Wednesday 6 January 2021 3:47 pm

Zurich offers staff 10-day ‘lockdown leave’ for frazzled parents

Zurich is offering full time staff 10 extra days of paid leave for parents who face childcare emergencies in the wake of England’s third national lockdown.

More than one in five of Zurich’s 4,500 UK employees with children will benefit from the extra time off, which can be taken in consecutive days or one at a time while primary and secondary schools are shut.

Read more: Zurich spends £1m on employee upskilling drive

England entered its third national lockdown this week, after a new variant of the coronavirus pushed up the number of Covid-19 cases and some hospitals struggled to cope with an influx of patients. 

As part of that lockdown schools across the country will be shut for almost all students, meaning many parents will have to juggle childcare and working responsibilities. 

Speaking in an address to the nation from Downing Street on Monday, Boris Johnson said he had “no choice” but to plunge England into its third national lockdown and place an “invisible shield” around the elderly and vulnerable.

Read more: Lockdown could last until 31 March, government smallprint reveals

Steve Collinson, Zurich’s head of HR, said: “With schools closed, working parents will be frantically trying to juggle their jobs and childcare responsibilities. 

“We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family.  This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”