The job retention program will now be open to people who cannot do their homework due to “need for care”, including their own children.
It applies even if the parents would otherwise have kept their jobs during the crisis.
This means that parents who are overwhelmed by childcare can request to temporarily quit work and 80% of their salary is paid by the state, up to £ 2,500 per month, even if their job was viable during Covid-19 .
Experts welcomed the move – calling it an escape hatch for parents who find it hard to work while caring for children in an enclosed home.
But they said it should go further – and universal credit and family allowances need to be further increased to help parents weather the crisis.
On Saturday, the government updated its advice to businesses and workers on the leave plan.
He now says, “Employees who cannot work because of caregiving responsibilities resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be put on leave.
“For example, employees who have to take care of children can be put on leave. “
Government statement does not mean all parents who juggle and work with children can go on leave.
And that doesn’t mean that all parents duty go on furloough either.
But officials said it would give struggling parents the opportunity to ask their bosses for leave.
Any arrangement must be agreed between the company and the worker.
If a worker is on leave, he should not work at all. They cannot go part-time.
If they want more than 80% of their salary, their company must agree to do so voluntarily.
Clare McNeil, associate director of the IPPR think tank, said she was “delighted” with the change.
She said, “Caring for children must be recognized for what it is, a full-time occupation.
“This is a vital recognition on the part of the government of the place that others occupy in our society, alongside paid employment.
“This change could make a real difference for those who find it difficult to combine work and childcare, including single parents, those with a child with special educational needs or a disability, and those with very young children or babies.
“Many people with additional adult care responsibilities following the coronavirus outbreak, including for older parents, will also benefit from this change. “
Explanation of government action against coronaviruses
The Treasury officials stressed that this decision was a clarification of the orientations and not a change of policy.
The IPPR called for further measures, including a further increase in universal credit, as well as the removal of the two-child limit and the benefit ceiling.
The six-in-one benefit has been increased by £ 20 per week (£ 1,040 per year) but IPPR has said it will increase by another £ 10.
The think tank also called for a one-time payment of children’s emergency allowances of £ 30 each, plus an additional £ 5 per week to help children get through the crisis.
And experts said that private green spaces should be opened to allow more people to socially distance themselves during their exercise.