In the 2023 Spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt started his budget speech with the good news that the UK will avoid a recession this year and that inflation is forecast to fall to 2.9% by the end of 2023, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). In a speech focusing on the need for growth and increased productivity, these are the main points.


2023 Spring Budget – Implications for your business


The 2023 Spring Budget contained three main items of particular interest to small business owners:


1) ‘Returnerships’

Have you heard about the new apprenticeship scheme called “returnerships“? It’s specifically aimed at people over 50 looking to get back into work or even retrain. The best part? These skills programs are designed to be shorter in length and more flexible, taking into account the valuable experiences that these individuals have already gained throughout their careers.

While we’re still waiting on some of the specifics, it’s expected that employers will need to think carefully about how to create an inclusive workplace for those on returnerships, including considering contractual arrangements. Overall, it’s a great initiative that could help those over 50 who are looking to make a career change or get back into the workforce.


2) Childcare Funding

The government has announced some exciting changes to childcare funding! Soon, working parents of 2-year-olds will get 15 hours of free childcare per week starting in April 2024, and parents of children from 9 months old will get 15 hours of free childcare per week from September 2024. And wait for it…from September 2025, all eligible under-5s will get a whopping 30 hours of free childcare per week!

This is fantastic news for parents who will now have more support to help them balance work and family life. Plus, it’s expected to increase the number of working parents re-entering work after having a child or allowing them to increase their working hours. This means employers can expect a wider talent pool to fill their vacancies, and who knows, it might even lead to an increase in flexible working requests.

So, if you’re a parent who currently uses a nursery, this could be a game-changer for you. You might even consider changing your working hours to fit in with the nursery hours. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for more updates on this exciting new development!


 3) Support for disabled and sick people

The government is planning to assist individuals with long-term health conditions to find, return to, and remain employed. They have allocated a fund of £400 million for those who had to leave work due to mental health issues or physical problems such as back pain. Additionally, they will introduce a new voluntary employment program called Universal Support, which aims to help disabled people get back into the workforce.

The government will probably focus more on employers making reasonable accommodations during the hiring process and at work and ensuring their policies and practices reflect current equality standards.


Need more information?

You can access our Tax-Free Childcare guide below, and if you need any further advice about the 2023 Spring Budget and small businesses you can book a call with us here. 

Tax Free Childcare Guide - Kate Underwood HR
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