Childcare vouchers whilst on maternity leave

(11 Posts)
MrsCobes44 Wed 23-Jan-13 13:58:03

Hi

I would be grateful for your help/ advice if you can about childcare vouchers. I work part time and I am expecting baby no 2 in May and I currently pay £243 per month in childcare vouchers for DS1- this is automatically taken out of my salary. I will be on statuatory maternity pay.

I called Allsave (childcare voucher provider) today to find out what my options are when I am on maternity leave but unfortunately they were not much help and referred me to the HMRC website. I've looked at the website and cannot seem to find any relevant contact numbers that I can use to talk to anyone!!

I've spoken briefly with my HR department and they advised that if I stay in the childcare voucher scheme they will deduct the £243 per month out of my statuatory maternity pay- which to be honest will leave me with very little money each month!! I've seen some articles on the net that the employer is to pay the childcare vouchers ontop of statuatory maternity pay but I can't seem to find any clear guidelines.

Does anyone have any information on this or know where/ who I can speak to to obtain advice?

Many thanks

I can't remember the details....but I recall that you CANNOT deduct out of smp, and that because it is a benefit, it needs to keep being paid. My old firm nearly stopped doing childcare vouchers when they realised this....

BranchingOut Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:58

You are correct, but as the previous poster said this can sometimes lead to employers withdrawing from the scheme altogether, sadly.

You are entitled to this, but you might want to take a hard look at your employer before you pursue it.

HMRC were quite helpful I think when we looked into it...also do some googling - various solicitors may have posted on it.

Ellypoo Wed 23-Jan-13 15:00:23

This comes up loads - look back through some previous threads for the links to the relevant guidance.

Basically, employer can't make any deductions from SMP. Nursery vouchers are a benefit, and as you continue to be employed whilst on maternity leave, they have to keep providing them - they are a non-cash benefit, when looking at the guidance.

MrsCobes44 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:08:38

Thanks very much for all your responses. I called the childcare voucher provider again and managed to get through to someone much more helpful who filled me in with all the details.

UsedToBeAPixie Thu 24-Jan-13 19:04:58

FWIW, my employer asked if I would like them stopping whilst I am in a "no-pay" situation (ie, smp only) or deducting from salary upon return from work.

Ellypoo Fri 25-Jan-13 15:28:26

I don't think that they can legally do that usedtobeapixie - maternity legislation states that all benefits other than salary are to be continued through mat leave - that includes nursery vouchers, and they can't deduct from SMP, nor can they save it up and deduct it when you return.

WidowWadman Sat 26-Jan-13 23:15:36

They can't deduct them - mine tried, was very stressful, but in the end I got my money back. (Still very grateful to MN - without the support I received on here I probably would have given up). They did try to fob me off, and I basically threatened raising a grievance and had HMRC ringing them to clarify the situation.

Don't let yourself be talked into an opt-out.

Ingy123 Tue 29-Jan-13 21:46:00

Increase the voucher amount petition....
Please sign if you are a parent or not and pass this on... the petition is at 17,051 but 100,000 signatures is needed to go to the Backbench Business Committee....
epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31669

UsedToBeAPixie Mon 11-Feb-13 23:14:14

So glad I randomly came back on this thread!! Thanks Ellypoo - I had a google and it seems my usually HR-savvy employers were about to pull a fast one. You've saved me £750 so thanks for that! gringringrin

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