Open Discussion on Childcare Vital

14th January 2021

Posted In: FYI

Women’s business organisation Network Ireland is urging employers to engage with workers who are parents, in managing childcare for the coming weeks.

With schools closed until the end of January, President of Network Ireland Louisa Meehan is advising employers to encourage staff to chat to them about their arrangements. She says if the conversation is not had it could cause frustration for both employers and employees. However, if communication is clear and open it can help both employers and staff to navigate this period in the best way possible.

Louisa says “This is not going to be an easy few weeks for working parents. Many will be faced with the situation where they are remote working, while their children are remote learning. I would urge employers to have a chat to their employees about how best they are hoping to manage the coming weeks. Employers will have to be flexible but by discussing it they can make sure that a realistic compromise is reached”.

The government announced last week that schools would remain closed until February 1, while all but essential workers have also been ordered to work from home until that date.

Research conducted by Network Ireland last autumn found that for more than 40% of women, work was getting harder for them as restrictions continue.  Louisa says it’s hard to imagine things have improved much since then:

“I’ve heard a number of people say recently that this lockdown feels tougher.

People are exhausted but with vaccines now being administered in Ireland it’s reasonable to hope we’ll soon turn a corner in the fight against coronavirus in our country and be able to look forward to more freedoms once again”.