Healthcare staff could work from home if childcare unavailable

Healthcare staff could work from home if childcare unavailable

Unions have been told healthcare staff will be allowed to work from home on full pay if they are unable to find someone to mind their children.

Discussions are continuing between workers' representatives and HSE management on how to provide childcare while schools are out.

It is understood to be among the most pressing practical issues for frontline healthcare workers right now, after the provision of PPE.

With schools still closed and many older relatives still cocooning, healthcare unions say it has become much harder for workers with young children to get someone to mind them during the working day.

Yesterday the HSE held a teleconference with unions in the healthcare sector.

It is understood managers proposed allowing those who have exhausted all possible options for childcare to work from home if they cannot find an alternative.

In a statement issued last night, the HSE said it "intends to be as flexible as possible to ensure that issues relating to supporting childcare arrangements are balanced with our responsibilities to provide critical health services during this pandemic".

Health union sources say they are waiting to see any such offer in writing.

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