All work and no pay: Second earners’ work incentives and childcare costs under Universal Credit

A part-time cleaner with two children in childcare and working 25 hours a week would be £7 a week worse off than if she didn’t work at all while a part-time teacher with the same hours and childcare arrangements would be £57 a week better off under the Government’s new proposals to help working families with the costs of childcare.

All work and no pay highlights how extra support for childcare costs is skewed towards comparatively wealthier households, even among those who will qualify for universal credit. Higher earning families in universal credit will have 85 per cent of their childcare costs paid, while lower earning families will be able to recover only 70 per cent.