I have been doing some research into childcare vouchers and want to maximise the benefits that I can get from them.
I am going on mat leave with DC2 in July. I have stopped my childcare vouchers at the moment to increase my pay to the maximum during my "qualifying period" to ensure that I get the most SMP. I plan to start them again in a couple of months. I get £200 a month.
My query is what happens when I go on maternity leave! I know that my work have to continue to provide the vouchers and that they can't deduct them from my SMP. MY OMP is not great so I think that my best plan is to start the vouchers again before I go on leave and get my normal amount.
So it would work: 6 weeks at 90% pay - childcare vouchers come out as normal 12 weeks at 1/2 pay (plus SMP) - childcare vouchers come out as normal. (thus leaving me £200 worse off then I could be each month) Then remaining time on SMP - my work would pay the vouchers? Last 3 months on nothing - my work pay the vouchers??
Is that right?
My HR dept are not being that helpful but from what I have read online this seems to be the way to get the best deal?
I have the same package as you, have just dropped to SMP and have been told to stop claiming or to pay back by other means. Fired off an email last night to payroll to tell them I believe they must pay them - quoting from the HMRC guidance and also telling them if they try and deduct money on my return they will be penalising me because of maternity leave and therefore will be dicrimating against me!
I know payroll is being run on Friday so expect a call from HR at some point.
Does your organisation state what they do when on SMP (not necessarily what should actually happen!)
Yep my HR will pay them though the phone call I had with them this morning was trying to persuade me to stop them as "most women prefer the money in their pockets"
I think this might be to avoid them having to pay them to be honest. I know that for my first few weeks of mat leave that I will be worse off then if I don't get them, but surely if I take a whole year off then overall I will be better off continuing to claim?
Most women will be better off with vouchers, unless they have a long period of enhanced maternity pay or are taking a very short maternity leave.
Don't forget SMP is 90%of pay for the first 6 weeks, so llamallama if 6 weeks at 90% is what you get before your occupational maternity pay kicks in, your employer won't be able to deduct from that bit either. Only from the 12 weeks at 1/2 pay bit.
Flowery, my understanding from my HR department was that they used the same period to calculate what you were entitled to during maternity as the government did when calculating the SMP at 90% ie if you stopped vouchers during the qualifying period to maximise SMP as OP has done, your company could also not pay vouchers during the SMP only period (I assume the same rule would apply if you eg stopped and started a company car in the same way).
There is no qualifying period for benefits while on maternity leave. The qualifying period is something defined for calculating SMP. Contractual benefits should continue as if the woman was still at work, which basically means whatever her benefits package is at the date she starts her leave, should be maintained.