7 ways HMRC helps businesses attract and retain employees

It might feel like money only flows one way between your business and HMRC. But that’s not always the case. We give you the lowdown on seven tax breaks that will help you attract and retain employees.

1 Tax-free childcare
Once the domain of employers, tax-free childcare is now run by the government. However, that shouldn’t stop you from directing employees who need support to the scheme.

Employees can claim up to £2,000 per year per child towards childcare which includes nurseries, childminders, nannies, after school clubs and play schemes.

Advertising this important tax-free assistance will help your staff make their pay go further, return to work after maternity, paternity or adoption leave and it also means they’re more likely to stay at work too. 

2 Work-related training
Two thirds of UK employees have left their job due to a lack of training. The good news is that as long as training and related costs (like books or travel expenses) are work-related, the cost is tax and NI free.

3 Professional fees and subscriptions
In a similar vein to tax-free training, HMRC allows you to claim tax relief on fees or subscriptions to approved organisations, again, as long as they relate to an employee’s job. Refunding a few hundred pounds might not seem like a big deal, but allowing staff to claim back their professional fees casts you as an employer that supports professional development. Making your staff more likely to stay with you in the long term.

4 Help to Save
With a long period of flat real-wage growth, employees have been struggling to save. HMRC provides a number of help-to-save initiatives that give employees the convenience of workplace saving plus some handy tax breaks:

5 Save As You Earn is a monthly saving scheme that gives employees a tax-free bonus and an option to buy shares in your company at the end of the scheme

6 Share Incentive Plans are a tax efficient way to buy or receive shares in your company because employees don’t pay tax or national insurance contributions on the shares they buy

7 Help to Save is for people who receive Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit. They’ll get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over four years.

Employees only receive bonuses after paying into each programme after several years so these savings schemes can act as a retention tool.

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