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Apple and Facebook are now offering to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs!
The initiative is part of the so-called “perks arms race” as Silicon Valley firms battle to recruit top talent and it is hoped the perk will attract more women into a traditionally male-dominated sector. (Sky News)
Fertility specialist Philip Chenette is quoted as saying “providing egg-freezing coverage for employees can be viewed as a type of payback for women’s commitment in a male-dominated industry where technology firms are often competing to attract female talent” (NBC News)
The cost for egg freezing in the US is about $10,000 (£6,200) for every round, as well as $500 or more for storage each year.
Apple also offer assistance with adoption.
Will UK companies soon be offering this perk?
It’s P11D time, but have you considered giving your employees benefits in kind that are tax free, here are some to choose from:
- Pensions – Up to £40k can be paid in to you pension schemem by your employer (2014/15) and you can use carry forward to pay in even more
- Childcare – Up to £55 per week but check the rules to makesure your childcare complies (HMRC Leaflet IR115)
- Mobile Phone – One per employee
- Lunch – Tax Free Lunch Blog
- Cycle Schemes – Cycle to Work Blog
- Fitness – Fitness Blog
- Parties and Gifts – Christmas Blog
- Parking – Parking Blog
- Business Mileage Allowance – 45p for the first 10,000 miles then 25p
- Long Service Award – A bit restrictive as you need 20 years service, the tax free amount is £50 x the number of years
- Eye Tests and Spectacles – The Eye Test must be needed under the Health & Safety at Work Act
- Suggestion Schemes – Suggestion Scheme Blog
- Insurance such and Death in Service and Income Protection – Medical Insurance Blog
- Travel Expenses – Travel Blog
- Working From Home – Working from Home Blog
The Government wants to help working families and currently if you are an employee your employer can help with childcare and could for example buy childcare vouchers of up to £55 per week, the vouchers would be a tax free benefit to the employee. However, if you’re self employed you aren’t an employee so the rules don’t apply.
So recently there has been a consultation on what should be be done in the future.
The key proposals are:
- New Scheme to go live in Autumn 2015
- Working Families will open Voucher Accounts (self employed or employed)
- As parents pay in the government tops up the account with 20p for every 80p paid in
- Top up capped at £1,200
- To be eligible all parent must work and not receive tax credits or be an additional rate tax payer
The chart below shows how it should work: