We are going to start this post with a statistic because it is so alarming and because it has such deep meaning for any employer.
Forty per cent of mothers who are working part time would up their hours if only childcare was more affordable.
For the mother, this touches upon just how expensive childcare is in the UK, in a recent blog post we revealed how the UK has the second highest childcare costs in the world with the expense taking up a far larger share of income than is true of other European nations.
As is well known, for many there is a sense that working more hours simply isn’t worth it as the increased childcare costs use up any extra income earned. Why spend many more hours at the workplace if it is simply paying for someone else to look after your child?
The impact, though, is not simply limited to families, it affects employers too. Skilled, loyal, experienced employees might be contracted for far fewer hours than they would ideally like to be, in their place, new starters have to be hired with all the ensuing costs.
Employees who are a huge asset to the company are simply not there as much as they might be.
The study by People’s Pension highlighted the long term impact this has for the women unable to work as much as they might wish, the reduction in hours leading to lower pension contributions and so a reduced income to fall back upon in later years.
However, at Enjoy Benefits we are more interested at looking at solutions. What can be done to help working mothers who are looking to up their hours, perhaps moving back closer to the full-time role they had prior to giving birth.
Clearly, the challenge is to tackle childcare costs – fortunately this is an area we have expertise in, helping many companies introduce schemes that reduce childcare costs at no cost to the business.
Employers who want to help working parents – mums and dads – need to consider setting up a workplace nursery scheme. These schemes are essentially a link between the employer and a high quality local nursery, with benefits for all.
Parents benefit from greatly reduced childcare costs, these savings running to many thousands of pounds per year – for higher rate tax payers with two children in nursery, the savings can run beyond £10,000 per annum.
Businesses benefit from having employees who are able to work more hours without the cost of childcare having the same impact on their decision. Having a workplace nursery scheme set up also helps with recruitment and retention, this a benefit that is equivalent to many thousands of pounds in extra salary to any working parent.
It is also worth noting that the scheme costs an employer nothing, they make contributions to the nursery but these are offset and the administration can be overseen by a workplace benefit expert such as Enjoy Benefits.
As for the nursery, they receive extra funds – funds which the parents have a say in the spending of – and also receive payment in a more controlled manner, the payments from your employees all coming once a month via salary sacrifice with no need for the nursery to chase payment.
At Enjoy Benefits, we have a dedicated workplace nursery site where you can find a wealth of information including savings calculators to see just how much an individual employee might save, so too the business. There is also information on setting up the scheme and FAQs to answer most common questions.
We would also be happy to discuss any queries you might have and chat through how a workplace nursery scheme could benefit your business.
Please call us on 0800 088 7315 or use our Contact Form.