At the beginning of last month, new government plans were revealed which proposed an increase to the childcare subsidy provided to working parents.
As many as 1.9 million working families will get the chance to benefit from the new scheme, which will provide up to £2,000 per child per year in the form of tax relief money.
However, with only about 5% of UK employers and 450,000 families signed up to receive any form of relief under the current scheme, how much difference will the new initiative really make to UK workers? And what’s the alternative?
Credits or flexibility?
We recently surveyed over 500 working parents, only one third of whom told us that their employer offers childcare credits. 42% said their employer did not offer them, and almost a quarter admitted that they didn’t even know if their employer offered credits or not.
What’s more, only 1% indicated that an increase in childcare credits would make them more likely to want to work for an employer.
In fact, the majority (58%) said that more flexible hours to work around their children would be their main motivator when looking for a new role. Other responses included a higher wage or bonuses (29%) and on-site childcare (8%).
With recent government legislation stating that workers now have the legal right to ask their bosses for more versatility with the hours they put in, perhaps healthy employees and happy families do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive – it may just depend on how flexible you as a business can be.Time, not money: working parents favour flexible hours over childcare credits by Michael Cheary