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Childcare vouchers during SMP

(13 Posts)
HellHathNoFury Mon 29-Jun-09 12:46:19

Hi All,

I hope this hasn't been done to death, I did a search...!

As I understand it, after October 2008 employees receiving Childcare vouchers will continue to get them during lower rate SMP, but paid for by the employer (in a nutshell).

I start mat leave next week and called HR to see what's going on with this new legislation, and they told me that they would be cancelled for this period.

I said you can't do that - it's the law as I understand it - and HR responded with 'we will pass your query to the Policy team as there is nothing we can tell you'.

I work for a huge company and I would have thought they would have been well aware of the new legislation for some time, and would be all ready with policies, wordings etc, and I said the same to them - should I seek legal advice if it is required? Do I have a leg to stand on?
Are there any documents out there I can forward to them?

I also found this on the HR blurb intranet "Employees with an EWC on or after the 5 October 2008 are entitled to the benefit of their terms and conditions of employment, with the exception of salary, during both OML and AML. "

I am not brilliant at these things but it looks to me like yes, I will continue to get vouchers during SMP?? I wonder why they said no... <confused>

rubyslippers Mon 29-Jun-09 12:48:38

yes you should still receive them

I am going on Mat leave from Sept 09 and i will continue to receive them

i will see if i can find anything for you

StealthPolarBear Mon 29-Jun-09 12:50:20

Yes, afaik you are right, but it's fairly recent and so I'm not surprised HR depts haven't heard of it. I cancelled mine, but was expecting a fight to get them if I didn't!

mrsjammi Mon 29-Jun-09 12:50:20

Message withdrawn

StealthPolarBear Mon 29-Jun-09 12:50:55

and yes, I think your HR blurb is the relevant bit -it's to do with not taking away benefits while on ML

mrsjammi Mon 29-Jun-09 12:51:17

Message withdrawn

HellHathNoFury Mon 29-Jun-09 12:57:04

Mrsjammi we may well work for the same one grin

I found the huge thread and did a search through. From what I can see I AM entitled but I was worried about putting up a fight, I felt I needed to be 'educated'!

mumof2222222222222222boys Mon 29-Jun-09 13:16:26

You should be entitled to it. I am in house lawyer for a biggish company, and pursuading HR that we needed to comply with law was one thing...and then trying to convince the powers that be that we should carry on with salary sacrifice vouchers for all (and not just bin it for all in favour of cost saving) was another.

Keep at it Hell!

HellHathNoFury Mon 29-Jun-09 13:26:17

Thanks mumof222*boys grin

I have plenty of time to sort it out, as I am not due to start SMP til next year or something - but what should I do if they DON'T pay?

hindsightisgreat Mon 29-Jun-09 15:19:31

Sorry to gate crash this thread but i REALLY need some help & don't know what to do

I've been working for the same employer for 8 years, started of as full time but moving to part-time when my son was born in Feb '05. Since i returned to work part time (4 years ago) my son has attended nursery & i've taken part in the company busybee childcare voucher scheme.

I told my boss at the begining of Jan this year that i was expecting again & baby was due 13/07/09. Didn't think anything more of it.

Anyway, done all the usual MAT1B form etc & told them that i would like SMP to start from 1st June & take my accrued a/l at the end of my maternity leave so i would affectively return at the begining of April '10.

Had NO contact from HR re advice/guidance on implications of childcare vouchers whilst on SMP etc so blindly believed i would get 90% of my FULL monthly salary for the first 6 weeks then the standard SMP rate of £123 per wk for the remaining 33 weeks etc.

So you can imagine my shock when i rec'd my June pay packet to see that they've paid me FAR less than i expected because of the childcare vouchers. Basically because of that i'm going to be £35 a week worse of for the WHOLE of my maternity leave.

Having now researched this i see that they are right in that they have to work it out on my salary AFTER my childcare vouchers have been deducted not BEFORE. However my argument is that at no point did anyone in HR advise me on this - had i of known this i would have come out of the childcare voucher scheme for the 2 months qualifyng period to ensure i got the full amount i was expecting.

I sent my boss & my HR department an email last week to say how disappointed i was at their lack of advice & guidance on this issue & how i am now considerably out of pocket because of it.

Today i've had a reply from HR which in a nutshell says tough luck! They say their calculations are correct & the implications of childcare vouchers on SMP is mentioned in the childcare scheme 'pack' that i would have received on joining the scheme. May i remind you that i joined the voucher scheme 4 years ago so how am i expected to remember this?!

I've sent another email to my boss just now to say again how dissappointed i am at the Companys lack of help with this & how i feel i have been let down by them.

I'm so upset by this whole saga & can't stop crying - i don't know how we're going to cope financially for the next 9 months. I'm 38 weeks pregnant & the last thing i need is the extra worry of un-expected financial loss.

By the way, they did at least advise me that whilst i was getting SMP they would pay my childcare costs (as mentioned on previous threads). Unfortunately (!) in June i got paid my annual bonus for the year Apr '08 to Apr '09 so as this was considered 'normal' pay & not SMP they still deducted my childcare voucher (my bonus was £243.84 & my childcare voucher is £243 so i got the grand total of 84p of my bonus). I will at least get my July & Aug vouchers paid for me (son starts school in Sept) but even taken that into account i will still be £35 a week worse of.

Sorry to rant on but felt i needed to give you the whole picture & was just wondering if there is ANYHTING i or my employers are able to do to rectify this? They've already told me that they can't use their 'discretion' when working out SMP but i'm not so sureangry.

Any advice really would be appreciated.....

HellHathNoFury Mon 29-Jun-09 15:24:22

Hi Hindsight

I don't have advice - I am no expert in these things - but I think you might want to copy and paste your post into a separate thread, I have no problem with the gatecrash whatsoever but you are in a terrible situation and I think maybe you will get more responses that can help?
What a mess for you
I hope that someone can help you I really do

hindsightisgreat Mon 29-Jun-09 15:32:10

Hi hun - thanks for that, good point. I'll start a new thread x

bitofadramaqueen Mon 29-Jun-09 17:23:47

As the law stands at the moment you will be entitled to have your salary sacrifice vouchers paid for as long as you are in receipt of statutory maternity pay. However, it is worth noting that the Government is looking at the issue of salary sacrifice and statutory pay. The legislation was introduced to stop women losing benefits while on maternity leave, not necessarily about giving free childcare vouchers. In light ofthe legislation, many employers are thinking twice about providing childcare voucher salary sacrifice schemes altogether, which is kind of an unintended consequence of law that was supposed to help women on mat leave.

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