leave to take action necessary because of the unexpected disruption or termination of arrangements for the care of a dependant. This would cover time off to arrange alternative childcare in the event of a school closure, but it does not cover extended time off for employees to look after their children themselves. Some employers may have a policy on time off to care for dependants that is more generous than the statutory minimum.

Employers should keep in mind that advice on self-isolation and social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak is likely to make it more difficult for employees to make alternative arrangements for the care of their children. Employees may have no option but to stay at home themselves.

Employers will therefore need to consider alternative arrangements, such as allowing the employee to work from home where possible or agreeing to a period of paid or unpaid leave.

An employer could allow employees to take annual leave in this situation, as an alternative to unpaid leave, although employees may not have sufficient holiday entitlement to cover the absence or may be unwilling to use their holiday for this reason. Employers can require employees to take annual leave by giving them the required notice.

Where an employee is self-isolating, in accordance with government advice, they will be entitled to statutory sick pay even where they are not ill.

More on Adviser / Broking

FCA 'disappointed' over product governance and fair value compliance failures

FCA 'disappointed' over product governance and fair value compliance failures

Regulator calls out inadequate response to Policy Statement 21/5

Hemma Visavadia
clock 11 August 2022 • 3 min read
Advisers express concern over client fines for negligent trust registration

Advisers express concern over client fines for negligent trust registration

Must be registered with Trust Registration Service by 1 September

Hemma Visavadia
clock 10 August 2022 • 1 min read
Should mandatory qualifications be introduced for protection advisers?

Should mandatory qualifications be introduced for protection advisers?

“If you aren't regularly reviewing knowledge, it doesn't really work.”

Hemma Visavadia
clock 10 August 2022 • 6 min read

Highlights

FCA gives three-month Consumer Duty extension for advisers

FCA gives three-month Consumer Duty extension for advisers

Deadline of 31 July 2023

Hemma Visavadia
clock 27 July 2022 • 5 min read
Meet the firm turning professional athletes into protection advisers

Meet the firm turning professional athletes into protection advisers

"You're only ever as good as your last game, but your next game could be your last"

Hemma Visavadia
clock 25 July 2022 • 5 min read
The COVER Review July 2022: Protection & Financial Education, IPAW 2022 and Reviewing 2022 So Far

The COVER Review July 2022: Protection & Financial Education, IPAW 2022 and Reviewing 2022 So Far

Now available for members to watch

John Brazier
clock 20 July 2022 • 1 min read