26 April 2016

The answer to the Nursery Funding Revocation? Flexibility

The Nursery Education Fund recently announced that, from September 2017, households with a combined income of £75,000 or more will no longer be entitled to 20 hours’ free private nursery care for their children in the year before they start school.

HR Now suggests families who are struggling with issues of costly childcare or the minefield of selecting a nanny or child minder might consider a request for flexible working. This does not have to be a permanent change but could be a one-year arrangement to tide you over until full time schooling starts.

Since September 2015, men and women in Jersey with 15 months of service with an employer have a statutory right to request flexible working to care for a dependant (child, parent or relative).

The changes can be to the hours, times or place of work. 

Some options for employees and employers to consider:

  • Hours – A temporary reduction to 25 hours a week may well reduce the combined income to below the £75k threshold and thus qualify for nursery care whilst allowing employees to cover afternoon childcare too.
  • Times – A temporary change to the times of work may allow employees to deliver part of the role in the evenings to free them up to cover the time they hoped the children would be in nursery.   
  • Place – A change in location for some of the hours in each working week – working from home could help alleviate the need for childcare.

So seize the initiative!

Informing employees of their options for caring for their families whilst continuing to work, could be in your and their best interests. Employees must apply for flexible working in writing, and explain the change and the reason. Employers must then meet to discuss and understand the request within 28 days and respond to the employee within six weeks.

To find out more, contact us at hello@hrnow.je or call us on 747559.

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