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Childcare Vouchers

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. If you have permanently left the scheme & have vouchers you will never be able to use, please request a refund form from Computershare & send it to Sally Hicks.

Changes to childcare vouchers from October 2018

The childcare voucher scheme is no longer open to new applicants (if you change employer you are also classed as a new applicant and therefore ineligible) and current members must have had at least one voucher deduction in the last 12 months. If it is more than 12 months since your last childcare voucher deduction, your eligibility has lapsed.

What are my other options?

You may qualify for tax-free childcare instead – find out more on the 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 with Computershare and also inform 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 career 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

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.

  • 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.
  • The minimum deduction is £20 per month. If you take an unpaid career break of up to a year, you can remain registered with the voucher scheme but you will need to contact Computershare and request 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 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).
FAQS from Computershare re procedures during Covid-19

Should parents reduce or cancel their vouchers if their childcare setting is closed?

  • Most childcare providers and nurseries will continue to take payments from parents whether their services are used or not, even during the Coronavirus lockdown. Nurseries will generally give 2 weeks holiday per year but parents still have to pay for the rest of the year. Each provider is different so parents should check with their provider regarding contracts/agreements before reducing their voucher deductions, as they may be obliged to pay the fees.
  • If a childcare provider is not expecting payments while the child is in isolation because of the virus, then parents may wish to consider reducing their order value (any changes must be made at least a few days before the month you want them to take effect). The minimum value that can be ordered is £20 per month. Parents need to check with their provider before making any reduction.
  • Parents need to talk to their childcare providers about whether they must continue to pay fees. This may be covered in any contract in place with the provider. For example, a contract may state that no refunds will be given should the provider be forced to close for reasons beyond its control.
  • Some childcare providers may refund fees, or not require payment, if these exceptional circumstances are covered by their insurance, or if they receive funds from the government.

A parent wants to stop receiving vouchers for a short period as they have a balance built up. Can they restart their orders again after a couple of months? 

Yes, as long as they restart again within 12 months of their last voucher purchase (pay date not issue date) and are still with the same employer.

 A parent is a key worker. Can they still use their vouchers for payment? 

Yes – providing their childcare voucher provider is registered with us to accept the vouchers.

The parent’s childcare provider is no longer in business. What can they do with their vouchers? 

We have a large network of carers who they can use their vouchers with. There’s an option to search for other registered providers within the parent’s online account.

Vouchers don’t expire until the 1 September after the youngest child’s 15th birthday (16th birthday if the child is registered disabled).

Can parents get their vouchers refunded? 

The University only processes refunds if you are leaving the Computershare scheme completely

A parent sent advance payment to their childcare provider who have since closed down, how do they get their money back? 

The parent will need to get in contact with the childcare provider who will need to arrange for the funds to be returned to us. We’ll then return the money to the parent’s account.

The carer must use the following bank details to return the funds to us:

Sort Code: 16-08-95

Account number: 10000332

Reference: Carer ID and Parent Name

Is there an expiry date on vouchers? 

E-vouchers are valid for as long as the parent has an eligible child. Paper vouchers are valid for 12 months, but parents can request a re-print after this period or exchange their paper voucher for an e-voucher through their online account.