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Category: Women, International Women's day
Popular culture might highlight the contribution of both men and women to childcare. But recent research indicates that women still do almost 40% more childcare and household chores than men. This is particularly true between the ages of 26 and 35, which is also a crucial period for building careers.
That's why childcare support is such an essential part of empowering women at work. The government funds 15-30 hours of free nursery care per week for three- and four-year-olds. But this allowance doesn't always meet the needs of busy, career-orientated women, or their employers. Here are a few examples of what you can look for in terms of employer childcare support. And when you're ready to find your next role, VERCIDA's jobs database can help.
In 2017, only 5 percent of employers offered on-site childcare as an employee benefit. That's because it's expensive and it takes a big employer to have the scale to pull it off. But for those who can handle it, the benefit to employees and their families is enormous. Nursing parents can have easy access to their babies. Parents are within reach quickly if a child falls ill. And because the child and parent share a commute, they reclaim valuable time during the day. Employers benefit, too – they’re able to claim back the costs of running a nursery from their tax.
Childcare contributions from bosses and government
An on-site crèche doesn't work for every employer. But contributions towards childcare are a highly desirable benefit - and one that employees prize. Until 2018, the salary sacrifice programme was in place. This programme enabled employees to contribute part of their salary - before tax - towards childcare costs. Employees purchased vouchers that could be redeemed with a number of childcare providers. This has been changed to a simpler scheme for new childcare claims, where working parents get a contribution from government. For up to £10k of our yearly childcare bill, the government will contribute a fifth. But many people who were on the old scheme aren’t switching because they’d be worse off. Only 3% of families have voluntarily switched to the new scheme.
Extra childcare benefits
If you're changing employers or have a new child, the new scheme could be your only choice. But some employers offer childcare as a benefit alongside salary. When you're looking for work it's essential to factor in costs of childcare as part of your calculations. If you're planning to have one or more children, such a benefit can make a new role particularly attractive. It's also important to ensure that your employer has other great supports for women and families. Job-shares, career break support, lactation rooms, and strong women's networks indicate workplaces that empower women. Have a look through VERCIDA's directory of ethical employers to find your next great job today.