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Millions of parents have access to unpaid leave

Parents of school age children are being reminded that they have access to unpaid work during the holidays


According to the TUC, new rules introduced this year mean mums and dads with at least one year’s service with their current employer qualify for 18 weeks unpaid parental leave per child.

This can be taken any time up until the child’s 18th birthday.

Previously rules meant that only parents with children under five were eligible for this EU-derived right.

General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Many parents face huge difficulties combining work with childcare during the school holidays.

“Many will be using paid annual leave to spend time with their children. But with school holidays lasting around 13 weeks and workers entitled to less than six weeks’ paid holiday a year, working parents need more support.

“Our message to employers is to be as supportive as they can when their staff request parental leave or need changes in their working hours over the summer holidays.”

Over the next couple of weeks many schools will be breaking up for the summer holidays with children not heading back until early September.

A survey last year found one in three working parents said they couldn’t find affordable holiday childcare, with one in eight saying they had given up work to look after their children.

A separate report by the TUC earlier this week claimed the freeze on child benefit will make families with two or more children £2,000 worse off.

Researchers found that in 2016/17, a family with two children will receive £6.35 less per week, than they would if the benefit had risen annually as it has done before.

By the next General Election in 2020, they expect families will be £9.05 a week worse off.

In the Eroding Child Benefit report, experts raised concerns that over a five-year period households with two children will lose £2,017.60.

For more information

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