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When can I start to buy childcare vouchers??

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by BellisP, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I'm a primary school teacher and started my mat leave on 3rd May and I'm planning on returning to work at the end of Jan 2012 (so, having 9 months off).

    I'd really like to start to buy childcare vouchers so that I can make tax savings but I'm so confused about when I should get this set up. I have spoken to payroll and computershare voucher services (who I'd have to but the vouchers with) and feel non the wiser!

    It seems that I could set things up so that I start to get them taken out of my salary once I return to work, or, I could get it set up straight away but I get the impression that I would not be entitled to my full maternity pay...

    If anyone could give me some advice or tell me what you're doing I'd be extremely greatful!

    Many thanks,

    BellisP xx
     
  2. Hi,

    I'm a primary school teacher and started my mat leave on 3rd May and I'm planning on returning to work at the end of Jan 2012 (so, having 9 months off).

    I'd really like to start to buy childcare vouchers so that I can make tax savings but I'm so confused about when I should get this set up. I have spoken to payroll and computershare voucher services (who I'd have to but the vouchers with) and feel non the wiser!

    It seems that I could set things up so that I start to get them taken out of my salary once I return to work, or, I could get it set up straight away but I get the impression that I would not be entitled to my full maternity pay...

    If anyone could give me some advice or tell me what you're doing I'd be extremely greatful!

    Many thanks,

    BellisP xx
     
  3. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    You need to have a child to be eligible for childcare vouchers. The rest will depend on your scheme in terms of what notice you need to give to join a scheme. Many consider a change in life circumstances (i.e. having a baby) a good reason for making an application even if it is not the normal time to do so.
    As you pay for childcare vouchers, your maternity pay would be reduced by the cost of the vouchers I assume. Not sure how it works out when you are on SMP...
    Sorry I can't help more. I would recommend writing quite a formal letter about this to your HR asking for full clarification including if you like what you would be paid each month while on mat leave if you did nothing about vouchers yet, and if you did. If they aren't helpful enough, consult your line manager / head / union (whatever you feel will be most effective in your school).
    Good luck!
     
  4. I was under the impression that you could start accruing childcare vouchers whilst on maternity leave?
    I was told by my LEA that they can't take money away from you that is SMP, only the OMP. I can't remember exact details I'm afraid, but I have kept up the vouchers even though someone I know said I should stop getting them, as I will only lose a small amount of mat pay whilst getting £243 childcare vouchers, some of which I will use over mat leave and some I will bank for when I go back to work in September 2012. The good thing is that you continue to get the vouchers even when you are earning nothing, and when you are on SMP only, they can't take any money off you so you would get your £500 and something, plus the £243 childcare vouchers. I may be missing something entirely but in my book that makes me better, not worse, off!
     
  5. I thought that childcare vouchers are a salary sacrifice rather than a non salary benefit. Therefore the cost I thought was deducted from SMP.
     
  6. It's considered a benefit and cannot be deducted from SMP - your employer will have to cover the cost of vouchers once you go down to just SMP
     
  7. Hmmm I hope you're right. I thought it was one of their concerns when setting the scheme up and that they had decided that wasnt the case.
     
  8. I was so excited at this prospect that I read the HMRC document and it reads that you are correct. I will have a careful read of our policy documents then check with HR/ take them to a tribunal lol Will be useful as we wont get free time until my daughter is nearly 3 and a half due to an April birthday.
     
  9. I am only relaying what I was told by an actual person- got to be true! I thought it was too good to be true and am really pleased about it- it'll ease the cost of two in childcare when i go back, to start with anyway.
     

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