HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

The holidays are fast approaching and here at The HR Booth, we have put a spin on the 12 Days of Christmas.

Over the next 12 days, we will be reflecting on 12 HR headaches that can affect businesses on a day to day basis.

On the first day of CHRistmas my employee said to me... I can't come in my child is in a tree

OK so maybe your employee's child is not the partridge in a pear tree, but it does happen that employees don't come in to work, not because they are ill, but because their child is ill.  Usually everything is fine and the child goes to nursery or other childcare provider while the parent is working for you.  But when the child becomes ill the usual childcare arrangements break down, because often childcare providers won't take them because they're ill.  So what do you as the employer do?

So what do you as the employer do?  

Well, any of your employees with dependents  do have certain statutory rights in these situations, or in any situation where someone is dependent on your employee for care.  These rights do however have limitations.  Your employee is entitled to reasonable time off work.  The purpose of this time off is not to provide the childcare themselves, but it is time to make alternative arrangements.  There is no set rule as to how much time a person is entitled to, it's all about being reasonable, and that reasonableness varies from situation to situation.  You do not, however, need to pay them for this time.