Open discussion on childcare vital for business and families

Employers are being urged to engage with workers who are parents, in managing childcare for the coming weeks.

With schools closed until the end of January, president of women’s business organisation, Network Ireland, Louisa Meehan is advising employers to encourage staff to chat to them about their arrangements.

Louisa commented: “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 association’s president says that 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. 

Research conducted by Network Ireland last autumn found that for more than 40% of women, work was getting harder for them as restrictions continue.

It’s hard to imagine things have improved much since then, said Louisa: “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”.