Teleworking should continue for parents homeschooling children, Parents Association says

The Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students said that parents should not be expected to return to work until childcare centres and summer schools reopened

Working parents who are home-schooling their children because of school-closures should not be expected to physically return to work this Friday, The Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students (MAPSS) said.

This was in reaction to Prime Minister Robert Abela’s announcement on Monday, that it was time for Malta to go back to work, and that as of Friday the government would be lifting the majority of COVID-19 restrictions across all sectors. Including the reopening of child care facilities on 1 July.

During the announcement Abela said that people were expected to return to work on Friday, including vulnerable persons who would no longer be given special dispensation.  

“In view of the fact that schools will remain closed until the end of the scholastic year, something MAPSSS agrees with, the Association calls on the government to ensure that parents who are currently homeschooling their children, and have teleworking arrangements with their employers, continue having the option of using telework,” the MAPSS said.

The association said that parents who could not telework, and who have to assist in the virtual learning of their children, should not be expected to return to work before SkolaSaj and childcare centres reopen.

“MAPSSS is concerned that unless the necessary guidelines are provided, parents risk losing their jobs, considering also that employers are expecting them to return to work within two days.”

On Wednesday the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin echoed the same concerns. The union said Teleworking arrangements for people who cannot physically return to work on Friday must continue.

The union called on the government should ensure that workers continue having the option of using telework, especially those who have to take care of their children.

Furthermore, the MAPSS highlighted that parents have not yet been provided with any details regarding the health and safety protocols that will be put into place at Skola Sajf, Child Care Centres, Klabb 3-16 or any other summer school, citing that such information is vital for parents to make an informed decision.

“MAPSSS believes that in view of the circumstances, parents’ primary responsibility is to take care of their children and they should be supported in doing so.”

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