What is Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day is a day for daughters and sons to celebrate their Mothers. In the UK traditionally, it is called Mothering Sunday, this is the religious name, the day is related to Easter, as Mothering Sunday always falls on the fourth Sunday during the period of Lent, therefore the date changes from year to year.
This year Mothering Sunday falls on Sunday 14th March 2021.
Mothering Sunday in the US is an annual holiday and falls on the second Sunday in May.
Mothering Sunday is a day for affection and celebration for Mothers and maternal figures. Over the years this day has become more commercialised and is now commonly referred to as Mother’s Day instead of Mothering Sunday. It is a day where daughters and sons give presents and cards to their Mums to show their appreciation, or it’s a day of remembrance for those Mums who unfortunately are no longer with us.
Everyone chooses to celebrate Mother’s Day differently, some make their Mum breakfast in bed, some cook a Sunday Roast, or take them out for a meal or buy a special gift.
Mother’s Day 2020 was a very different Mother’s Day for everyone, it fell on the Sunday after restaurants, pubs and non-essential places were forced to close and the day before national lockdown 1 was announced by the government. Many saw their plans for treating their Mum’s cancelled with many not able to be able to see their Mums on the day.
2021 unfortunately will be the same for many, with England still being in lockdown. Daughters and Sons may not be able to treat their Mums to a nice meal, or breakfast in bed. Some were probably hoping to hold an extra special event this year to make up for 2020.
Even though we are in lockdown there are still opportunities for daughters and sons to make Mums feel loved and appreciated. These include:
- Organising a delivery of Flowers, Chocolates, Afternoon Tea or balloons. Sending a gift and/ or a card in the post
- Organising an event such as a red-letter day experience for once lockdown is over
- Making a gift and dropping it on the doorstep
- Holding a second Mother’s Day in the summer when lockdown has hopefully lifted
The last twelve months have been very tough for everyone; some mothers have found themselves juggling working from home while home-schooling children, caring for toddlers and babies without any support and being unable to see family or friends. Grandmothers have found themselves unable to see their grandchildren because of the restrictions, which has meant no hugs and kisses or playtimes which keep everyone young and active…..or grateful for the time when the grandkids go home!
Mothers in the workplace
Mothers currently have the following rights at work:
- The right to maternity/adoption leave/pay. Pregnant employees are entitled to take 26 weeks’ Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks’ Additional Maternity Leave, irrespective of their length of service or the number of hours worked each week.
- The right to take unpaid leave to attend antenatal appointments.
- The right to take unpaid leave for regular appointments during an IVF treatment cycle.
- The right to make a flexible working request.
- The right to shared parental leave/pay.
- The right to take unpaid parental leave.
- The right to take emergency unpaid leave to look after a dependant.
- The right to take parental bereavement leave.
What Should Employers Consider?
In a society which is constantly evolving, keeping pace with what employees want whilst remaining competitive is challenging.
- Whilst many employers now provide packages to encourage the attraction and retention of all employees there is more that can be explored in this area.
- As employers may well know, important policy developments include: the evaluation of the extension of the right to request flexible working, as well as the government’s duty on employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly, and to make that clear when advertising roles. Employers should ensure that their flexible working policies are up to date, available and transparent, and that all employees know that they have this right.
- Challenge assumptions that reduced hours means reduced commitment. Start tracking performance appraisals to ensure that flexible workers, and part-time workers, are not penalised by a workplace culture that values long hours and presenteeism.
- Ensure that all policies and procedures are kept updated to reflect the introduction of new rights including changes in statutory payments in this area.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all Mums who are currently, juggling the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, remote working, home-schooling, key workers working on the front line, helping out with grandchildren, missing their children and grandchildren. You are all doing a fantastic job and hopefully in the near future you will all receive the massive hugs you deserve and have missed.
If you need any advice on current rights for mothers in the workplace or how you can become more family-friendly to support them, please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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