Changes to childcare vouchers from April 2018
At present, Warwick operates a childcare voucher scheme via an organisation called Computershare – the scheme means that Warwick employees can opt to receive childcare vouchers in return for sacrificing part of their salary. From 6 April 2018, this scheme will close to new applicants as a result of new government policy.
I wanted to apply for the childcare voucher scheme – what does this mean for me?
You can still apply for the scheme, but you’ll need to do so during the month of February. The first deduction from your paycheque will be taken in March 2018, meaning you’ll receive your first voucher in April 2018.
How can I apply for the scheme?
What are my other options?
If you miss the deadline for the childcare voucher scheme, you may qualify for tax-free childcare instead – find out more on the gov.uk website. However, you won’t be able to continue to claim childcare vouchers if you successfully apply for tax-free childcare. In this instance, you’d need to cancel your Computershare vouchers and inform firstname.lastname@example.org of the change within 90 days.
I’m already part of the scheme – will I be affected?
If you have already joined Computershare, you can continue to receive your vouchers as long as you stay employed by the University and you don’t take an unpaid break of longer than a year. You can continue to redeem any vouchers you currently have – there is no deadline for using them.
I have some questions – who can I contact?
Please contact Computershare to ask more specific questions about the scheme or the changes to it.
The University operates a scheme whereby employees can opt to receive childcare vouchers in return for sacrificing part of their salary. As vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from National Insurance, significant savings can be made.
- To join the scheme you must register with Computershare - (The University's scheme ID number is 37970). For help with your online application a tutorial video is available.
- Joining or leaving the scheme or amending the amount of vouchers you require, must be done directly with Computershare (not payroll) and, to comply with salary sacrifice rules, must be before the start of the month. To meet Computershare deadlines you will need to sign up at least 2 days before the end of the month before your first deduction.
- The minimum deduction is £20 per month. If you have temporarily accumulated an excessive amount of vouchers, you may temporarily reduce your deductions until you have used up your backlog, either down to a minimum of £20 via the Computershare website or to zero by contacting Computershare and requesting a temporary suspension.
- The maximum deduction depends upon your tax rate; it is £243 for basic rate taxpayers and £124 for higher rate taxpayers. Computershare ask you to enter your gross income when you register. The University has to confirm with Computershare that this is correct and some employees, who appear to be higher rate taxpayers and thus limited to £124, will actually be basic rate taxpayers once items such as salary sacrifice pension contributions are taken into account. If this is the case, the University will amend your tax rate with Computershare and contact you directly to let you know and give you the opportunity to amend your vouchers. (The payroll department also has to carry out an annual Basic Earnings assessment for employees who joined the scheme after 6th April 2011 to determine their tax rate).
- You cannot register with the scheme until your baby is born.
- You do not have to use all your vouchers in one month; they can be stored for future use but please do not store more than you expect to use.
- Vouchers can be used to pay for all types of registered childcare including day nurseries, nannies, au pairs, crèches, childminders, out of school clubs, holiday schemes & activity clubs, provided they accept Computershare childcare vouchers.
- If you have inadvertently accumulated an excessive amount of vouchers which you will be unable to use, contact Computershare for a refund request form, which you should complete and send to Sally Hicks, HR (but please note refunds will only be agreed to in exceptional circumstances).
- If you joined the scheme prior to April 2011, you may temporarily stop receiving vouchers for up to 12 months and then rejoin and receive vouchers up to the maximum limit of £243 per month irrespective of your salary. However, if you stop receiving vouchers for more than 12 months, you will have to rejoin under the new rules where the maximum amount of vouchers depends upon your salary.