Parents should be paid to care for children during Covid-19 outbreak – report
Parents should be financially compensated during the Covid-19 outbreak as childcare should be recognised as full-time work, a new report says.
A paper by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calls for the right to paid parental leave for those who need to look after children, under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The centre-left think tank said this would be in line with schemes in France, Italy and the US.
Clare McNeil (pictured), IPPR associate director for work and the welfare state, urged the Government to go further with its financial support for parents.
She said: “Caring for children needs to be recognised for what it is – a full-time occupation.
“The Government needs to give people who are unable or unwilling to work from home while caring for children the option of paid leave for the duration of this crisis, as other countries have done.
“And to prevent children in newly unemployed families from falling into poverty or hardship as a result of this crisis, the Government must invest further in Universal Credit to make it a genuine safety net – not a tightrope over poverty.
“For all the children of the pandemic, a normal childhood is out of reach for the foreseeable future.
“We need to intervene now to reduce the financial, educational and health gaps that will otherwise only widen while this crisis endures.”
The “Children of the Pandemic” report also calls for an increase in the child element of Universal Credit by £10 a week, and the removal of the two-child limit for benefits payments.
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