Welcome reprieve for two closure-threatened HMRC nurseries

Published on Thursday, 04 October 2012 16:26
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

A campaign by PCS members and parents has won a possible reprieve for two of the eight workplace nurseries threatened with closure by HM Revenue and Customs.

Parents in Cardiff and East Kilbride have learned their on-site nursery could stay open for another three years after HMRC said it "recognised" that the majority of users were in fact departmental staff. The main reason given for closures was that most of the parents did not work for HMRC.

The union has previously criticised HMRC for a lack of information about the need for the closures and the fact parents only had 12 weeks to find alternative provision when many nurseries have long waiting lists.

HMRC has now confirmed it has offered the private company that runs the services, Bright Horizons, the chance to stay open until August 2015 and parents will be consulted in the coming days.

The nurseries are popular, affordable and of a good quality, and closing them would mean many staff having to reduce their hours, give up work or end up paying much more.

The union says organisations like HMRC should be leading by example in providing affordable nursery access and will continue to campaign for others to remain open.

The other six affected workplaces are in Blackburn, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham, Salford and Wolverhampton.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is very good news for parents in Cardiff and East Kilbride and would never have happened if they had simply accepted the decision, which HMRC now accepts was flawed.

"We will continue to fight to save the other six nurseries because civil service employers should lead by example in providing good, affordable childcare near to where parents work."

Source: ©PCS

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