Employers including BT, IBM, John Lewis and KPMG have called on the government to provide a tax break on care vouchers in order to help staff balance their work and caring responsibilities.
Sally David, BT’s carers champion and CEO of BT Wholesale, has written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling on behalf of other employers, urging the government to extend tax breaks to include care vouchers. These could then be used to buy a host of services that older and disabled people say they need, including extra home care, home repairs, chiropody and other preventative services.
The letter stated: “Our reasons for supporting this proposal are both economically sound and community-minded. We feel that, as is the situation with new parents, employers and government have a duty to support individuals in this way. However, we also recognise that demographic changes are creating the need to find innovative ways to support staff with their caring roles – older and female workers in particular.”
The Campaign for Care Vouchers is supported by a broad range of organisations including Ford UK, HBOS Group, HSBC and KPMG. Neil Sherlock, partner in public affairs at KPMG, said: “Care vouchers would provide flexibility and choice for carers, helping them to arrange extra care and support for their relatives. We believe the scheme would deliver real benefits to employers, increasing productivity, reducing absenteeism and improving staff morale. We strongly urge the government to implement the scheme as soon as possible.”