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Vouchers & SMP - Employer refusing to follow new rules, what redress do I have?

(10 Posts)
Tummum Thu 02-Jul-09 09:56:42

Sorry for yet another thread on this topic! My problem is that my (large) employer is refusing to follow the new rules i.e. will deduct childcare vouchers from SMP because their systems won't allow anything else.

I have blown my top at them, because this is simply not acceptable - it's not my problem that their systems are crap.

Does anyone know how I might redress this issue? I can't threaten to involve the Union because there is no Union representation at my level in the organisation, and the employee reps are worse than useless. I am planning on writing a strongly worded letter, but if they continue to refuse, what can I do??

flowerybeanbag Thu 02-Jul-09 10:12:17

What information have you provided them with Tummum. Are they refusing to believe that they cannot deduct from SMP or are they acknowledging the requirement but refusing to adhere to it.

This is HMRC's official guidance on the subject, and it is very very clear that deductions cannot be made from SMP.

Your employer will claim SMP back from HMRC so if HMRC found out they were deducting from it, they may refuse to reiumburse your employer.

I would suggest you write to your employer formally enclosing that official guidance and depending on their response, then contact the HMRC who deal with refusals to pay SMP and similar SMP disputes.

Tummum Thu 02-Jul-09 12:19:45

Thanks Flowery. They have acknowledged their responsibilities, but their systems haven't been changed to support this. I will write to them formally, enclosing the HMRC guidance and clarifying what I expect to happen this month, and if they still refuse get onto HMRC.

Thanks for the guidance.

abcmum Thu 02-Jul-09 13:35:06

As flowery says first step is to raise a grievance in writing. Your claim is for Unlawful deduction of wage - make reference to this legislation too.

firsttimemama Wed 08-Jul-09 19:58:21

I can understand your frustration Tummum. I don't have a answer for you but get this, my employer a massive high street bank is refusing to accept that they have to cover the childcare costs. They say they are not interpreting the rules to say that they have to. How bad is that?

Tummum Thu 09-Jul-09 22:42:52

Hi Firsttimemama, mine is also a high street bank - might be the same place !

The good news is that I wrote to them on Monday, enclosing the guidelines and quoting Unlawful Deduction of Wage and they called me today to say it is all sorted. So thanks very much Flowery and abc for your help. The good news is that it will also be sorted for others in the same position who were not aware of the new regulations or who didn't shout about it.

firsttimemama Sun 26-Jul-09 10:03:23

That's great news for you Tummum I'm glad you got it sorted. I doubt we work for the same firm as their stances seem to be different but I work for the one that gives you Xtra - now of course owned by the black horse one - if you do work for them I will have to get back in touch with them as I had already written and given them copies of the guidelines and they still say they are not interprepting that they have to pay for the vouchers when OMP expires.

normalnermal Mon 21-Sep-09 23:14:35

Hi all!
Know I am a bit late in this discussion but heard today that employers can't make salary sacrifice deductions for childcare whilst on maternity leave so wanting to find out more before going back to my employer (wanted to know what I was talking about!) and challenging it. Am bit confused by it all to be honest! Can anyone help? Ta.

flowerybeanbag Mon 21-Sep-09 23:19:06

See my link in the second post in this thread normalnermal. Employers must continue to provide vouchers but cannot deduct from SMP. If you get paid more than SMP your employer can deduct from the extra, but they are not allowed to deduct from SMP itself.

Give them the guidance I linked to.

MrsDenning Fri 16-Oct-09 15:23:58

Just to play devils advocate. Agree re HMRC guidance but this is not binding on an employment tribunal. My own view is that it was not the intention of parliament when the scheme was introduced that it would have this effect i.e. CCV would have to be paid throughout maternity leave. And in some ways it is a great shame that CCV (apparently) do have to be paid throughout maternity leave as many employers may be wary of offering the scheme because of the HMRC guidance.
Very harsh on small employers who want to help their staff pay to afford childcare, staff member sacrifices salary and gets vouchers. It seems harsh that the employer has to pay CCV when there is no salary, i.e. on maternity leave.
Agree, employer cannot deduct from SMP, this is without doubt unlawful.
Query whether a tribunal would find it unlawful for an employer to refuse to pay CCV during maternity leave.
It remains to be seen what a tribuna/a court's view would be.

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