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Subsidised childcare through employer

(9 Posts)
AbeSaidYes Thu 10-Sep-15 18:09:33

Not sure if this is for legal or money or even employment but inthought I would ask here first in case there are employment lawyers here.

I have been paying for a nursery which is run by an independent company but on my work premises. Work subsidise the fees so anyone who works here gets a reduced daily rate.

I just discovered that I have been charged for bank holidays. The nursery website says they do not charge for days when the nursery is closed and specifically states bank holidays as an example.

When I asked the nursery manager she said their 'branch' is an exception because of the subsidised rate. So - I get a reduced rate through work but have to pay for several days throughout the year when I cannot actually put my child in (if. Wanted to) because they are shut.

The HR dept say they can't deal with my enquiry about this, I am going to have to write to the nursery head office I guess but wondered if this was standard when fees are subsidised as it makes no sense to me.

Perhaps I am missing what 'subsidised' means.

AbeSaidYes Thu 10-Sep-15 18:26:54

Google tells me this is pretty standard btw, to charge for bank holidays, but it irks me that the other nurseries in the chain don't charge but this one does and for very strange reasons IMO.

OllyBJolly Thu 10-Sep-15 18:31:31

Doesn't sound like this is part of your employment contract so not an employment issue. It sounds like a commercial arrangement between your employer and nursery provider. The provider will be able to vary their terms and conditions as long as that is expressly stated.

Did you sign up to terms and conditions in the beginning? If it says there that you have to pay for bank holidays, then that's what you have to pay. If there's been some oversight, and you signed their standard agreement that corresponds with the info on the website, you might have a case.

FishWithABicycle Thu 10-Sep-15 18:54:28

There are 8 bank holidays a year and 261 Mon-Fri days so 3% of days are bank holidays. If your child goes there every day and the discount is more than 3% you are still quids in so I wouldn't worry.

If you work part time I would change your working days and nursery days to not include Mondays ASAP. You'll still pay the same but at least you will get your money's worth.

AbeSaidYes Thu 10-Sep-15 19:36:26

He has left now so no need for me to worry about it in the future, it was just after 4 years of paying and then being told the reason for paying for bank holidays (when parents using other nurseries in the chain do not) was because of the subsidy seemed a little strange.

Stillunexpected Thu 10-Sep-15 19:53:51

It does seem unfair. Although you were paying a lower rate, the difference was presumably being made up by your employer so the nursery were still receiving full fees for the children. Therefore they should not have been charging for BH - unless the amount of the subsidy was less than the shortfall in fees, in which case I suppose they needed to try and claw back some costs from somewhere.

wowfudge Thu 10-Sep-15 23:42:27

Did you have a contract? Are the Ts & Cs on their website? If it isn't explicit this site does charge for bank holidays then that isn't on.

LurkingHusband Fri 11-Sep-15 09:47:21

Could it be something arranged with HMRC ? By charging for Bank Holidays (i.e. full rate) it avoids the employee being taxed for a benefit in kind ?

AbeSaidYes Thu 17-Sep-15 11:06:02

Could be, but that doesn't make sense to me if other nurseries in the chain aren't charging for Bank holidays.

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