According to the union congress, over 70 percent of vacation requests from working mothers have been rejected by employers.
And a large number of working parents – two in five – did not know they have been eligible for restricted leave since March.
A TUC poll of more than 50,000 women found that more than seven in ten (71%) of those who asked about school closings were turned down.
The job retention system currently allows supervisors to take leave of parents who are unable to work due to school or kindergarten closings. The mirror reports.
Now the TUC is calling on ministers to clarify that the vacation can be used by both private and public employers so that employees can look after their children.
The union organization is demanding a temporary emergency right for working parents if employers refuse.
TUC bosses also say employers should discuss all options with employees and guarantee them protection on their return.
Almost half of the respondents fear that their employers treat them negatively because of difficulties with childcare.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The safety of school staff and children must always come first.
“But the lack of government support for working parents creates tremendous financial hardship and stress – and hits poorly paid mothers and single parents the hardest.”
“As with the first ban, mothers take on most of the childcare. Tens of thousands of mothers have told us that they are desperate.
“It is neither possible nor sustainable for them to work normally, look after their children and supervise schoolwork.
“Getting employees to take weeks of unpaid vacation isn’t the answer.
“Bosses must do the right thing and offer mothers and fathers who cannot work because of childcare maximum flexibility.
“And as a last resort, parents must have a temporary leave of absence if their boss does not agree.”
The survey, which was conducted between January 7 and 10, found that most working parents – 78 percent – were not offered any leave by their employers.
And of those who asked for leave, 71 percent – one in 16 respondents – had rejected their requests.
Around half (44%) of mothers told the TUC that they were concerned about the impact of leave on household finances.
A quarter (25%) used their annual leave to manage their childcare.
But almost one in five (18%) have had to cut their working hours, and one in four (7%) takes unpaid leave.
Activist Anna Whitehouse, founder of the Mother Pukka website, posted a call for evidence on the TUC so that working mothers can share their experiences.
She told the Spiegel: “What working parents instructed for the lock is not humanly possible.
“You see an average work day of eight hours, a school day of six hours and 12 hours of parenting – that’s 26 hours in a 24-hour day.
“I hear daily from women who are stepping down, withdrawing and signing out because they are burned out. Some give up their choices, many don’t.
“One thing that can change right now is companies that offer the right to flexible vacation. Businesses need to stand up for parents before we go back to the 1950s. “
A finance ministry spokesman said: “It has been clear since the first lockdown that employers can take leave of eligible workers who have to provide protection or those with childcare responsibilities, including because of school closings.”
They added that 6.8 million people were vacationing by the end of March 2020, and that number peaked at 8.9 million in early May.
It has fallen since then.
The latest estimates for December put 2.9 million on vacation and the gender breakdown didn’t start until July.
The latest October figures from HMRC show that more women than men have been on vacation since July.
In October 1.19 million women were on leave, compared with 1.14 million men.