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Au pairs and childcare vouchers(12 Posts)
Is anybody out there successfully using childcare vouchers gained by salary sacrifice to pay an au pair? I know it's theoretically possible, but none of the agencies I've been speaking to have ever managed to make it work? I'd really like to hear from you!
Can't say I've heard of anyone doing this, but in theory it should work - as long as the au-pair meets qualification and first aid training requirement of the Childcare Approval Scheme.
Would also be interested in knowing if anyone has sucessfully managed to get this to work in reality.
I am currently looking into hiring a nanny or an experienced Au pair plus and have been research the same issue for tax relief
For a nanny salary sacrifice vouchers seems a good option as it requires a nanny needs to be approved, and most are. However for an Au pair the same applies, but the problem seems to be with the criteria doesn't allow for foreign workers e.g enhanced disclosure from CRB check as most Au Pairs are not from the UK anyway. To get an Au pair Approved seem to involve a lot of investment for a possible short term service. So I am really not sure how this would work.
However I am still going ahead with nanny option as I work erratic hours as the tax relief make it a bit more affordable.
I would be interested to hear how others have done this !!!
How's that possible?
Au pairs get pocket money,not salary
Good point littleA, if the Au Pair is not an employee, can they still be paid 'pocket money' via a voucher?
In my mind, theory says yes, as Au Pair would be paid 'voucher = income' less than lower earnings limit, thus their income would not be liable to Tax and NI. I think. As I say, it's theory... not reality.
Does anyone know if the person who 'cashes' the voucher, has to be an Employee?
NannyNick,i really don't know for sure and I'm just guessing here but i would think that person cashing the childcare voucher would need to be an employee,au pair is just "an extra pair of hands"in the house,IYSWIM
The Accor childcare vouchers website (www.childcarevouchers.co.uk) clearly lists au pairs as eligible childcare for vouchers, but says that "To benefit from the Tax and National Insurance exemption they must be a registered or approved form of childcare. This means that they must hold either a current registration certificate with a URN reference number or an approval certificate with an expiry date and reference number." In the exception notes underneath it mentions that au pairs not registered with an agency can't be approved by the Care Commission in Scotland. This seems to suggest that an Au Pair registered with Nestor in the UK could be paid with salary sacrifice childcare vouchers. I currently pay my childminder with e-vouchers and the value is paid in by Accor direct to her bank account. Surely it should work, as long as the au pair is registered and has a bank account. Shouldn't it?
Au pair's pocket money is a bit of a euphemism. Its regarded as such because its normally well below inland Revenue lower earnings limits. But it is in fact pay and would be liable to tax if more than the current IR limits (I checke dthis with my tax office).
However this is not the main issue in regard to vouchers as the childcarer's tax status (as far as I can see) is irrelevant.
What matters is whether they are registered & with an au pair as defined under the Home Office rules (i.e. from a selection of overseas countries) the main problem is not just the CRB check but also the fact that if they have lived abroad for (I think- check the website for exact rules)more than 6 months in the past 5 years they need to have a CRB check equivalent from their own country - quite tricky. No one was been able to tell me what qualifies when we were going to empoloy a Slovak nanny.
After some digging I have established that all my voucher provider needs is SureStart approval and that for £99 SureStart will approve any au pair who meets their criteria ie has had a basic induction course, basic first aid training and passes police checks. There's a course nearby which is acceptable to them and costs £125. I'd be inclined to insist on all these for anybody who was going to look after my son anyway, so I'm going to press on and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted in case my experience can help others.
If anybody has anything to add, meanwhile, do post it here. Thanks!
Found the following page about Overseas Applicants on the CRB website. It lists what Overseas candidates need to bring with them from their country - typically something called a certificate of good conduct.
If the Au-Pair has their certificate of good conduct (or whatever it is called in their country - see link above) then with luck SureStart CAS can use that in place of, or as well as a CRB check.
Hi, you can't use vouchers or anything else other than money for Au Pairs as they are treated as part of the family which is why you only pay them pocket money and not a wage. Nannies are different but Au pairs you can forget about. However Au pairs are still cheaper than anyone else especially when you have 2 or 3 children to look after. But then the question is can you live with a stranger 24/7 and treat them like your own family?
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