The Trust recognises that the current Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and that employees and line managers will need to discuss and agree pragmatic and workable solutions for staff who are affected by school closures.
We continue to be keen to understand problems staff are facing with childcare, for example with schools unable to take children, at different times of day or days of the week, as well as if staff are facing financial hardship due to having to make alternative arrangements.
Please let us know about any of these issues by emailing email@example.com and we will see what we can do to help.
Special carer’s leave
The Trust recognises that employees and line managers will need to discuss and agree pragmatic and workable solutions.
The Trust’s Special Leave Policy is applicable and usually allows for up to two days/15 hours carer’s leave to make suitable child care or adult dependant arrangements. This has been temporarily extended to up to six days/45 hours (pro rata for part time staff).
In discussion with line managers, staff may be able to work flexibly to support carer requirements and changing working patterns and practices. The Trust is also working with local childcare providers and schools to establish emergency care arrangements for those required to work.
Supporting our staff with carer issues where usual arrangements are impacted due to Covid-19
CUH recognises that there will be additional anxiety for our staff relating to carer responsibilities. The Trust will provide additional flexibility for staff during the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to the standard carers’ leave arrangements. You may be experiencing any of the following:
- Your usual carer support systems, e.g. day centre support for family members who are frail or have other health and care needs, are not currently available to you.
- Your children may have to self isolate or their schools close unexpectedly
- You have had to take on additional carer responsibilities to help vulnerable family members stay out of hospital and within a safe environment during this time.
- Your child/children have not been able to attend school or off-site day nurseries (please note CUH’s day nursery provision remains in place and that key worker staff have access to school places).
- Your usual childcare support (e.g. childminder, family member etc.) has not been able to care for your child/children.
- Your other forms of regular childcare support during term time (e.g. morning or afternoon school clubs/grandparents etc.) are not available.
- Your child/children’s school has introduced staggered start/finish times
In the first instance, please talk to your line manager about any ideas you have to work flexibly or whether you can work a different shift pattern for a defined period, if this could help address any of the above difficulties and also support the needs of the service. Your line manager will review your situation with you and agree how your request for flexibility can be arranged around the needs of the service. The Trust’s Special Leave Policy is applicable and usually allows for up to two days/15 hours carer’s leave to make suitable child care/adult dependant arrangements. However, this has been temporarily extended to up to six days/45 hours (pro rata for part time staff) up to 31 March 2021 in the first instance.
Managers and staff are encouraged to find supportive, pragmatic and workable solutions that will meet the child/young person’s needs, support for our employee’s situation and service needs. This may include enabling different shift patterns for a defined period, or where job roles permit working from home and/or working different times of the week/weekend if this enables a supportive solution. Staff and managers need to be realistic about solutions and especially for those with younger children as they are more likely to require more parental time than senior school children for example.
Where you continue to experience any difficulty with carer responsibilities as a result of the issues highlighted above, there are five options available to help support you as follows:
- Option 1 – You use some of your annual leave entitlement with the agreement of your line manager.
- Option 2 – You can request the extended carers leave option. See details here.
- Option 3 –You can request to work from home where your work can be carried out in this way; this may mean agreeing that work may have to be done flexibly at different times during the week or a combination of working at home and at base depending upon your circumstances. This should be agreed with your line manager.
- Option 4 – where working from home is not an option or where extended carers leave exhausted staff can continue to be paid and mutually agree with your line manager to gradually work back the time taken; this can be worked over the following six month period from the date taken
- Option 5 – if you wish to request unpaid leave to support your current circumstances you may do so.
You can make a request to your line manager for one or a combination of the options (where practicable). Your line manager will review the options with you and agree how your request can be arranged flexibly around the needs of the service.
If you have any other queries you can also call HR Consult on 01223 257000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Line managers: please see the Line Manager FAQ on this topic to understand how each of the above options should be recorded on Healthroster.
If you are experiencing difficulties with making childcare arrangements, email email@example.com for advice and support.
February half term kids clubs
We have tried to establish whether any play schemes/clubs in our locality are running over the February half term and below is the most up to date information we have been able to ascertain:
- Barracuas Activity Day Camp https://www.barracudas.co.uk/
They are running a camp at Long Road Sixth Form College that is for children of key workers only. It’s limited to 30 places. Specific link for booking here: https://www.barracudas.co.uk/camps/cambridge-long-road/
- Olivers Lodge, Saffron Walden Holiday Scheme, St Marys School https://www.olivers-lodge.co.uk/saffron-walden/
Holiday club is available for vulnerable and key worker children. Flyer can be found here.
- Super Camps https://www.supercamps.co.uk/february-half-term-kids-camps#
The closest venues appear to be Hertfordshire and Esssex
You may also find the following Cambridgeshire County Council website helpful: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/childcare-and-early-learning/childcare-information and link to ‘activities for children’ https://www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk/activities
School closure childcare guidance: https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2021/01/school-closure-childcare-guidance
CUH has onsite day nursery facilities managed by Bright Horizons to cater for children aged 0-5 years.
They are able to offer ad hoc childcare booked on a day-by-day basis, subject to availability. This would be paid for at a daily rate and unfortunately could not be paid for with childcare vouchers for children who do not usually attend this provision. If you are facing financial hardship due to having to make alternative arrangements please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do to help on a case by case basis.
For further information on Bright Horizons please call 0370 218 6609, or individual nurseries on:
Tel: 0333 305 3181
If you live in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough a dedicated team is now on hand at the Cambridgeshire County Council to signpost parents to available options, including childcare provided by nurseries and childminders. If you are a critical worker and in need of childcare support, please contact the Family Information Service on:
- Cambridgeshire – 0345 045 1360
- Peterborough – 01733 864446 or visit the website
Alternatively, please click here for a list of other day nurseries in the Cambridgeshire area and see below for additional providers. Please note these have not been checked and are not endorsed. Staff are advised to make contact and assess their suitability.
Nicola Brunton – Ofsted registered childminder in CB4. Available to keyworker families only during this difficult time for childcare assistance. Available Monday-Friday if that can be of any help.
Please see Facebook page: Nicola Brunton Childminding
Emergency Childcare – part of Bright Horizons
Parents are able to increase/decrease the amount of vouchers they purchase each month within the maximum and minimum amounts allowed. You can do this by amending the amount on your own personal Computershare account and
informing the salary sacrifice office.
Alternatively you can opt to come out of the scheme for a period of time not exceeding 12 months. If you exceed the 12 month limit then you will be permanently excluded. To remain registered you must ensure that you purchase vouchers again within 12 months of receiving your last vouchers.
Computershare should inform when you opt out when your last vouchers will be received (which month) and more importantly when you need to reinstate yourself in order to remain registered. You can opt back in within 12 months either by phone or email to Computershare.
The monthly deadline for receiving amendments to the following month’s voucher deduction is the 25th of the preceding month.
The max/min voucher amounts are:
- Lower tax band max £243 / min £10
- Higher tax band max £124 / min £20
Contact for Computershare Email: email@example.com
Our Scheme ID: 0019227512 (parents calling Computershare will be asked for this ID as a ‘security’ question They should also state the scheme ID in any emails to Computershare)
Contact for salary sacrifice office:
Phone: 01223 349362