Childcare vouchers are now closed to any new joiners. So what happens next? Is there any way you can help your employees with their childcare costs?
The government closed the childcare voucher benefit to any new joiners on October 4th 2018. This means that any employees who didn’t sign up to the benefit in time or who became parents after this date aren’t now able to access the benefit and will have to cope with the full cost of childcare themselves.
Childcare in the UK is expensive and the return to work decision is a very tough one both emotionally and financially for parents. It has just become more difficult with the demise of childcare vouchers.
Tax Free Childcare
The government has launched their own form of help with childcare costs called Tax Free Childcare which is designed to replace childcare vouchers moving forwards. Well what a surprise, their system hasn’t launched with the best of success!
Parents who did choose to switch from vouchers to TFC found the government portal hard to access, or they couldn’t access it at all once they had paid money into their online accounts and their carers have been left waiting for payment or have just been receiving very delayed payments.
Tax Free Childcare has a number of conditions attached to it that most parents, when I speak to them aren’t aware of.
Did you know that if one of the parents is out of work for a while then they cannot use Tax Free Childcare during that time.
A tiny clause that has a huge impact on parents’ finances! Busy parents who are managing work, childcare and life in general have to sign back into their TFC account every three months to maintain the benefit.
According to the parents we have spoken to, this is a painful process and one that they find hard to fit into their usual hectic working days.
So what can an employer do now to help with the cost of childcare? Is there anything an employer can offer? Well yes! Offer the Workplace nursery benefit….
The workplace nursery benefit enables parents to save tax and NI on the full cost of their nursery fees (not just the capped amount provided through childcare vouchers).
The benefit operates at no cost to the business and makes a huge difference to the lives of employees choosing to use a nursery to care for their child whilst they are at work.
The benefit was introduced back in 1988 and has been offered by Enjoy Benefits since 2002.
To find out how much difference this could make, use our workplace nursery calculator
Enjoy Benefits work with hundreds of clients across the UK offering this benefit to companies who want a solution for the huge cost of childcare for their staff.
Talk to us today if you would like to work with us too