Save money on Childcare Vouchers.

Childcare vouchers

The childcare voucher scheme enables employees to purchase £10 to £243 of childcare vouchers per calendar month through a salary exchange arrangement. You could save up to £933 per year on the cost of childcare. Savings will depend on the amount of childcare vouchers you order and the amount of tax and national insurance you pay. With the start of the school term you can also use vouchers once the children are back to school.

A minimum of one calendar month's notice must be given to join the scheme. To join, please visit the SalaryPlus website or call them on 0800 161 3042.

The University reserves the right to amend or discontinue the provision of this benefit should the University determine that it is appropriate for it to do so taking into account such matters as it may determine relevant from time to time including changes to UK tax legislation.

Changes to the childcare voucher scheme now delayed until early 2017

The government has confirmed that the implementation of tax-free childcare has been delayed until early 2017. Whilst communicating the delay, the government has stated they are still dedicated to implementing tax-free childcare.

  • The delay has been put down to the legal challenge of the appointment of NS&I to deliver tax-free childcare.
  • The current childcare voucher scheme will remain open to new entrants until tax-free childcare is launched.
  • The government has committed to release exact rollout dates for tax-free childcare in due course, but has not yet committed to exact timeframes.
  • More information from HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs is available on the GOV.UK website.

This page will be updated as soon as we are made aware of the timeframes and details.

‌Salary exchange

To meet the requirements of HM Revenue & Customs, a salary sacrifice is expected to be a permanent reduction in pay. You will not be permitted to change your voucher amount because you have over-estimated or under-estimated the amount of vouchers you need or because you have built up a surplus of vouchers.

However, you can withdraw from the Childcare Voucher scheme or vary the reduction in pay if one of the following ‘life-changing’ events occurs:

  • pregnancy/maternity or adoption leave
  • extended sickness absence
  • reduction in working hours
  • redundancy of partner
  • significant change in childcare arrangements (eg child moving from pre-school nursery to school)
  • child reaches the age of 16
  • separation/divorce
  • marriage
  • death of child/partner

You will also be able to withdraw from the Childcare Voucher scheme or vary the reduction for any other reason in pay in August each year (changes effective from September).

Download form to Request to withdraw from Childcare Vouchers or to amend Salary Sacrifice

If you have over-estimated the amount of vouchers you need and have a surplus of vouchers, it will not be possible to reimburse these to you but you will be able to use them for out-of-hours care and holiday playschemes.

Membership of the scheme will lapse automatically when employment with the University comes to an end.

The University has decided that the normal salary for the appointment (ie the higher salary which applied before the salary sacrifice) will continue to be used for the calculation of overtime payments. With regard to pensions, USS and the Trustees of the University of Exeter Retirement Benefits scheme have agreed that, where an employee elects for a salary sacrifice, both employer and employee contributions will continue on the normal salary for the appointment. This means that, at retirement, your retirement benefits will be based on the unreduced salary figure.

Further information

Further information on the scheme can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions‌ or you can contact P&MM on 0800 161 3042.