To be concerned the 30 hours of childcare won't be open to us?

(39 Posts)
Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:38:57

My husband is self-employed in a moderately low paid role (just under national average salary) but one he loves and works hard at. He works full time hours and submits a tax return every year. I am an employee on just above the average national salary on PAYE. We are having our first baby this summer.

AIBU to be concerned that we will no longer be entitled to free childcare when our child turns 3 because we do not as a couple fit into the 'employee' category? The announcements today emphasise that both parents must be 'working' to qualify. I think this will exclude us even though my DH does work full time and so do I.

I will be quite annoyed if this is the case because it will mean missing out on the 15 hours that we are currently entitled to as it is universal.

What about SAHM? I know they don't need childcare, but many children have benefited from the social and educational aspects of the 15 hours and there is evidence that teachers have found children to be better prepared for school due to the improved access to early years education.

Already it feels like we are not entitled to very much...tax credits, paternity pay, shared parental leave....all because my husband is self-employed. I just feel that his employment status is not as respected and it pisses me off. He works hard, pays tax on time, doesn't take the micky with his expenses, declares every single penny of his earnings, and pays full NI. He would not be able to get a PAYE job in his field because they simply don't exist.

Life is already going to be harder for us compared to our friends who earn much more and live in the same expensive city, but they are PAYE so can apparently earn up to £150k and still be eligible for free childcare. I was counting on the free 15 hours to see us through to school years and have saved for childcare so I can go back full time (no choice) for up to age 3.

fiveacres Mon 01-Jun-15 15:41:13

I'm confused - if you're both working you'll both qualify, surely?

ReallyTired Mon 01-Jun-15 15:42:23

Surely you will still get the basic 15 hours as that is education and universal entitlement. Surely self employed people will get access to free childcare. Self employed people are the job makers for the rest of us.

Littlefish Mon 01-Jun-15 15:43:04

My understanding is that the 15 hours will remain universal, and it's just the additional 15 hours which will be qualified in some way. Also, only some areas will be trialling the additional hours in 2016 (not sure which ones), with the full roll out still planned for 2017.

I'm off to do a bit of research to check all of this though.

DixieNormas Mon 01-Jun-15 15:44:03

They wont stop the 15 hours funded for all children to go to nursery, as for the extra 15 hours they are bringing in who knows. If not then you wont be any worse off then everyone else has always been

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:44:14

Yes we are both working, but husband has self-employed status. I have heard that this will exclude us from being eligible since you both need to be on PAYE to qualify.

If anyone can confirm this is NOT the case, then please do say so that I am being unreasonable and worrying over nothing!

As it stands, we are not entitled to paternity or shared parental leave due to self-employed status.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Jun-15 15:45:33

Do you have a link. It seems extremely unfair to exclude self employed people. If we want our ecomony to recover we need self starters.

fiveacres Mon 01-Jun-15 15:46:55

Two working parents - wonder about one parent families.

They will probably open the 30 hours to all children but slash CTC.

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:47:04

Thank you littlefish for sharing your understanding that the first 15 hours will remain universal. The way it is being reported in the press today, it doesn't sound like that. They are reporting the "30 hours of free childcare being only for working parents". If you are right, that does make me feel better.

Unfortunately, even though you would think self-employed people are treating equally, they are not. Every benefit that is open to me as an employee is not available for my husband. We cannot therefore as a couple take advantage of shared parental leave

Littlefish Mon 01-Jun-15 15:48:23

The link below doesn't say anything about excluding self employed people - it just talks about being "in work"

From the gov.uk website

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:49:27

fiveacres don't worry one parent families are fine - will be entitled as long as that parent is in work.

Sidge Mon 01-Jun-15 15:51:28

I believe you're still entitled to tax credits if self employed, as long as you meet the criteria.

Not being eligible for paternity leave is part and parcel of being self-employed - there are pros and cons. If you want the 'perks' of being an employee then work for someone else.

Also the 'free' 15 hours childcare is termtime only, so don't count on it reducing your childcare bill substantially if working full time.

Katymac Mon 01-Jun-15 15:53:40

It averages to 22.8 over a 50 week year

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:55:50

When Rachel Reeves (Labour shadow employment minister) was on here a few weeks before election I asked her about self-employed parents and paternity rights. I know this is different to childcare, but she confirmed that following consultation, it was decided self-employed would be excluded from paternity pay and shared parental leave and agreed this was unfair but would be unlikely to change for foreseeable future.

AIBU to be concerned therefore that the new childcare arrangements will not be open to self-employed parents. At the moment, just one parent has to arrange through their work voucher scheme. How will they administer vouchers through a system whereby two parents are only eligible if they are in work? It will have to be done through PAYE/employers....I can't see a way they can administer it for self-employed people as everything is done retrospectively and by individuals.

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:57:42

There is also no one 'body' to lobby on behalf of the 'self-employed' group which is probably why their voice is not heard in these government consultations.

cogitosum Mon 01-Jun-15 15:59:43

If they keep the same criteria as they planned for tax free childcare (which would make sense) self-employed people are included. You have to earn an average of at least £50 a week.

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 15:59:58

sidge the shared parental leave is entirely different to paternity leave. I can't take advantage of it as an employee due to my DH work status and that, in my view, is unfair. I am being denied the right that exists for my fellow employees.

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 16:00:45

cogitosum I do hope that is the case! Thank you for clarfying.

Luckystar82 Mon 01-Jun-15 16:07:29

Phew, I do feel better now, thank you all. I feel much more reassured that the tax free childcare scheme includes self-employed people and the first 15 hours is likely to stay universal.

PeppermintCrayon Mon 01-Jun-15 23:19:14

"Not being eligible for paternity leave is part and parcel of being self-employed - there are pros and cons. If you want the 'perks' of being an employee then work for someone else."

Spoken by someone who has no idea how much self-employed people miss out on. Why should all those perks only be open to employees?

NoArmaniNoPunani Tue 02-Jun-15 06:22:31

DH and I are sharing parental leave and I'm self employed. This is the first I've heard that we can't do that. Can I ask where you got that information?

Iggly Tue 02-Jun-15 06:38:18

The idea of excluding self employed people is exactly why it should either be a) universal or b) the subsidy should go straight to the nurseries without parents having to claim and therefore nurseries and other providers charge less.

Stupid system.

tobysmum77 Tue 02-Jun-15 06:41:07

But don't self employed people pay less NI peppermint?

The childcare is different though. It will include self employment is my bet.

YABU I think op as someone who genuinely misses out as my youngest child starts school in 2016.

NoArmaniNoPunani Tue 02-Jun-15 06:45:17

The information I have is that as long as the self employed partner earns £390 per week in the 13 weeks running up to the birth then you can share parental leave.

YesThisIsMe Tue 02-Jun-15 06:52:23

Are you absolutely sure you can't claim the childcare element of WTC? The website just talks about "qualifying remunerative work", which I think just means that the self-employed need to be getting minimum wage (to get around the "knitted mice on ebay" pseudo-business loophole).

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