As I write this, we are into the last few days of summer and this time of year always makes me think of back to school and new starts, even though it’s been a long time since I was sewing name labels into clothes and will be a while yet before my grandson needs a school uniform.

So, for this month’s blog, I thought I’d take a look at a couple of aspects of back to school – ongoing training for you or your employees, and support for childcare costs.

Continuous Professional Development

Otherwise known as CPD, regular training and updates are a mandatory requirement for some professions and something worthwhile and productive for others. I myself do regular CPD to ensure I’m always up to date with the latest payroll legislation and as part of my Membership of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

CPD in itself won’t have an effect on your payroll although you may be able to claim tax relief for the cost (as would someone who is self-employed). But being flexible around CPD in terms of allowing time off for study or exams, creating a supportive environment and structuring work to allow for real-time experiences will all be beneficial to your employee and make them more likely to stay on once their study is completed. Your business will also benefit from enhanced workplace skills and possibly more services you can offer clients and customers.

Help with childcare costs

With the summer holidays nearly over and life getting back to normal soon, many families will be getting back into a pattern of school, work and childcare. So we thought an update on support available to help pay for childcare might be useful.

Working parents (including those on parental leave, holiday or sick leave) can qualify for tax-free childcare; for every £8 the family pays into their childcare account, the government will contribute £2. The money can be used to pay for afterschool clubs and playschemes as well as childminders and nurseries.

There are some limits and qualifying criteria for tax-free childcare and more information can be found here:

A contribution towards childcare can also be made if the parents are receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits. Click the links for more information about how to check eligibility and apply.

The pre-school years have some specific tailored support. Parents and caregivers on selected benefits can get free education and childcare for 2 year olds. All 3 and 4 year olds receive 15 hours per week of free childcare with an approved childcare provider and some families can get 30 hours per week.

More information about childcare support for 2-4 year olds can be found here:

We hope you have had a good summer and have been able to enjoy some relaxing time away from work. Get in touch if you have any queries about payroll or want to start the new term afresh by asking me to manage your payroll for you.