Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Managing staff with caring responsibilities

Information and guidance for managing staff with caring responsibilities including children and other dependants.

(Updated 20 September 2021) 

When schools and nurseries were closed and we were all subject to level 4 restrictions, it was understood that staff would be trying to work from home while simultaneously caring for very young or disabled children, or supervising the home-schooling of older children.

Consequently we operated on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, and where this was not feasible, staff could be placed on furlough or temporary paid leave. 

As nurseries and schools have fully re-opened, informal childcare arrangements have resumed  and additional shielding measures have been removed, staff are expected to resume their normal pattern of work – if there is work for them to do. 

If your staff member continues to have difficulty in working due to their caring responsibilities, you should discuss and agree what adjustments, if any, can temporarily be made to their working hours/pattern and work priorities. 

If no adjustments can be made they may have to take annual leave, parental leave or unpaid time off until they can resume your normal pattern of work.

Staff may also make use of the Emergency Time off for Dependants policy

While this policy is intended to give staff one or two days paid time off work to deal with an emergency and put in place alternative care for their dependant(s), during the Coronavirus outbreak it will be temporarily extended to cover time off for them to care for their dependant(s).  They will need to request this time-off in the normal way and the time requested will count towards their rolling entitlement.   

Note: a reduction in working hours which cannot be covered by annual leave or other paid family leave will necessitate a corresponding reduction in pay.