FAQ Employer Childcare Voucher

Faq section for employers operating childcare voucher schemes

Expand the item below to find out more

How do we set up a childcare voucher account with Enjoy Benefits Ltd?

You can either register online or call us on 0800 644 3000 and we will register you.

We then provide you with all the documentation and information you need to offer the benefit to your employees.

Draft salary sacrifice letters, policy documents, launch emails and even posters are be provided.

Do HMRC require any actions from us?

HMRC do not require notification from you, it is a purely voluntary process if you wish to inform them.

You are required to offer the benefit to all staff equally, further information can be found on the HMRC website.

You are required to adhere to minimum wage considerations and to ensure your staff are aware of any gross pay issues and statutory pay issues.

Vouchers are not included on the P11D if under the exempt amount.

You may be asked for evidence the childcare providers are registered, we hold that information for you but it is the employees' responsibility to ensure they are.

Should you offer the vouchers as part of a salary sacrifice scheme then you should always have a written amendment to their contract of employment.

For new joiners on or after 6/4/2011 you are required to undertake a basic earnings asessment. Use the P35 and the employees contract of employment for this.

How do I make staff aware of this new benefit?

Apart from policy documents, launch emails, posters etc we can also come to your location and give a presentation to your staff.

We can also do 'one on ones' at the same time.

What are the charges you make for the scheme?

There are NO charges for the parent and the childcare provider.

We DO NOT make any 'setup' charges and there are NO penalty charges for leaving the service.

We simply charge a percentage of the voucher value to use the service. This charge is also plus VAT. The VAT can only be recovered if you use the De Minimis rule

There are concessionary rates for large volumes of employees, please ask for details.

Are there any minimum or maximum numbers of employees the service can cater for?

Absolutely not, from single employees to thousands, the scheme is available to all companies.

Is there a minimum or maximum period of contract or set period?

Absolutely not, you can register and leave when you wish, simply stop requesting vouchers!!

We would of course prefer you to stay with us but if you decide to leave then please let us know, and let us know the reason why.

You never know, we may be able to persuade you to stay, or adapt our system to suit your needs better. There is no harm in asking us for help

Is there a cost to the company?

The direct cost to the employer is simply the small service charge for using the service.

VAT has ceased to be recoverable on 1st January 2012, due to an HMRC clarification recently (unless the De Minimis rule can be applied).

VAT does not need to be charged, or acounted for, on the sacrifice amount as childcare is exempt.

There is a small % charge based on the amount of requests made using the service

However, the company makes a substantial saving per employee as the requests are NOT subject to employers NI, currently 13.8%.

If you think of a voucher at £100, you would save £13.80 in NI but will lose VAT (from 1/1/2012) on the management fee of around £0.80, net saving of £13.00.

So the service actually costs the company NOTHING, in fact the company makes a saving offering the scheme.

How much time do I need to run the scheme?

We have made the scheme very easy to run from all sides.

There is a great deal that can be automated in the scheme and we can also take on the administration for you.

You can choose to do a s much or as little as you need, the least you will need to do is authorise the vouchers every month!!

It some cases that is ALL you will need to do, we will have done the rest for you.

What payment methods are available to the company to pay invoices?

We are currently set up to take Bacs, cheque and Direct Debit. We do not take cash and we do not accept credit or debit cards, at this time.

We would suggest Bacs or Direct Debit as the preferred payment method. It is very easy to track and trace these types of payments and they are cheap to operate.

Cheques are sent at your own risk and can sometimes take a while to arrive by Royal Mail, and then they take 5 working days to clear. This can sometimes mean that vouchers and funding amounts required to be sent to the carer are then subject to delay.

How long do our payments to you take to clear, and why?

Once we receive a cheque it will officialy clear on the 6th day after it is banked. However we only allow 5 working days as this seems to be the optimum time.

Direct Debits clear with us 5 working days after they are taken from your bank.

Bacs and faster payments, such as Chaps, clear the following day they show in our account.

These timings have been given to us by our bankers, NatWest Bank PLC. They ensure that we, the employees, and the childcare providers that use the scheme are not subject to payments being reclaimed. This can happen if payments coming in to us are not cleared.

These measures ensure the safe and viable operation of the system for all and only penalise those that do not submit cleared payment on time. We have no influence on how the banks clear funds to us.

How and when do employees receive their vouchers?

We send them out by email to either an address they specify for themselves, or emailed direct to their childcare provider, if that is arranged.

They can also access their own account to print them off if they need to.

They do not have access to the vouchers until cleared payment has been received by ourselves but we do confirm all authorised requests for vouchers

Can employees have a refund on the vouchers?

If an employee has an overpayment with the childcare provider and they wish the money to be refunded, the childcare provider will need to refund Enjoy Benefits Ltd.
Enjoy Benefits Ltd will then put the funds into their online account for the employee to use at a later date.

We can refund the employer and the employer then applies the returned money to the employees salary. Employers would need to send a comfirmation email.

Under normal circumstances no refunds are made to employees. If exceptional circumstances prevent the refund being applied to the employer, the employee concerned must declare the returned funds to HMRC and sign an agreement to do that.

Are employees allowed to receive childcare vouchers, or other benefits, whilst on maternity leave?

The simple answer is yes they are. But you are not allowed as an employer, to deduct the value by way of a salary sacrifice from any statutory payments. You cannot salary sacrifice from statutory maternity or paternity pay. And this issue is not simply a childcare voucher issue, it applies to most benefits offered to your employees.

But you are allowed to deduct by way of salary sacrifice from any enhanced payments you make to them, over and above the statutory payment. You can also supply childcare vouchers as a salary addition whilst they are on leave.

The broader issue is regarding the advice given to parents.

Some parents would be better advised to come off vouchers some time before they go on leave to minimize the impact of the vouchers on their statutory pay. They would need a pay award to re-calculate the correct SMP.

Benefit legislation that has been in place for some time does state that all employees that receive benefits, including vouchers, have the right to continue receiving them if they wish whilst on maternity leave, up to a period of 12 months. It is also noted that companies must comply with any discrimination legislation as well.

There appears to be a section of the legislation that allows for employment contracts to override this, so an employees contract would state that certain benefits would be voluntarily excluded during leave or absence periods.

As far as we are aware the advice coming from the legal profession, HMRC and other bodies, including childcare voucher scheme operators is varied.

The Inland Revenue themselves cover this topic in their salary sacrifice sheet, http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/sml-salary-sacrifice.pdf
and it clearly states on page 11

'subject to the terms of the contract the employee may be able voluntarily to opt out of receiving the non-cash benefit under the salary sacrifice arrangement. However it is important to emphasise that the employer cannot compel the employee to opt out of receiving the benefit.'

Our interpretation is that it is perfectly legal to have a contractual clause that limits the benefits at times of leave if the agreement is voluntary. The timing of the contracts would be important.

The financial exposure of companies is seen as quite small as most companies do offer existing benefits through leave and absence periods through enhanced benefits packages. And most benefits are given and taken by mutual agreement anyway.

You would be well advised to have a well published benefits policy that is distributed and agreed by your employees. We recommend that you take legal advice if you think it is appropriate, we are not legal or tax advisors so any recommendations are our considered opinion

Do we have to approve vouchers every month?

No not if you dont want to. You can set it up so Enjoy Benefits Ltd approve the employee's requests and you just receive the invoice by email.

How will we be invoiced for the childcare vouchers?

When employee's vouchers have been approved you will receive the invoice by email, we can send it to more than one person if you require it.

It is also available from within your online account, as is a payroll summary for your payroll department

Can an employee claim vouchers for a child that is not their own?

Yes, vouchers can be requested for those living with the child as long as they have parental responsibility for that child.

What happens if one of the employees childcare providers is not registered with Enjoy Benefits?

When an employee is set up with Enjoy Benefits Ltd, we ask for their childcare provider name and postcode.

We then check our database and if they are not registered we contact them direct to help them register.

If we cannot make contact we give the employee a contact number to pass to the childcare provider to contact us.

We verify they are qualified to receive vouchers by checking their registration with the correct authority is complate and valid

What if an employees childcare cost are more than the tax free allowance a month?

The employee can claim the maximum amount of their allowance and pay the rest of the fees themselves.

They can take the full amount of their fees as a voucher,saving TAX an NI on the allowance only, anything over this will be subject to Tax and NI and needs to show on the P11D.

There are a few voucher providers, why should we choose Enjoy Benefits Ltd?

Enjoy Benefits Ltd entered the childcare voucher arena in early 2005 when the new voucher legislation came into force.

EnjoyBenefits Ltd work with all sizes and types of clients, from large nationwide organisations with staff of thousands down to small companies with only two or three employees.

The company has a small and enthusiastic team dealing with clients by name - not as a number. This personal service is what sets this company apart from it's competitors.

The founders of the company are still involved with the business on a day to day basis.

No charges are made to join or leave the service offered, there are no minimum or maximum numbers of employees required and there is no fixed term contract.

Management fees are set at a viable level to ensure services are maintained at a satisfactory level for all clients.

Security and usability are high on the list of requirements.

Research and development is a continuous process to enhance the service given.

Our business model is to give value for money, not a 'cut-price' unviable service.

How long do I have to get registered before the scheme closes

The scheme closes to new employees on the 31st of March 2018, so you and your employees needs to be registered with us before then to be able to take full advantage of the scheme.

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