advo hr looks ahead to September, where parents or carers may be faced with their children either starting school for the first time or the beginning of the new school year. Change is something we all have to deal with but it is important that employers understand how this may affect their employees. Employers may need to be more flexible and understanding during this period of change.
Back in June, our newsletter contained an article on ‘How can employers support their employees with childcare?’ This month we build on this to consider what employers can do to support parents and carers who have children attending school in September. Whether children are starting school for the first time, moving into a new school year or starting at secondary school, all are major changes, not only for the children themselves, but also for those around them.
Employers who are supportive during stressful periods of time, may help to keep employees engaged and happy at work, which in turn can help reduce the impact on the business. We detail suggestions for consideration ahead of September.
Discuss situation in advance
Speaking to employees prior to the academic year beginning will enable both sides to plan accordingly. This should help to reduce any stress in the lead up to this time. Discussions should cover what the employee plans to do and should highlight any areas of concern that may require the parent or carer to be absent from work, or other options to work in a more flexible way.
Changes to ways of working
Employees who have worked with you continuously for 26 weeks are entitled to put in a flexible working request. Given the time of year you may see an increase in employees wanting to reduce their hours to coincide with the school day. Full consideration needs to be given to any request and there should be good business reasons not to grant these. Those employees who work flexibly may have reduced absences, improved wellbeing and a higher job satisfaction due to a better work-life balance. Therefore, it is vital that these requests are considered fully, as this can benefit both employees and employers.
There may be a need for employees to book annual leave during this time. This will usually be on a first come first served basis so employees should be aware of this and encouraged to put in any annual leave requests as soon as they can to avoid disappointment.
If you would like more information on this topic or support with any wider HR advice please contact Carly Gregory on firstname.lastname@example.org