Family tax breaks for nanny costs will aid staff retention

New tax breaks for middle-income families, to assist with nanny costs, will
help employers retain staff and use their skills to full advantage, according
to the head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said: "Four in 10 mothers and one in 10
fathers have had to give up or not take a job because of the difficulty of
reconciling work and family responsibilities.

"This will enable many people to continue with the kind of work that
suits their skills."

Due to start next April, the scheme will enable parents on a combined income
of up to £43,500 to claim up to £135 a week for one child and up to £200 a week
for two. It also covers after-school and holiday clubs for the over-sevens.

Many parents are not eligible for the current child tax credit because they
do not work standard nursery hours.

Martin Hinchliffe, HR director at Welcome Break, thinks the scheme will have
a big impact on some of those parents who could not otherwise afford nanny
costs.

"People at higher levels might be travelling some distance to work and
need extended childcare. It will help them," he said.

Sarah Jackson, chief executive at the Working Families organisation, said HR
professionals need to spread the word about the scheme.

"Employers need to make sure employees know about it and how to do
it," she said. "It’s a torturous process applying for tax
credits."

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