In most medium- to large-sized companies, there is a good chance that some will have young children. As employers, this can throw certain problems their way, particularly when the employee needs to take time off work to care for their children, be it through sickness or injury or simply the unavailability of a child-minder or the closure of a school.

If the child is taken ill or has an injury, child care would be counted as compassionate or emergency leave, but that would still leave the employer under no obligation to pay. However, many employers would feel justified in treating such instances with more sympathy than would be the case if child care was required for non-urgent reasons or through bad planning.

Either way, in the absence of specific contractual obligations, employers do not have to pay staff if they have to take time off work to look after their children.

Prudence is required when deciding whether to pay staff who are absent to look after children. Employees without children might feel aggrieved if some of their colleagues are regularly absent to look after children, especially if they are on full pay. On the other hand, employers need to be careful to be non-discriminatory towards parents.

Peninsula Business Services can provide advice and assistance on any aspect of child care. Contact us today – call 0800 0282 420, or use our callback form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you. Visit our HR Advice service page for more information.