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Prime Minister Confirms Parents Without Childcare Should Not Have To Return To Work

Joanna Freedman

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Prime Minister Confirms Parents Without Childcare Should Not Have To Return To Work

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Boris Johnson yesterday clarified that parents without childcare "plainly" couldn't return to work under his new coronavirus guidelines.

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The Prime Minister was met was much confusion on Sunday over his new "stay alert" message, and faced questions on how he could safely send millions back to work if schools were still closed, and many workers had children to look after.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, he explained that lack of childcare was an "obvious barrier," and it was the duty of employers to be "reasonable," and to make exceptions in this instance.

"We will count on employers to be reasonable," he said. "If they can't get the childcare, then plainly they can't go to work."

Boris Johnson in the House Of Commons (Credit: BBC)
Boris Johnson in the House Of Commons (Credit: BBC)

During the government press conference, the PM elaborated on the new government advice, when questioned on the topic again.

"If people don't have access to childcare and [their child] isn't in school for one reason or another and we can't get them back until June 1st, then I think it's fair to regard that as an obvious barrier to their ability to go back to work," he said.

"I'm sure employers will agree with that, so stay home if you can but go to work if you have no alternative."

Those being urged to return to work include factory workers, cleaners and construction workers, among many others with no means of working from their households to resume their day-jobs.

The Prime Minister elaborated during the press conference (Credit: PA)
The Prime Minister elaborated during the press conference (Credit: PA)

This is with the exception of workers in the hospitality and non-essential sectors, which still remain closed for now.

The Prime Minister also enforced that employers should only be calling staff back if their workplace is COVID-secure.

He added that the government would be introducing spot checks to enforce this, and encouraged people to report their workplace if they had any concerns for their welfare.

These rules only apply to England, and different guidelines are in place across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Topics: BBC, Coronavirus, Parenting, Boris Johnson

Joanna Freedman
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