What are the rules about employees no longer being able to join the childcare voucher scheme from 5th October 2018?

Modified on Thu, 29 Jun 2023 at 11:01 AM

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.
  • Employees 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.
  • TUPE
  • 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.

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