Lots of parents are trying to work with children at home. Changing work hours, flexible work hours and a family timetable might make things easier. You can also take leave.
Flexible working hours
Flexible working can mean:
spreading your hours out over more days
working on different days
You could also ask to work your usual hours over fewer days. This is called ‘compressed hours’. For example, working 40 hours over 4 days instead of 5. Usually you cannot work more than an average of 48 hours a week.
“Now that I am homeschooling my children and working from home, I want to find out if I can arrange a flexible work schedule.
I am committed to maintaining the quality of my work and managing my workload. I've drafted a schedule that I think will let me do this and homeschool my children. I would like to work on this draft with you.
I will continue to stay in contact with the team and help meet our goals. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to discussing this.”
Flexible working can be a reasonable adjustment if you are disabled under the Equality Act. There is no set definition of 'reasonable'. It depends on your condition, your job and your organisation.
You might be able to do some work before your children are awake or after they are in bed.
Timetables and routine
Visual or written timetables might help. You could include things like:
scheduled breaks, with and without your children
which of you is on 'parent duty', if you live with your partner
screen time, used in a way which works best for you and you child
Giving children limited choices can help sometimes. For example, choosing from a list of activities or which snack to have.
The law says that if you are an employee, you have the right to unpaid 'time off for dependents'. It means you can take a 'reasonable' amount of time to look after a child in an emergency. This includes school being closed.
You could ask your employer about flexible working hours or normal annual leave.