Advice Column: Coronavirus and Childcare

Thursday 2nd July 2020

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column, this week we focus on returning to work and childcare.

I’ve been called back to work, but my child’s school isn’t reopening. What are my rights?

If you’re struggling to juggle childcare and work you have a number of options.

Firstly, the government has said that if you’re unable to work due to childcare responsibilities, your employer can continue to furlough you using the Job Retention Scheme.

If your employer will not keep you on furlough, you can ask to work more flexibly, such as at different times or for fewer hours.

Alternatively, you could ask for ‘indefinite unpaid leave’ until you are able to work again.

It is important to talk through any concerns with your employer as soon as possible so that you can reach a solution that works for both of you.

If your employer says no to the options above, and if you are a member of a trade union, they will be able to help you to raise your concerns with your employer.

You can find further help and advice at:

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit