Information for parents/carers

Many employers support their staff with their childcare needs, including providing financial assistance or on site childcare services.

Financial support

Employers are able to offer staff financial support that is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions. The amount currently exempt from these contributions is £55 per week or £243 per month for basic rate taxpayers (there are increased exemptions on workplace childcare).

This support can be provided in three ways:

  • childcare vouchers
  • directly-contracted childcare
  • workplace childcare provision

Flexible working

Some parents and carers use flexible working patterns to make it easier to organise childcare. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - even if you are not a parent or carer - as long as you have worked for the employer for at least 26 weeks.

There are many forms of flexible working. It might mean working from a different location, part-time hours, a job share, or flexitime, for example. Your employer must deal with requests in a 'reasonable' manner, but can refuse your request if they have a good business reason for doing so. You can find out more about flexible working from the Government website, or from ACAS.

Information for employers

There are two ways to offer childcare support to your employees:

  • a benefit offered in addition to their cash salary ('salary plus')
  • reducing their cash salary and paying instead an amount towards their eligible childcare costs ('salary sacrifice')

All forms of employer-supported childcare have specific conditions that must be met by both you as an employer and your staff. Supporting your staff with their childcare needs can benefit you and your employees. This includes better recruitment and retention of staff, reduced absenteeism, a more motivated workforce, as well as financial savings for you and your employees.