They have benefited millions of families but the Westminster Government plans to close the scheme to ‘new entrants’ on 4 October.
That is why businesses across the UK are joining forces to urge the Government to keep the scheme open.
Not only does the scheme benefit working parents, it also provides savings for the employer as the amount each parent sacrifices from their salary is exempt from National Insurance Contributions. Employers have also found that in today’s fluid job market Childcare Vouchers represent a valuable tool in recruiting and retaining staff.
Employers For Childcare is calling on all local businesses to get behind the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign to halt the closure of Childcare Vouchers. Support for the campaign has soared over recent weeks from organisations across the UK, including in Northern Ireland. To date, almost 220 employers representing over 123,000 employees, including Kettle Foods and the UK’s largest children’s charity Barnardo’s, have signed the pledge in support of Childcare Vouchers – and the number is growing daily.
Locally, Randox, an international company with more than 1,400 employees, has come out in support of Childcare Vouchers and is calling on the scheme to remain open. The company recognises that Childcare Vouchers help to promote a positive working relationship with staff. In support of the scheme, the company’s endorsement states: “The Randox Group are proud to be a family focused organisation. We are calling for the Childcare Vouchers Scheme to remain open because it offers flexibility, savings and convenience for parents; it offers savings for the employer; it helps to retain staff who are parents of young children and it benefits both employees and employers”.
Aoife Hamilton, Policy and Information Manager at Employers For Childcare said: “We know employers really value the benefits that Childcare Vouchers deliver to their employees, not only in monetary terms but also helping them maintain a healthy work-life balance and a family friendly ethos.
“However, time is running out as Childcare Vouchers are due to close to new entrants in just four weeks. For some parents, it is already too late as their company’s payroll deadline to join the scheme has passed. We are asking employers to stand in support of their staff and sign the business pledge, calling on the Government to keep the scheme open – simply email the name of your business and the number of employees to [email protected] to sign the pledge. It’s quick and easy and your employees will thank you for it!”
Aoife reminds employers that help is available in terms of advice and guidance: “Anyone wishing to find out what financial support they may be entitled to, or employers wishing to provide information to their staff around the closure of Childcare Vouchers, can contact the Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008 for free, impartial and confidential advice”.