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The CIPD wants to see ‘good work’ on the next government agenda

Government introduced it's tax-free childcare scheme in late April, with the intention that it should replace the old childcare voucher scheme

This new scheme is designed to benefit children up to the age of four, and both parents can sign up to the scheme. It is designed to save working parents up to £2,000 per year for each child until their twelfth birthday; however, the reality is that the annual sum saved will fall far short of this – by almost £1,200.

From April 2018, no one will be able to enter the old childcare voucher scheme; instead, they will have to use the tax-free childcare scheme. This new scheme will only be available to families in which both parents work, or are self-employed, and will not be payable to parents who already receive tax credits.

This new scheme will only be available to families in which both parents work, or are self-employed, and will not be payable to parents who already receive tax credits.

Until this time, parents have a choice of entering the childcare voucher scheme or the new tax-free childcare system. It is likely that the childcare voucher system favours the majority of parents, particularly when they have more than one child. Research carried out by Sodexo, which administers the childcare voucher scheme, reveals that the new scheme will mainly benefit higher-rate tax payers.

Research carried out by Sodexo, which administers the childcare voucher scheme, reveals that the new scheme will mainly benefit higher-rate tax payers.

One key aspect of the change is that parents rather than employers will have to manage the scheme; however, employers still need to be aware of the changes and the likelihood that many families will be worse off as a result of this new scheme.

For this reason, there have been calls for a more sympathetic and family-friendly corporate culture to operate within firms, enabling parents to work around their childcare needs. It is only with flexible working and an acceptance of employees’ care duties at home that the financial impact may be softened.

For this reason, there have been calls for a more sympathetic and family-friendly corporate culture to operate within firms, enabling parents to work around their childcare needs. It is only with flexible working and an acceptance of employees’ care duties at home that the financial impact may be softened.

HR professionals must make sure they are familiar with the details of childcare vouchers and tax-free child care to ensure that employees are given advice and guidance regarding their decisions.

It may be the case that some employees would be better off joining the childcare voucher scheme rather than the tax-free child care system.

Employers will need to give serious consideration to the possibility of employees working more flexibly, given the high costs of child care. Offering the right to flexible work will ensure that the right people remain in their jobs.

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