Childcare vouchers and maternity leave

(6 Posts)
cowbag1 Tue 10-Oct-17 23:12:15

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of using childcare vouchers whilst on maternity leave?

I work for the NHS and have been using their childcare voucher scheme (provided by Computershare) for ds1's nursery fees. I was buying the full amount available every month (it comes out of your pay automatically once you're in the scheme, like tax). I then went on mat leave with ds2 and continued buying the vouchers using my statutory and occupational mat pay so ds1 could stay in nursery. I was fully expecting for this to stop after 9 months as my last 3 months of mat leave have been unpaid.

However, the nursery recently told us that we're in substantial credit with them. I've recently returned to work and checked and the payments have continued to be made to Computershare each month, even during the last 3 months when I wasn't paid anything! I received my first pay after returning in September and the payments have continued as usual (so they haven't taken extra to cover those 3 months).

Has anyone had anything like this before? I've basically got 3 free months of childcare vouchers but I'm not sure if it's a mistake or not?

OP’s posts: |
jclm Tue 10-Oct-17 23:18:12

Yes this is correct!!! Enjoy it!!! I got six months of vouchers for free on my first maternity leave as I was on SMP. Wonderful surprise windfall!

Sleepysooosleepy Tue 10-Oct-17 23:19:39

My company pays for my childcare vouchers whilst I'm claiming stat mat pay, I'd guess yours has done the same?

DoorbellsSleighbellsSchnitzel Tue 10-Oct-17 23:20:04

It's correct - it's a little known perk of the childcare voucher system. Can't remember the full ins and outs of it but yes, you have legitimately received 3 months of childcare vouchers whilst on unpaid maternity leave.

TheThickenPlots Tue 10-Oct-17 23:22:34

Yes, this is correct, they can't withdraw a non-cash benefit like this whilst on mat leave- they also can't take any money from smp for it, so you might want to check that.

prh47bridge Wed 11-Oct-17 00:35:48

It used to be the view that employers could not withdraw childcare vouchers whilst the mother was on maternity leave. However, an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision last year changed that. The EAT decided that childcare vouchers are in fact remuneration, not a non-cash benefit. As a result of this employers are no longer required to provide childcare vouchers whilst the mother is on maternity leave. They can choose to continue providing vouchers but they do not have to do so.

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