Mother’s Day – supporting working mothers in the workplace and at home

Published date
Working mothers are present in every workplace across the UK balancing their work with their share of child care duties.

Covid-19 is putting extra strain on working mothers across Wales as they navigate home schooling, working from home, or a key worker job whilst still feeling the emotional burden of their share of caring for loved ones.

Trade unions are here to stand up for workers and protect them. If you’re not already a member, use our join a union tool to find the right one for you.

Caring for children

We support the UK Government’s measures to close schools, but we need to make sure that parents don’t lose out whilst caring for their children. Doing the right thing shouldn’t lead to being out of pocket, or out of a job.

Current parental and dependents’ leave aren’t enough to support working parents. Working families need the UK Government to:

  • Commit to keeping working parents on full pay if their kid's school or childcare closes 
  • Reimburse employers for staff taking parental leave - just like maternity pay
  • Ensure that no-one is treated unfairly or loses their job because of childcare needs

We want people to follow government health advice, but the UK government must support working parents.

Sign our petition and join our campaign to stop working parents from losing out.

Working from home

Millions of mothers and fathers will be working from home for the foreseeable future, some for the first time. If that’s you then here are some helpful tips:

1. Stay safe at home – think about your working conditions, your desk set up and posture. Try and work somewhere with plenty of natural light.

2. Have the right equipment to hand – if you don’t have the relevant IT equipment or software then you should tell your manager. If you don’t have internet access at home, then your employers should pay for it.

3. Know what is expected of you – your bosses need to make it clear what they’re expecting from you in terms of work or targets.

4. Work your regular hours – as much as possible, try keep to your usual routines. Take regular breaks and stick to your normal hours. Don’t work beyond your normal work hours.

5. Keep in touch with others – stay in contact with your friends, family and colleagues to avoid the mental effects of isolation. You can set up regular Skype conferences with your colleagues or join a work WhatsApp group. At the Wales TUC we’re using Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp to keep in touch. They’re also good ways to keep in touch with friends and family.

6. Understand that you can’t always be available – trying to maintain the same outputs as you do in your office isn’t always practical or possible, especially if you have children living with you. Employers need to recognise this and be reasonable in their expectations. Contact your union rep if you feel your employer isn’t doing what they could or should to help you.

Supporting parents in the workplace

There are many parents and guardians who can’t work from home. Doctors, nurses, retail workers and teachers are just some examples.

If that’s you, then your employer needs to make sure that you and your colleagues are protected during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that:

  • Handwashing facilities are accessible
  • Workplaces are kept clean
  • Hand sanitiser is available wherever possible to those who need it
  • Staff are properly paid and not penalised if they need to take time off

The TUC has produced extensive guidance for trade union reps to help protect their members during this pandemic.

Read the TUC's coronavirus advice for reps and members.