Will the new Childcare support packages help get parents back to work?
In December 2022 the UK had 1.3m registered as unemployed and the government was under enormous pressure from businesses to provide support to families to help to get parents back into the workplace, unfortunately, none of the initiatives are available until after April 2024, when the first layer of support will be offered to eligible parents of two-year-olds, who will get 15 hours of free childcare per week.
Although we do offer part-time positions at Axiom, finding employers who are able to provide 15 hours a week will be a challenge and for some parent returners, this will mean the difference between being able to work or not!
The current benefits are complicated and you have to meet certain criteria, you are only able to claim an additional £2 for every £8 spent and this is managed through a government childcare account.
Although we don’t monitor our candidates, our instincts would tell us that over 50% of our temporary staff are parents. Will this additional funding make a significant difference in getting more parents back into the workplace, this is debatable?. Of course, we are pleased to see initiatives that will support parents to return to work. But there are many parents who make the choice to stay at home and raise their family as they believe this is better for the welfare and emotional development of their children. Even the Head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies was known to have said he doubted the new funds will make a significant difference.
The UK has the highest childcare costs in the world apart from Switzerland, which is currently running at 50% of income and the UK at 26.6%, the average % of income spent on childcare worldwide is 11.5%. Many parents find it impossible to afford to come back to work in this country, especially if they have more than one child. You can see how this is impacting overall fertility rates which are down over the last 60 years from 2.6 to 1.7.
If you are a parent looking for a new role that enables you to work flexibly, contact our recruiters who can review your cv, get in touch today to discuss how we can find you a job that works for you.