Back-to-School Means More Time Off For Parents and Guardians

XpertHR Publishes New Guide to Back-to-School Leave Requests

New Providence, NJ (August 8, 2019) -- The start of the school year can be a very busy and stressful time of year for many parents and guardians, which may translate into more leave issues for employers, according to a new XpertHR guide. For many employees, back-to-school-time means adjusting their schedules to include parent-teacher conferences, the start of sports seasons, class parties, volunteer activities and school assemblies.

"All of these new activities and responsibilities may cause an influx of leave requests to HR and supervisors," says Jessica Webb-Ayer, JD, Legal Editor, XpertHR. "This is a good time for an employer to reevaluate how school schedules may affect its employees and make sure it is following any school-related leave laws that may apply."

According to XpertHR, there is no federal law that specifically relates to school visitation leave, but more than 10 states have laws addressing the issue. The state laws vary in their definition of an applicable employer, the amount of leave that must be given and what type of notice parents and guardians must give to their employers.

Additionally, school closings affect not only school employees and children, but their parents and guardians as well. A few state and municipal laws even have provisions addressing school closures for certain reasons, such as a public health or weather emergency.

Interest in workplace flexibility may rise even more during late summer and fall when employees are facing new school-related meetings and activities and struggling to balance work and family obligations. There are many different ways employers can offer workplace flexibility during the start of the school year (and beyond).

XpertHR discusses ways that employers can offer workplace flexibility, including:

  • Flexible schedules;
  • Reduced schedules;
  • Telecommuting;
  • Flexible working locations;
  • Compressed workweeks;
  • Shift flexibility; and
  • Job sharing

In addition to offering workplace flexibility, employers need to ensure they are dealing with school-related leave appropriately by developing best practices to deal with the subject. First, an employer will want to evaluate what school-related leave laws may affect its workforce. Next, it should determine what type of strategy it wants to take regarding this type of leave while remaining in compliance with all applicable laws.

Once these basic steps are completed, an employer should publish a written policy or handbook statement if the employer:

  • Is located in one of the states that requires such leave; or
  • Anticipates receiving regular requests for school-related leave.

To view the full guide to back-to-school leave requests, visit XpertHR.

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Editor's Note: Jessica Webb-Ayer, Legal Editor, XpertHR is available for interview and to provide an article on back-to-school leave. If you use any of this material, please include a link to

Media Contact:

Beth Brody