My child’s school has closed due to a local Covid-19 outbreak and I need to be home as I have no other childcare arrangements in place. What should I do?
If your child has symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19 you must isolate in line with government guidance (10 days).
If your child has been sent home due to contact with a positive case in their school you will not need to isolate unless your child develops symptoms.
If you have no alternative childcare arrangements and you are unable to work from home, do not worry - we will continue to support you. If you think this is going to be an issue for you, please speak with your line manager as soon as possible.
We are committed to supporting those who have caring responsibilities and are unable to work from home during the pandemic, and managers should be as flexible and compassionate in their approach as possible. For the duration of the pandemic we have suspended the notion of a limited ‘two-week carer’s leave’ allocation.
Before approaching your line manager, please make sure you have considered the following options:
• Alternative or shared caring arrangements with your support bubble
• Support from other members of your household or support bubble
• Carrying out your role from home if possible
• Temporarily reallocating work from other staff or teams, which you could undertake at home
• Agreeing a temporary change to your working arrangements, such as a change of hours or a different combination of shifts, which can be arranged around your caring responsibilities
If none of these options is feasible, you will be entitled to take as much paid carer’s leave as you need to enable you to continue caring for your children while schools are closed.
We understand the impact these difficult circumstances can have and would therefore ask managers to work together with their staff to find a solution which supports staff wellbeing and work-life balance. If you do your best by us, we will do our best by you.
I am pregnant – what should I do about coming into work?
Pregnant women have been included in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) as a precaution. This is because pregnant women can sometimes be more at risk from viruses like flu.
In line with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines, the Trust will support pregnant women to work from home if they are able to do so.
If you are unable to work from home you can come to work provided an individualised risk assessment has been conducted. The Trust’s SAAD tool risk assessment will help you understand whether you may benefit from additional support to keep you safe at work. If you score as being high risk using the SAAD tool, the enhanced risk assessment tool should be completed.
Guidance on how to carry this out can be found in MBN 391 and the enhanced risk assessments flowchart.
Does the Trust offer any support for parents?
The Trust recognises how difficult it has been for staff who have been working and parenting during the pandemic and are aware that for some this struggle has been really challenging.
Across the Trust we have staff who are skilled and trained in supporting parents with managing behaviour and advising on parenting strategies. These staff have agreed to offer this service to staff as a pilot over the next few weeks, through bookable one-to-one sessions.
If you would like to book a session, please email staffparentingsupport