ok thanks. If you can keep them furloughed for now and just get a temporary cover that would be best. Once the furlough scheme gets wound down and you have to start contributing towards it you can re-visit the situation with them and check if they are in a position to come back to work. You can potentially take them off furlough at any time.
Understandably, the current situation is creating a lot of difficulties for many people across the country as it is unprecedented to have to look after your children at home, whilst not being able to rely on any outside help, whilst also working at the same time.
However, the law has not changed in terms of their options and these remain as follows:
· Dependency leave – this is only for emergencies and they could have likely used it to start with but once it has become apparent that this will be happening on an ongoing basis, it will no longer be classified as an emergency
· Parental leave – they get 4 weeks of unpaid leave per year per child that they can take, although they need to give at least 21 days notice. If the employer cannot accommodate their chosen dates you must offer them an alternative. Even if they take one day off a week it will still count as a whole week off their entitlement
· Holidays – to be applied for in the normal way
· Unpaid leave, if approved by the employer
· As a final resort, they can just take the time off unauthorised but that risks disciplinary action
There is no simple solution unfortunately and it will have to be a case of compromising with them to find the best option that works for you all.
Does this answer your query?