Employer Childcare Vouchers: time for you and your employees to use it or lose it

This autumn in a little over six month’s time, the launch of the Tax-Free Childcare scheme means the current employer-administered Childcare Voucher scheme will not be available to new members. 

With the cost of childcare a key issue for working parents, the financial savings offered by Childcare Vouchers are vital for many families.

The Childcare Voucher Providers Association estimates that around 700,000 families currently benefit from Childcare Vouchers. Many more parents could benefit if they signed up to their employer’s scheme today.

So with the clock ticking before this opportunity disappears, here are four actions every employer should consider if they want to make sure they put their business in the best position to benefit from this scheme in the future.

1. Use it or lose it – Employees in many smaller and mid-sized businesses are currently missing out on Childcare Vouchers because their employer has no scheme in place. It costs the employer and the employee nothing to run a scheme so putting one in place is a great way to offer hard-pressed working parents extra financial support.

2. Help your employees understand which scheme is best – The new Tax-Free Childcare scheme will not benefit two-parent families with only one parent working or families with childcare costs lower than £9,330 for basic rate taxpayers or £6,252 for higher rate taxpayers. There are plenty of other complexities to think about too. Start planning your communications today to help your employees pick the scheme which suits them best.

3. Make the most of your existing scheme – Many employees don’t understand the full extent to which Childcare Vouchers can help with the cost of kids activity camps and holiday childcare: something that is a real headache for any parent. With holiday season about to get into full swing, help them understand how to make the most of their Childcare Voucher scheme.

4. Make sure your provider is prepared for the changes – It’s vital to get into contact with your existing voucher provider ahead of the changes. You need to check they are committed to providing Childcare Vouchers in the future. Getting stuck with a provider who may disappear will mean your employees could miss out.

If you want more help with your planning we have produced a new guide ‘Tax-Free Childcare: Keeping your working parents happy’ which you can download by clicking here.

This article was written by Andy Philpott.

Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 26/03/2015 | 0

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