Employees in child care limbo as return to school remains in flux

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 27, 2020

A number of employers are realizing that the coronavirus is causing more parents to stress about finding child care.

The Society for Human Resource Management looked into how companies are preparing for the fall and beyond as many children are staying home from school this fall.

Some companies are allowing workers to telework permanently or are offering flexible work schedules. A small number of companies are even allowing children in the workplace or subsidies for child care.

“Employers are still trying to figure it out,” Amber Clayton from the Society for Human Resource Management said. “The schools are still trying to figure out what they’re doing. This is an evolving process. It’s going to be changing. I just foresee that many employers are going to be doing things that as far as making accommodations they haven’t made previously.”

The SHRM estimates that 45% of companies have not set a date for a return to work. Companies that are offering parents flexibility may be ones that are best able to attract and retain workers.

“I foresee that many employers might actually keep those programs in place,” Clayton said.

The SHRM recommends employees concerned about child care amid the pandemic should have a conversation with their employer sooner rather than later.