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Childcare vouchers

(14 Posts)
Spindelina Wed 19-Mar-14 11:39:57

I know this has been done to death, but all the discussion in the news made me wonder and can't find this info.

As far as I understand...
- they aren't available unless you have a child.
- the cost can't be deducted from SMP but they must still be provided.
- the cost can be deducted from pay above SMP.

Scenario: Employer has a CCV scheme. Employee goes on maternity leave for first child, paid above SMP for first 6 months, then SMP. Can she choose to receive CCVs as soon as the child is born (with cost sacrificed from pay above SMP)? And if so, do they then continue to be provided for 'free' once she's on SMP?

Not trying to start a discussion about whether this is right or wrong - just curious about the ins and outs of the regulations.

dsteinway Wed 19-Mar-14 12:12:05

I was offered CCVs before my child was born but didn't take any because I thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Wish I had! You are right, once you are on SMP, CCVs cannot be deducted so it's like free money for childcare. Several of my friends pointed this out to me during my SMP and I'll be forever kicking myself for not taking advantage.

rallytog1 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:10:45

Yes, it's right. I had six months of enhanced maternity pay. I realised the situation with vouchers in my 5th month of paid maternity leave, joined the scheme in month 6, then got free vouchers for 3 months while on smp in months 7-9.

Some would say that's taking advantage - I would agree! But I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity.

Looby12 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:15:38

In order to get it paid by your employer you must have been in the scheme yourself prior to going on mat leave. Therefore they don't have to pay if it's your first child as you can't actually join the scheme until you gave a child.

Also some employers will risk not paying them for you in the hope you don't take legal action as in reality that's the only way for you to resolve it if they refuse to pay.

Looby12 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:16:09

*have not gave smile

IShallCallYouSquishy Wed 19-Mar-14 21:24:12

My employers confirmed that while I'm on SMP they will continue to provide childcare vouchers at the current level (£200pm) at their own cost.

Means my DD can still go to childminder one day a week which she loves and gives me and DS a bonding day just the two of us.

Spindelina Thu 20-Mar-14 06:14:31

Thanks all.

Looby I don't suppose you have a reference (link) for your statement that you must have been in the scheme prior to mat leave? Not saying I don't believe you - I'm sure you're right - but that's exactly the piece of info I was missing.

AuditAngel Thu 20-Mar-14 06:45:36

Unfortunately my employer did not provide me with the vouchers during my maternity leaves for DC2 or 3 so I lost out on about £1,500 of vouchers. No-one really seems to know what is supposed to happen and I am normally the guru for maternity leave/advice. I didn't know about still getting the vouchers so it didn't happen. I will however ensure my colleagues don't miss out as I did.

rallytog1 Thu 20-Mar-14 08:10:50

I haven't found a rule anywhere saying you must be in the scheme before you go on maternity leave. All ts and cs I could find for various schemes only refer to people being in the scheme before smp starts. Your employers may obviously try to dissuade you from joining while on maternity leave, but that would be discrimination.

Looby12 Thu 20-Mar-14 08:25:01

Sorry I did mean before SMP starts not mat leave. They have to give it you at the allowance you were claiming so it's worth claiming full allowance first even if you don't need it at the time as you can store it up for future use.

You can't start claiming until you have had the baby if it is your first child so it does have implications on anyone who is having their first child and only getting SMP rather than enhanced as they won't be in the scheme before SMP starts so employer doesn't have to cover payments.

Also bear in mind taking vouchers affects the amount of SMP you get as it will be calculated on the lower wage after vouches are taken off.

Spindelina Thu 20-Mar-14 10:01:34

SMP is based on your pay during pregnancy though, so not relevant for your first child - you can only claim vouchers once you have a child.

rallytog when you say 'SMP starts', I wonder if that means 'maternity pay starts' in the sense that anything above SMP is in addition to SMP rather than instead of SMP.

rallytog1 Thu 20-Mar-14 10:23:54

Sorry, yes. I meant when any enhanced maternity pay finishes. As a pp has said, if you only get smp throughout maternity leave, you probably don't get the free vouchers with your first child.

Looby12 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:25:53

This is a useful link

tp://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/sml-salary-sacrifice.pdf

Looby12 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:26:30

Try again

www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/sml-salary-sacrifice.pdf

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