In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, schools in the UK closed on 20 March until further notice except for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children.
Working parents and families may have concerns about how it could affect their finances. Roxanne Edgington, corporate finance assistant at BHSF, believes the decision to close schools could have a massive impact on working parents and families from a financial point of view.
“One of the implications of schools closing could mean parents will have to spend more money on feeding their children and keeping them entertained. Arranging for care of their children may not be straight forward either.
“Then there is also trying to keep on top of mortgage payments and paying off bills. It all adds up.
“Employers must accept working parents may struggle to be as productive as normal.
“Employers need to make allowances and take a flexible approach, especially for people with younger children who will inevitably need more care.”
Colleges and nurseries are to also close and Dr David Poots, senior occupational health physician at BHSF, has backed the government with this decision.
“Breaking the chain of infection and limiting spread is our best defence against Covid-19 and closing schools is necessary, but it will introduce other hazards to families. Working parents could face temporary redundancy, financial pressure and the need to entertain children who aren’t allowed to mix with their friends.”
With the UK government advising people to work from home, Dr Poots adds working parents will face additional pressures.
“This is going to be tough and it’s important parents also prioritise their own mental health. I encourage parents to avoid the “Christmas holiday trap” of eating and drinking too much or not taking any exercise. Please continue to walk the dog, take exercise, chat to friends on social media and look after yourself.”
We’re here to help. By downloading the BHSF Connect app, you can get access to a confidential helpline for support with financial matters. Buy online today and click here for more information on BHSF Connect.