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The Chancellor has delivered his spring budget and with a primary focus on getting Britain back into work, providing many points for employers and HR to consider:
Reducing childcare costs to support working parents
It was announced that 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of nine months with working parents would be available by September 2025, and introduced in phases:
- April 2024: 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of two-year-olds.
- September 2024: 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of children aged nine months to three years.
Schools and local authorities will also be funded to increase wraparound care and therefore tackle the barriers caused by the current limited availability for parents of school-age children.
‘Universal support’ scheme to help disabled into work
A new voluntary employment scheme for disabled people and those with health conditions, will be funded in England and Wales. Up to £4,000 per person will be invested to support 50,000 people per year to find a “suitable role to cater to their needs”.
More support for occupational health to keep people in work
The Chancellor revealed a £406m plan to tackle health issues keeping people out of work – with a particular focus on mental health, musculoskeletal conditions and cardiovascular disease.
Apprenticeships for over 50s
The government will launch a new type of apprenticeship for the over 50s: The “Returnerships” will refine existing skills programmes to make them more accessible to older workers.
Keep the highly skilled in work by lowering pensions tax
An increase in the pensions tax-free annual allowance from £40,000 to £60,000 to incentivise highly skilled workers to stay in work was announced. Meanwhile, the lifetime allowance charge will be removed before being abolished altogether.
Raise corporation tax to incentivise investment
The rate of corporation taxi s planned to increase from 19% to 25%. The rise will go ahead for companies with more than £250,000 in profits in April. It was stated that just 10 per cent of UK businesses would pay the full 25 per cent rate.
There will be a new “full expensing” scheme to allow every pound spent on IT equipment and machinery to be deducted in full from taxable profits.