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Benefits for Working Parents

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Wondering if there are any Government benefits for working parents? If you already work or are returning after a break, you’ll be glad to know that there is help available to you on both a financial and practical level. Knowing what benefits for working parents are available can seem like a minefield, but it pays to know what you may be able to claim.

Child Tax Credit

You may qualify for Child Tax Credit if you have children under the age of 16, or under 20 and in approved education or training. Tax credits are paid for each child or young person you’re responsible for and are paid into your account either every week or every four weeks. The amount you’ll receive depends on your circumstances and earnings and you need to renew Child Tax Credits every year.benefits for working parents

Working Tax Credits

Working Tax Credits are more benefits for working parents and are available to people on low incomes. You may also be able to claim extra credit to pay for childcare costs. Again, the amount you get will depend on your income and circumstances but the basic rate is up to £1,940 a year. You have to work a certain number of hours each week to claim these Working Tax Credits. You can apply for Child and Working Tax Credits on the same form.

Flexible Working

Parents of children under 17 (or 18 with a disability) are able to request a flexible working pattern. This can be helpful for dropping off/picking up children from school or childcare or ensuring that one parent is always around to look after them. Your employer must seriously consider your request but is not legally obliged to grant it. To be eligible to request flexible working you must have been an employee for at least 26 weeks, be responsible for the child’s upbringing and show that you intend to use the time to care for your child.benefits for working parents

Parental Leave

Working parents have the right to take up to 18 weeks of parental leave per year for each child under the age of five (under 18 for children with a disability) that they are responsible for. To qualify for paternal leave you must be named on the child’s birth/adoption certificate or have parental responsibility for the child. You must also have been in continuous employment with your company for at least a year. Some employers will pay you for this time off as part of your package but you are not automatically entitled to be paid for days taken.

Funded Pre-School Places

The government funds pre-school places for children in the year before they enter Primary One. These places are available in nursery schools, primary schools with nursery classes and private playgroups and nurseries. Pre-school classes usually follow the same holidays as schools and so are run from September to June each year. Your child will usually be entitled to at least 2.5 hours of nursery education five days per week.

Help from Employers

Some companies offer employment packages that include help with childcare so it is worth checking if your employer offers any assistance. Childcare vouchers and workplace nurseries could save you a huge amount of cash without incurring any tax. Other schemes your employer might offer include giving you money to pay for childcare or paying fees directly. You will have to pay tax on help of this kind.

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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