As any users of public services will have noticed, there has been a flurry of industrial action this winter. One sector striking is school teachers who have planned national strikes on 1 February, 15 March and 16 March with regional strikes expected on 14 February, 28 February, 1 March and 2 March. There are also ongoing strikes in Scotland up until 6 February and a half day’s strike in Northern Ireland on 21 February.

For most schools it remains unclear whether the strikes will result in school closures or certain classes being sent home. For parents these strikes pose quite the childcare conundrum as they probably will not find out whether the strike will change their childcare plans until short notice. In such circumstances employers should be reminded of time off for dependants leave, parental leave and also granting short notice holiday requests.