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SINGLE WORKING PARENTS TAKING A HIT




COVID-19 and Childcare


One of the many issues we are dealing with now is the predicament of single mothers with young children who are unable to get childcare since the creches have shut. Shielding means that the extended family who they once might have relied upon to mind the children are off limits. So the mothers have no choice but to come out of work and self-isolate with their children.

The response from employers has been far from sympathetic or accommodating.

They usually give the employee 4 options.


  • use your annual leave quota and take holiday pay.

  • claim sick pay, but these mothers aren't sick, they're not shielding, nor have they symptoms.

  • claim benefits (i.e universal credit which is what they all have had to do)

  • Take parental leave which is unpaid.


For unknown reasons the employers are not keen to furlough these mothers using the government's 80% remuneration scheme even though this would be fairer for the mothers and economically neutral for the employers since it's the state that's picking up the tab. The furlough scheme must have the consent of both the employer and the employee. If the employer refuses to furlough they must give sound business reasons why they cannot.  But it does seem that single working mothers are been penalised unfairly. 

If you have any concerns about childcare you can contact us on 03001233233 or email us by going to www.advicespace.me and clicking on get advice.

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COVID 19: Our Triage Service is being updated and will be back online soon

Merrion Business Centre

58 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6PJ

T. 0300 1233 233

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