A new Government tax-free childcare scheme, which could encourage more nurses back to work after maternity leave, has been welcomed by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) and Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA).
The Government plans to introduce the scheme next year. Full details have not been announced, but it would apply to households where two parents are working and paying for registered childcare.
BVNA president Kirstie Shield said it intended to carry out “extensive membership research,” including on the factors affecting whether VNs stayed in the profession.
She said: “The introduction of tax-free childcare would go some way in encouraging VNs to return to work following maternity leave, ensuring that skills and experience are retained.”
VPMA president Helen Sanderson said the scheme would help both employees and employers.
“Many small and medium-sized practices are put off offering the current childcare voucher scheme due to administration time and costs,” she said. “This will give another option without the associated burden of administration on the practice.
“Also, by lowering eligibility to those earning £50 or more per week, it will help to encourage a return-to-work following maternity leave, particularly from vets and nurses seeking a gradual return or part-time working.”
Ms Shield said it was important that VNs taking a career break continued CPD to keep up-to-date.
“We know CPD budgets and support for VNs varies across the profession,” she said. “Members should explore the CPD guidance page on the RCVS website to see the many ways in which CPD can be undertaken.
“Any activity undertaken in order to further professional competence as part of a planned development programme can be counted towards your CPD.”