Employers warn of cost of keeping parents of suspended children at home

Forcing parents to stay at home to supervise their suspended or expelled child could have  wide ramifications for employers, according to law firm Cobbetts.

On Wednesday, Tony Blair suggested parents might be forced to stay home from work to supervise their children if they are suspended from school.

There are 344,000 pupil suspensions every year, averaging four days at a time, so many employers would have to make some difficult decisions if their staff were forced to stay at home to supervise a suspended child.

Tim Thomas, associate at Cobbetts, said: “Employees obliged to stay at home to be with their children would be entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid leave to arrange for appropriate care of their child. 

“Alternatively they could use their annual holiday entitlement. While this may be manageable in the case of a one-off, short-term suspension, problems will clearly arise when dealing with repeat offenders or with lengthy suspensions.”
Employers may find that they are unable to cope with such absences, leaving them with little alternative but to dismiss the parent concerned, Thomas said.

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