Why school holidays are no holiday

As a working parent, I know just how hard the school holidays are.  In year’s gone by I’ve spent a fortune on activities and hours plotting spreadsheets just to make sure each day is covered. Even when you have booked activities, how does it fit in with your work hours?  Who will do the drop offs and  picks up?  It’s a military operation.

As an employer, you might be wondering, why is this my problem?  How is it in your interest to help?

Helping with the holidays

Now I am not suggesting for one minute that you have a makeshift crèche at work.  Too much paperwork and health and safety to worry about.  However, if you can help your employee manage the holidays by being a bit more flexible, not only will it help ensure your work gets done, you can build employee loyalty.  Here are some ideas you might be able to accommodate:


Flexible working

As long as they have worked for you for at least 26 weeks, all employees have the right to ask to work flexibly.  It may help a working parent to be allowed to work compressed hours, shorter days or work from home.  If you receive a request, you must consider it carefully.  You can only turn it down for one of a handful of reasons.


Parental Leave

If they have been employed by you for more than a year, your employee may be able to take Parental Leave.  This is for parents of children up to the age of 18, who can take a maximum of 4 weeks per child.  Parental leave must be taken in blocks of a week (unless the child is disabled) and is unpaid.


Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers are still available for now.  They act as a salary sacrifice scheme.  The employer gives up part of their gross salary and in return, receives childcare vouchers to that value.  This saves them money on the tax and National Insurance they would otherwise have paid.  Many school holiday clubs and childminders accept Childcare Vouchers. The cost to administer this scheme are low and it could save your employee up to £933 per year.


Please contact me to discuss any of these options further.  In the meantime, enjoy the school holidays!




Categories Events, Staff Performance, Uncategorized