From 5th October 2018, the childcare voucher scheme is closed to new joiners. The only childcare support available to parents is Tax Free Childcare (TFC), a government scheme (for information go to www.childcarechoices.gov.uk).
Key facts - membership
- For new members, September 2018 payroll was the last chance to join the childcare voucher scheme.
- Employees currently in the childcare voucher scheme can temporarily cease their deduction. They have a 12-month window to re-join the scheme provided they did not join TFC in the meantime.
- Employee who have been in the scheme within the last 12 months, but are currently not receiving vouchers, will have until 11 months after their deductions stopped to re-join, provided they did not join TFC in the meantime.
Key facts - general
- Post October 2018, an existing childcare voucher member will be able to vary their voucher amount in the same way they have always been allowed to.
- Childcare vouchers are per parent whereas TFC is per child, therefore both parents need to be in the same scheme.
- Organisations can continue to switch voucher providers if they require.
- If an employee changes employer after 4th October 2018 they will classed as a leaver to the childcare voucher scheme and will not be allowed to join their new employer's scheme.
- Employees can use up the balance of any monies remaining in their childcare voucher account, irrespective if they have joined TFC.
- Where a change of employer is triggered by a business merger or acquisition, employees who were in the childcare voucher scheme prior to 4th October, can remain in the voucher scheme post 4th October 2018.
- This also applies where there is a transfer of staff under a COSOP (in the public sector) or TUPE arrangements.
- However, the same treatment will not apply where there has been a formal change of employer through an intra-group transfer.