MUMS and dads forced to stay home to teach their kids in the lockdown should get furlough cash, Sir Keir Starmer has demanded.
The Labour leader said stressed-out parents who have to cut their working hours because the schools are closed should get a bailout.
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He said he “absolutely” backs the demand, which has been put forward by trade unions.
Sir Keir told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “That has to happen.
“The general principle should be that where there are health restrictions there needs to be an economic package to support that.
“Because of the decision last night for a national lockdown there is now a mismatch and that has got to be addressed – and that means for working parents.”
He piled into the campaign after TUC boss Frances O’Grady called for the working parents bailout after Boris Johnson plunged England into lockdown 3.
Ms O’Grady said: “The government’s financial support package isn’t good enough to cope with this renewed public health emergency. Without more support, jobs will be lost and businesses will close.
“Ministers must act quickly by providing targeted help for hard-hit industries, boosting sick pay to a real Living Wage so that people can afford to self-isolate and increasing Universal Credit.
“And in the wake of school closures, ministers need to help working families by encouraging employers to furlough parents who can’t work because of childcare responsibilities.
“That’s the right response to new national restrictions and spiralling infection rates.
“Government must not force a choice between lives and livelihoods.”
All schools across England have been closed to most pupils until at least the February half term – and maybe longer.
Only vulnerable kids or the offspring of key workers are allowed to attend regular classes.
It means millions of parents are stuck at home desperately trying to home school their children with the help of online classes.
Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new £4.6billion bailout for businesses forced to close in the new lockdown.
Companies will be able to get up to £9,000 each to see them through the tough winter months.
The current furlough scheme is also running until the end of April.
The Treasury said parents can be furloughed to look after their kids, but it is up to bosses to decide whether or not to do this.
A Government spokeswoman said: “Since the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme back in March, employees with caring responsibilities can be furloughed – and many have been.
“We encourage both employers and employees to be as flexible as possible during this difficult time, to support colleagues with childcare responsibilities.”