Lawyer Jennifer Mills' 'strong advice' to parents over teacher strike

An employment lawyer says the key thing parents can do is "communicate" with their employer if the teacher strike is going to impact their working commitments.

A full "mega" strike of teachers will go ahead as planned on Thursday after a meeting between the Government and the union representing primary school teachers failed to reach an agreement.

About 30,000 primary school teachers and around 20,000 secondary school and kindergarten educators are striking, meaning up to 50,000 teachers will be taking industrial action in total.

Around 800,000 students from preschool to Year 13 will be impacted because of the strike.

Employment Lawyer Jennifer Mills told AM on Wednesday parents have several options if they can't find childcare for their children.

"My advice to an employee would be, if you haven't already, communicate with your employer that you're going to need time to care for your child because you haven't been able to find alternative childcare arrangements," she told AM.

"In the first instance, you could ask to work from home ... or alternatively, you would want to ask your employer whether you could take annual leave, and I'm sure that would be granted in these circumstances."

Parents also have the option to take unpaid leave or even ask employers if they would make an ex gratia payment to cover the day's work, Mills said.

But the key thing parents can do is communicate with their employers. If they fail to do that and don't turn up to work, then they could face disciplinary action.

"If tomorrow there hasn't been a communication by an employee to their employer that they need to take the day off and they simply don't report for work, that's a breach of their agreement. They've got an obligation to report for work," she said.

So Mills' "strong advice" for parents would be to communicate so everyone is on the same page.

"My strong advice is to communicate, ask for payment, working from home arrangements, some kind of leave and then there cannot be justified disciplinary action taken against an employee," she told AM.

Watch the full interview with Jennifer Mills in the video above.