Given the government’s success with childcare vouchers, there is a strong argument for allowing similar tax breaks for staff with caring responsibilities (for example, those who have elderly relatives to look after).
The number of people this would affect is huge – currently, more than one in 10 workers have to juggle work and care, while it is estimated that three out of five people will be carers at some point in their lives. The employers calling for the government to act on this argue that there is a strong case for giving carers support and flexibility, in terms of the impact on loyalty, retention and morale.
The government has already nodded in this direction – the Work and Families Bill has included an extension to the right to request flexible working that will cover carers. Giving carers cash via a voucher scheme would be a logical next step.
Half of the UK’s employers recognise that eldercare is an issue, but very few are bothering to do anything about it. Well, here’s your chance. If you want to get behind this drive to get tax breaks for carers – or if you’ve got a strong opinion about this issue – drop us a line.
Public sector needs to sell itself
Public sector workers often get a rough ride. Battling with negative perceptions about the sector – that it’s far too bureaucratic, too rigid, too slow – is part of their daily lives. And public sector HR long held the reputation of being a blocker rather than an enabler of the business.
Our public sector special (starting on page 22) charts the transformation of HR on the public stage – how it is leaving bureaucracy behind and discarding the old HR practices that previously held it back.
Those working in the public eye are clearly passionate about what they do. But the sector needs to get much better at selling itself if it’s going to attract top talent and shake off those old stereotypes for good.