Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Keep the Sporting Legacy Alive with a Cycle to Work Scheme

Olympic fever has hit businesses all over the UK.  Since the start of the Games, sports clubs and venues have seen a rise in the numbers of people making enquiries and taking part in sports such as hand ball, gymnastics and BMX.

As well as raising interest in less well-known sports, the fantastic medal haul from UK 2012 cyclists on both track and road, making riders such as Victoria Pendleton, Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Armistead household names, have inspired British workers to join Cycle to Work employee benefit schemes and keep on pedalling once the Games are over.

The Cycle to Work scheme is a HMRC-approved employee benefit which has been designed to allow organisations to offer employees the opportunity to purchase new bicycles and equipment worth up to £1000.  Operated as a salary sacrifice scheme, employees make tax and National Insurance savings as well as saving up to 50% on new bicycles and equipment.

JohnWoodward, MD of Busy Bees Benefits said:
“Organisations opting to run a Cycle to Work scheme can improve the health and fitness of their employees which will help to improve staff morale and physical and mental health.  Implementing this scheme can help to reduce congestion and parking issues, especially for those organisations in busy cities and towns.  Not only will supplying employees with new bicycles and equipment benefit staff, employers can also make National Insurance savings up to £138 per employee on the scheme.  Offering this valuable employee benefit can improve your competitive advantage as an employer, making you an employer of choice, attracting quality and skilled staff.”

For more information about Cycle to Work, call 0330 333 9100 or visit http://www.busybeesbenefits.com/cycle/

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Superscrimp with Busy Bees Benefits

Did you see Superscrimpers last night (8th August)? Mrs Moneypenny looked at how to save money on the cost of childcare and explained how childcare vouchers work. 

Are you a working parent inspired by the programme? Are you now thinking of using childcare vouchers? You could be a superscrimping champ if you take childcare vouchers from Busy Bees Benefits as you will also receive free access to retail discounts for use at high street shops, restaurants and attractions, helping you to save even more money, as well as up to £933 a year by using your childcare vouchers! Ask your employer about childcare vouchers and ask them if they provide a scheme.

As part of the UK’s largest childcare provider, we also offer emergency childcare if your current provider lets you down, plus 5% added to the value of your vouchers if you use them at a Busy Bees nursery.

Are you an employer considering offering a childcare voucher scheme or thinking of changing your provider? The retail discounts are available free to those using the online account for Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers, including the scheme administrator and childcare providers.

Busy Bees is also campaigning to save you even more. The amount of childcare vouchers a working parent can claim each week has been capped at £55 since 2006. Our Mind the Gap, Raise the Cap”campaign aims to raise this to £75 so that you can save even more on the cost of childcare and keep pace with rising costs. Sign our e-petition now to support the campaign and help make childcare more affordable.

If you would like to know more, call 0330 333 9100.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Never a Better Time to Introduce a Childcare Voucher Scheme

Family finances are under more pressure now than in the last nine years. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that people had less disposable income after tax in the first quarter of 2012 than at any other time since 2003. Due to the recession, many businesses have had to take steps such as freezing pay and families have suffered from rising prices, particularly for expenses such as childcare.

At the same time the Department for Education has released figures showing that due to rises in the birth rate since 2010, numbers of children in maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools started increasing in 2010 and are projected to continue to rise. By 2020, numbers are forecast to be 18% higher than in 2012, reaching levels last seen in the 1970s. The total headcount of pupils aged under 5 in maintained nursery and state-funded schools is projected to reach a peak of 1.08 million in 2019, a 13% change on 2012. This rise does not take into account the numbers in privately run childcare.

With disposable income falling and the birth rate rising, businesses need to look at ways of rewarding staff whose incomes have effectively dropped and ensure they encourage skilled workers who have become parents back into work.

Childcare vouchers are the perfect way to achieve this. Parents can join a childcare voucher scheme, offered through their employer, to exchange part of their salary for childcare vouchers.  Savings are made as vouchers are non-taxable and National Insurance exempt. Childcare voucher users can currently save up to £933 per year. As well as helping parents to return to work by making childcare more affordable, working parents feel more valued and are able to make work pay. Businesses retain and attract trained staff and also benefit financially. If an employee takes the full amount of vouchers (currently £55 per week or £243 per month), a business can save over £400 per year per employee in employer National Insurance contributions.

What’s more, a campaign is underway which will help to address the issues of decreasing income and increasing numbers of parents in the workforce. The amount a parent can sacrifice from their salary in exchange for childcare vouchers has not changed since 2006 and so childcare vouchers have effectively been devalued.  Busy Bees Benefits’ ‘Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap’ campaign aims to persuade the Government to increase the weekly limit from £55 to £75. Raising the cap will increase the annual savings a parent can make by more than £300. The benefits for businesses will rise to a maximum saving of almost £550 per employee per year. At the centre of the campaign is an e-petition which has already attracted nearly 13,000 signatures. The aim is to get the cap increased in line with the 2013 Budget.

John Woodward, MD of Busy Bees Benefits said: “There are so many reasons for businesses to offer a childcare voucher scheme, it’s hard to believe there are so many businesses that still don’t have one. It’s quick and easy to set up, improves the morale and the pockets of working parents and saves employers money both directly and indirectly - from tax on salaries and by improving staff morale and retention. Our campaign aims to preserve the value of this benefit to help make childcare more affordable for working parents.” 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Win Sports Equipment Worth £250

The Olympics has us all interested in sports and getting fit.  Children will want to copy athletes and re-create Olympic sports with their friends at home and at school.  Encouraging children to participate in sports will not only keep them fit and healthy, it will also help to use up some of their energy, whilst helping to stimulate their brains and improve their concentration.

To celebrate the 2012 Olympics, Busy Bees Benefits are giving parents the opportunity to win £250 worth of sports equipment for their child’s school, nursery or childcare setting. 

Simply ‘like’ us on Facebook and ‘like’/’comment’ any post about the competition
or ‘follow’ and ‘retweet’ us on Twitter to be entered into a prize draw. 

The competition will close on the 31st August 2012 and the winner will be drawn at random on Monday the 3rd September and notified via Facebook, on this page and on Twitter.

Busy Bees Benefits will send the winners sports equipment to their child’s school, nursery or other childcare setting within 2 weeks of being announced.  Arrangements to be made with the school, nursery or setting for delivery.

Terms and Conditions
Entrants can enter on both Facebook and Twitter.  The winner will be notified directly on Facebook and/or Twitter and will have 4 weeks to respond.  If the winner does not respond within this time another winner will be selected at random.

About Us
Busy Bees Benefits are a childcare voucher and other benefits provider. 
Childcare Vouchers are a government-initiated employee benefit scheme for working parents to save money on the cost of childcare.  Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for any registered childcare for children up to the age of 16. They operate as a salary sacrifice scheme which is available via employers allowing parents to sacrifice up to £55 per week for childcare vouchers.  Childcare vouchers are tax free and national insurance exempt, saving working parents up to £933 per year on the cost of their childcare.
For more information visit www.busybeesbenefits.com or click here to go to our childcare voucher guide.

Do you want to save more?
We are currently campaigning to increase the cap allowance from £55 to £75 per week which would increase savings to more than £1200 per parent, per year.

Help us to help you save more by signing our e-petition.

For more information visit our campaign page on our website.