Martin Lewis shares important update for working parents struggling with childcare in lockdown

Martin Lewis no childcare
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martin Lewis has shared some important advice for parents who are working through lockdown and struggling with childcare.

The UK's third lockdown was called on last week, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the nation to stay at home in a bid to protect the NHS from the overwhelming amount of Covid-19 patients.

With schools closing and only the children of key workers being allowed in, parents who are working in jobs that aren't considered as key roles may be facing difficulties with child care right now. Don't forget, £20 notes expire in 2021, so ensure you spend them before they go out of circulation.

Financial expert Martin Lewis has shared some important advice, explaining that you're eligible for furlough if you can't work because of your children, meaning you will be paid to take time off work to look after them.

"Furlough is available until the 30th of April. You have to understand though, that furlough is always at the employer's discretion - they do not have to furlough anyone," Martin explained on his Money Show last night.

Martin Lewis

Credit: Getty

"To get furlough you need to have been on the payroll by the 30th October - it applies to zero-hours contract people, agency workers... you can be furloughed and furlough now is flexible.

"It's important to understand that if you can't work because of childcare responsibilities, your kids are now at home, then firms can furlough you just because of that.

"Ask them, they don't have to, but I hope they would be considerate on that," Martin added.

The money expert also assured working parents that they are legally allowed to take time off to look after their children right now, but they won't be getting their pay check for it.

"If they won't furlough you, you do have a legal right to time off to look after your children. But you don't have a legal right to be paid for it.

"Which is why furlough is a very good option - and of course flexible furlough works there too."

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).