Hatching Dragons – Workplace Nursery Scheme

Headline Date 03-11-2022

Workplace Nursery Scheme

The workplace nursery scheme is a staff benefit that sees employers pay childcare and nursery fees on behalf of their employees, and they do so out of the gross wages / income of the staffer, reducing the amount of taxable income HMRC can levy for both employers NICs and the employee’s PAYE. They’ve calculated that you’d saved some of our families at our City of London branch almost £10k p.a. in tax savings, which is hugely useful during a time of economic uncertainty and spiralling inflation.

Benefits to employers

The benefits for employers, outside of NICs savings, is that they are offering a huge incentive to return to the office: our nurseries are located conveniently near Victoria; in the heart of the City of London; and adjacent to the Canary Wharf, so are perfectly situated to provide care for busy working professionals – and if the employer is providing them with an option to decrease their childcare costs / increase their tax savings, all the better. Hatching Dragons working with the City of London Corporation to raise awareness of this – desk occupancy is at a lowly 1.5 days/ week and they are looking at all strategies to encourage staff to return to work – this is one of them: employers should treat this as a retention / acquisition strategy, as well as a way of reducing costs.

Who offers the scheme / how is it managed?

The scheme is offered by Enjoy Benefits, a staff benefit provider, to which we are a provider of workplace nursery services, and so any employer who wants to take the programme forward will need to register with Enjoy Benefits to provide the facility to their staff.

Isn’t it the same as childcare vouchers / tax free childcare?

It is really important for both employee and employer to know that this is different to tax free childcare and / or childcare vouchers, which were discontinued in favour of tax free childcare some years ago now. Tax free childcare will see parents pay the nursery from their tax free childcare account, capping the taxable subsidy to £2k annually, which, in comparison to the Workplace Nursery Scheme, is deficient by a factor of £000s. So you cannot use both – workplace nursery sees the employer pay, and tax free childcare sees the parent pay, but the former secures significantly higher tax savings.

Can it be used with 15 / 30 hours funding?

Yes – you can also use it with the 30 hours / 15 hours free entitlement when the child becomes eligible (typically aged 3 yrs), which means they will secure a subsidy payable by the local authority for the 15 or 30 hours provision on top of the tax savings. The combination of the two can see fees reduce by upwards of 50%.

How can I find out more?

Interested parties can book in time in the Hatching Dragons diary via this booking link or register an interest via their dedicated landing page here . 

Employers who ultimately want to set up the facility will have to register with Enjoy Benefits, the staff benefit provider who manages the facility on our behalf. Employers can get in touch and find out more via their website .

You can also find out more on www.hatching-dragons.com


What we’re trying to do…

I’m particularly keen to get this out to employers across Victoria BID and would welcome any advice from the LEAP / BID team as to how we can get this in front of Pensions & Benefit Directors of the established companies in the vicinity. Like I said, desk occupancy is 1.5 days / week nationwide and 1.7 / week in London – senior management should have a vested interest (as should the council and key stakeholders such as the BID) to get people back to work. They’ve tried the stick with mandating 3 days / week – I think it’s time we did a bit of carrot and provided them with on site support in the areas they care about – childcare is one of the biggest costs working parents have to bear and so if there is a way to a) reduce the cost b) make the discounted provision only available near work c) provide tax savings that can be redeployed into escalating mortgage repayments – that is clearly of interest and employers who do so will be seen to be acting on their staff’s principal concern.


Ideally I’d like this offer to be circulated on company intranets and staff newsletters to maximise awareness – again, would take your recommendation as to how to achieve


What we can do…

We have the ability to collect children from the BID centre – we have large electronic baby buggies that carry 6-9 children at a time so can always arrange morning collections from offices if they have sufficient numbers of staff who have children attending our school. Something that maximises the ease for the parent / staffer so I’d be happy to talk through the logistics of such an operation with employers on a case by case basis.

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