Recruitment firm offers employees $40,000 to boost ECEC access
The Sector > Workforce > Recruitment firm offers $40,000 in funding to support employees with ECEC

Recruitment firm offers $40,000 in funding to support employees with ECEC

by Freya Lucas

March 20, 2024

Recruitment firm u&u has attracted attention for its recent announcement that it will offer its employees a $40,000 ‘childcare perk’ to support them to return to full time employment sooner. 


u&u is offering up to $10,000 per child, each year for up to four years to ensure that its employees are able to return to full time employment as soon as they are ready. 


Managing director of u&u Craig Sneesby said the incentive will be treated as an expense, so it will not impact employees from a tax perspective, and it will also not limit their eligibility for programs and subsidies at a Governmental level. 


u&u has 120 employees, and Mr Sneesby anticipates the program will benefit 38 children. The firm was inspired to create the incentive after watching the staff and candidates u&u works with increasingly struggle to afford early childhood education and care (ECEC). 


“They’re having to weigh up whether to return to the workplace … trying to balance the cost of childcare (sic.) with their income, and ultimately looking at the gap between the two and trying to work out is it worthwhile to come back,” he shared with SBS.


“It led to the idea that no one is really extending their support to their family workforce beyond a strong parental leave policy, and so I thought we can well and truly be in a fortunate enough position to forge beyond the parental leave policy.”


While welcoming the measure, some advocates, including The Parenthood CEO Georgie Dent, have warned that in the long term significant reform is needed to the ECEC sector to make it “as accessible as the public school system” for families. 


u&u’s decision is the latest in an emerging trend of what is being termed “childcare-related perks” to boost an organisation’s employee value proposition (EVP), something which Lauren Anderson, a workplace expert at jobs website Indeed said also includes onsite creche services, adjusting work times to suit the needs of parents, and the use of babysitting or nannying agencies to care for children when they are unable to attend or access ECEC. 


To access the SBS coverage of this story please see here

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