The Government has confirmed that ‘where possible, we would encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.’
Traditionally, teachers and support staff (who are term time only) have enjoyed a break over Easter before the start of the Summer term. At this stage, schools have been asked to remain open only for the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils.
What Effect does that have on Employees?
Any school staff who are employed full year are likely to be asked to continue to come into work over the holiday periods. If they had booked leave during this period the school may cancel this, if necessary.
If staff have a term time only contract, they may be asked to voluntarily attend work to support the schools provision for the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils. There has been no formal confirmation that the government will provide additional funding to schools to pay staff for any additional hours worked. Schools may consider whether they can support this with time off in lieu, however allowing time off in lieu when the UK has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic will be difficult for schools to manage due to the amount of staff this might affect. Schools may have saved on resources during this period and may be able to use this money to pay for the additional hours.
If schools can secure enough staff to volunteer they should consider a rota to reduce the number of days volunteers have to attend during the Easter break.