Further to our ongoing updates regarding the roll out of the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFC) we wish to confirm that the Childcare Voucher Scheme (ESC) closed to new joiners on the 4th October 2018.
This includes anyone that has been a previous member of the ESC scheme but has changed employers. However, if an employee has changed employers under a business transfer, that’s covered by the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE), they still be eligible to rejoin the scheme.
After the 4th October 2018 employees will be permitted to re-join the ESC scheme if they have remained with the same employer and have had a salary deduction taken/voucher issued within the previous 52 weeks, prior to 4th October 2018. After this period they will be classed as a new joiner and will be unable to re-join the scheme as per HMRC guidelines.
Any employees looking for support with their childcare costs will now need to join the TFC scheme. Further information and a calculator, to help parents understand what government help they might be entitled to, can be found on the Childcare Choices website - https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
How it works
Childcare Vouchers give you the opportunity to sacrifice a proportion of your salary in return for vouchers that can be used to pay for nursery fees, child minders or breakfast & after school clubs. The vouchers can even be used on some summer holiday activities and with OFSTED registered tutors. Vouchers can be issued to you via an online account, which can be set up to pay your provider directly or allow you to manage payments. A paper voucher is also available.
*There can be implications for taking family friendly leave (including maternity, adoption, shared parental leave) in a salary sacrifice scheme. These implications can include: effect on calculation of pay; and eligibility to remain in the scheme during such leave when in reduced pay and/or on unpaid leave.