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 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 with Computershare and also 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 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 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.
- 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 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).