A quarter of parents are forced to take unpaid leave to cover childcare

A quarter of parents are forced to take unpaid leave to cover childcare

Almost a third of parents struggle to find childcare over the summer holidays (29%) and over a quarter are forced to take unpaid leave to look after their children.

36% find it difficult to get time off work in the summer to spend time with family, and 29% admit to dreading the summer holidays due to the stress of sourcing childcare - a survey by OnePoll on behalf of Cotton Traders found. 

A staggering 39% of parents miss out on summer events such as sports day, plays and early finishes - with work being responsible.

Half of the parents surveyed wish they could spend more time with their families during the summer break, and 28% of parents have to take separate days off to ensure someone is free to take care of the children.

26% of parents work from home during the school holidays to spend more time with their children – but 48% of parents believe a more flexible workplace could help to counteract the strain.

Nick Hamblin, Managing Director at Cotton Traders, spoke to HR Grapevine about the findings: “Summer brings with it a chance to make memories with friends and family however, our survey about the great British summer has found that over one in three parents struggle to balance work and childcare over the summer break. Due to the number of holidays that schools have parents can’t keep up, and over a quarter end up taking unpaid leave because of this.

"We found that 50% of parents believe that having a more flexible workplace would help ease the strain of child care. Employers can be more flexible through letting parents choose their own hours or offer holiday purchase schemes.”

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to our comprehensive knowledge portal.

Comments (2)

  • Sir
    Wed, 27 Jul 2016 2:12pm BST
    Summers can be hard if you are a working parent. I managed to get a week with my kids last year - I took them out every day, but so many places I went to were understaffed and some queues were horrendous, which spoilt our visit. I think this was due to lots of staff taking leave. It was very inconvenient.
  • Helen
    Tue, 26 Jul 2016 2:28pm BST
    There are already flexible working arrangements available to deal with this very problem - it is called parental leave. Granted it is unpaid, but that is what it is for.
    I spent many years co-ordinating leave arrangements between myself and my husband to cover our sons' school holidays, so know how difficult it can be. It was a combination of annual leave, asking our parents to have them for a week and use of local holiday play schemes. It just needs a bit of planning!
  • Lisa
    Tue, 26 Jul 2016 1:14pm BST
    Perhaps it is time that schools were required to reconsider the amount of holiday time they provide. If the downtime is needed to provide a break from learning, then they could provide alternative activities to lessons so that children could still attend schools.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.