Work had told me they won't pay me ccv whilst on mat leave, I emailed them to say as salary sacrifice I believe my vouchers are a non cash benefit and should continue and quoted HMRC guidelines about continuous payment. Also told them if they tried to take payment after I return it could be counted as discrimination linked to my mat leave.
Another email from payroll has been received copied in to the Head of HR professional services basically saying
Hr have confirmed the Organisation stance as per the policy they have written and as im on SMP if i want to continue receiving CCV the salary sacrifice arrangement will temporarily cease and I WILL have to pay for the childcare vouchers by other means whilst on m/l But an interest free loan is available to cover the cost of ccv during the period. Alternatively, i can stop receiving vouchers until i return to work.
Help - Where do I go next, I have to respond by Wednesday or they'll automatically stop them.
Is there any wording that can be written in the policy which prevents them from paying them?
No. No employer can put something in a policy or contract that gets them out of legal obligations.
I would suggest writing saying that you have no intention of coming out of the scheme, and if they cease providing your contractual benefit of childcare vouchers during your maternity leave you will be raising a grievance for maternity-related discrimination.
This really isn't a grey area, despite the fact that employers would like it to be.
My work tried that too. I phoned HMRC who kindly explained to them that they were mistaken. I also threatened a grievance. Eventually I got my vouchers (and the money they wrongly deducted from my SMP back)
You need to raise a grievance Pootle. In the grievance you need to point out that the Equality Act and HMRC rules state that non cash benefits must be provided throughout maternity leave, and that deductions cannot be made from SMP.
They have confirmed that the organisation has a policy of breaching the law, meaning their policy is to discriminate against women on maternity leave, and through this grievance you are requesting a reversal of this policy of discrimination in order to avoid the necessity of bringing a tribunal claim.
I can confirm that Flowery's advice is correct. I have recently taken on responsibility for a salary exchange scheme and this is not a grey area of the law at all. Indeed, if you receive other benefits e.g. PMI cover for your family then your employer needs to be meeting the cost of all of those.
My employer used to be confused about this too, it isn't any longer.
The pension is slightly different but largely comes down to whether your employer classes it as a cash or a non-cash benefit.
Can I ask - do you make your pension contributions through your salary sacrifice scheme too? If so under salary sacrifice all contributions are classed as employer contributions and therefore, once any enhanced occ mat pay has been exhausted (your employer can deduct from that) your employer should make both your contributions and the employer contributions for the duration of your mat leave.