As I write this, it is raining for the first time in weeks, which can mean only one thing – the school summer holidays are about to start! And for us here in Cornwall, it also means we are braced and ready to welcome all the holidaymakers who have chosen our lovely county for their annual getaway (the sun’s going to come out tomorrow, we promise!).

But the school summer holidays can be a tricky time for parents trying to juggle work, managing holiday days and keeping up with admin at the same time as having the children home from work. It can be an expensive time too, with extra activities to pay for and even for some families, the cost of extra meals can have a significant impact on the family budget.

But there are ways employers can help their employees navigate the school holidays and have a summer to remember.

Tax-free childcare is a government scheme that allows working parents with children aged 0-11 to apply for up to £2,000 per child per year to spend on qualifying childcare. The money doesn’t have to be spent on everyday childcare costs; it can be put towards holiday clubs, summer camps and play schemes. It is not paid through the payroll but has to be claimed directly and then spent with providers who are registered on the scheme. Not everyone who is entitled to tax-free childcare is currently claiming it so it is worth mentioning it to your employees if you think it’s something they might find beneficial.

In our May blog, we wrote about how everyone, even temporary seasonal workers, are entitled to holiday pay. Part of our payroll work with our clients means we ensure they are all complying with the legislation and pay the correct amount of holiday pay to their employees but do ask us if you are unsure that your payroll is correct. While it’s great that more employees and workers will be able to enjoy some time off with their families, it does present a challenge to employers in managing rotas. Try to plan your rotas as early as possible and aim to be as flexible as you can when dealing with holiday requests. There’s also a bank holiday to account for before the schools go back, so it would be worth planning for that now if your business can get busy over the long weekends.

The summer is a busy time for a lot of our clients but here at Pixie Payroll we will be on hand throughout to help them ensure there is no interruption to the regular payroll and that everything is calculated correctly. We’ll also be working with them as they add seasonal staff to the payroll and manage weekly or monthly variations in the amounts paid.

But once all that’s done, you’ll find us on the beach!