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childcare vouchers & mat leave

(46 Posts)
MrsRV Fri 03-Jan-14 20:21:48

umm... so, I've just found out I can still claim childcare vouchers while on mat leave without it affecting the statutory maternity leave I'll recieve? is this correct? despite working for a law firm, I know I'll have to fight to get this if it's correct so need to be sure of my facts... if anyone could help I'd be grateful.

Theonlyoneiknow Fri 03-Jan-14 20:22:56

Yes correct. I continued to get mine when on SMP.

You will get more traffic on this in Employment maybe.

diddlediddledumpling Fri 03-Jan-14 20:28:22

Yes, I got it too. Even when SMP stopped, still got the vouchers.

FoxyRevenger Fri 03-Jan-14 20:35:38

My work refused to give it, they said it was a grey area, legally speaking, and blackmailed us into pushing for it by saying they would have to discontinue the scheme completely. Hope you have more luck than I did!

clara85 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:35:59

I have heard this too and friends who work for the NHS have got it....

My work policy states I must inform then before i about 16 weeks so they can stop the child care vouchers so I assume you can only get away with this if you dont inform your work early enough?

FoxyRevenger Fri 03-Jan-14 20:36:32

Sorry, blackmailed us in to NOT pushing for it...

Bagoffrogs Fri 03-Jan-14 20:41:59

Bit grainy in the back of my mind, but I'm sure this was pointed out to me by my HR department in a sort of 'we shouldn't point this out, but' kind of way. Your company/ government (can't remember which) still provide these for you.

everydayaschoolday Fri 03-Jan-14 20:44:22

I'm currently MoD (Armed Forces), and I continued to get the Childcare Vouchers (salary sacrifice) while on maternity leave. I don't know how much is legislated in law, and how much is the excellent maternity package from my employer - I think it might be similar/same level as the NHS.

rachyconks Fri 03-Jan-14 20:47:22

I work for a large tour operator and my understanding is I will continue to receive the vouchers whilst on mat leave. I will only receive SMP. I believe, legally, the company has to continue with benefit if they are still offering it to other staff. (That's what it said in my childcare voucher pack).

BikeRunSki Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:47

Yes, I got them, on SMP and on the last 3 months mat leave on nil pay.

everydayaschoolday Fri 03-Jan-14 20:53:49

In the FAQ of the MoD's Sodexo Childcare Voucher facilitator, they provided this answer (copy and pasted verbatim) to 'Will Childcare Vouchers affect my Statutory Maternity Pay or Paternal Pay':

Regulations in force for babies born after 5th October 2008 mean that you have 3 options in relation to your Childcare Vouchers whilst on Maternity Leave.

Option 1 - You can withdraw from the Childcare Voucher Scheme (this must be no later than 23 weeks before your baby is due). This will ensure that your SMP calculations are based on your higher salary (not including your salary sacrifice deductions). If you withdraw from the Scheme your Childcare Vouchers would cease from this date.
Option 2- You can remain in the Childcare Voucher Scheme during Maternity Leave. Your SMP will then be calculated at the lower rate (after salary sacrifice deductions). As your SMP is being calculated on your lower salary, no further deductions can be taken off SMP. Therefore whilst you are on Maternity leave and receiving SMP, your voucher costs will be covered by the company and you will continue to receive your Childcare Vouchers during this time.
Option 3- A woman may opt out of the childcare voucher scheme during the period which SMP is calculated. This is 8 weeks between approximately week 17 and week 25 of pregnancy. A woman could opt out during this period and then re-join the scheme after week 25 which means the company would cover her vouchers during her maternity leave and her SMP would not be affected.
Before making your decision, you should seek advice from any relevant agencies in relation to tax credit implications or ongoing childcare costs. The obligation for the company to provide vouchers only occurs in respect of a woman who already has one qualifying child on the voucher scheme.

everydayaschoolday Fri 03-Jan-14 20:56:10

Link for page that info came from.

rachyconks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:06:14

That is more or less word for word the same as my company policy (not MOD).

Eletheomel Fri 03-Jan-14 21:23:18

Yes, you get it, I'm getting it now - it all relates to a European Court ruling in 2008 so employers cannot decide not to honour it - it's the law, make sure you get it.

diddlediddledumpling Fri 03-Jan-14 21:53:35

It comes directly from the government, so there's no reason why an employer should prevent you from receiving it. They just claim it on your behalf, really.

TempusFuckit Fri 03-Jan-14 21:58:30

As everyone else has said, but also to add - my employers tried to deduct it from my SMP despite my checking they shouldn't - before I managed to query it, the taxman had rapped them over the knuckles on my behalf and I got a nice cheque in the post.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jan-14 21:59:13

Hi op

I'm not very good at linking on my phone but google "maternity action child care vouchers". It should bring you to a PDF on the maternity action website that answers this question and others.

bringonyourwreckingball Fri 03-Jan-14 22:02:38

It is not a grey area. You are entitled to your vouchers and your smp and they cannot try and make you withdraw from the scheme or pay in some other way. I can give you the full legal spiel wife necessary but really that's all you need.

MrsRV Sat 04-Jan-14 11:07:09

sooo... I'm 22 weeks and haven't opted out of vouchers... am thinking in respect of option 3 below. too late now? will just continue as I am and only thing that will be affected is the 90% pay for 6 weeks & that will be calculated on my salary after deduction has been made for vouchers?

theborrower Sat 04-Jan-14 11:57:20

I am confused. I'm on £21.5k and have recently upped my CC vouchers to £180 (from £157) to try and build up some credit for when baby #2 arrives and we have 2 in nursery for a brief time. Do you think I would be better stopping vouchers to get higher mat pay (half of salary plys smp) or continuing with CC vouchers?

Eletheomel Sat 04-Jan-14 13:42:43

borrower - I think it might depend on how long you're taking off. I'm taking the year off. I get 6 months full pay (so will pay 220 vouchers out of that) I get 3 months smp and 3 months unpaid. So for me, while it meant I was paying more vouchers for 6 months than normal, I get 6 months of my vouchers paid for me by my work - so it was well worth it (and means my little boy can have 2 days a week at childminders for the whole year, giving me 2 days of baby only time - which is great :-).

theborrower Sat 04-Jan-14 14:06:46

Last time I was off 11 months, but that included using up annual leave, so I was only unpaid for a couple of weeks I think. I'll probably do the same. I get 90% full pay for 6 weeks, then half pay plus smp for ?? (12?) Weeks, then smp only, then unpaid after that runs out.

SoonToBeSix Sat 04-Jan-14 14:30:05

Bit confused why would you need childcare vouchers whilst on mat leave. Surely if you are home you don't need childcare?

learnasyougo Sat 04-Jan-14 14:37:15

to allow continuity of care (and place) for the older child. It can be disruptive too take them out of then back into nursery care while on mat leave. but to mention the time you get to spend just parenting one baby rather than a toddler and a baby.

also, I buy more vouchers than I need for my ds, as I will rely on the amount I've accrued once the voucher scheme ends. I am not entitled too tax credits for childcare despite a household income of only 22k.

SoonToBeSix Sat 04-Jan-14 14:39:59

Ok, that makes sense.

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