Save money on Childcare Vouchers.

Childcare Vouchers - Upcoming Changes

From October 2018, the government Tax Free Childcare (TFC) scheme will replace the University childcare scheme, provided by Sodexo. Existing members of the University childcare voucher scheme will be able to remain in the scheme, but no new applications will be permitted once the TFC arrangement commences

In light of the current changes to childcare voucher schemes, the University wishes to offer parents currently on parental leave the opportunity to join the University childcare scheme before the end of their parental leave, and before the government changes come into effect. This is an exceptional arrangement, and only changes to your salary exchange arrangements for childcare vouchers will be permitted.

Please be aware that if you decide to join the childcare voucher scheme whilst you are on your parental leave, the cost of the vouchers will be deducted from your salary. At the point you fall into statutory pay only or nil pay, the University will pick up the full cost of your childcare vouchers.

The deadline for submitting your application to the University childcare voucher scheme is Friday 31st August 2018. Thereafter, you will be able to apply to the TFC scheme.

Please note that if you have already joined the TFC scheme you are not permitted to join the University childcare scheme. In addition, please note that you cannot apply for childcare vouchers from any scheme until after the birth of your child.

Childcare Vouchers - Sodexo

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 sodexo website or call them on 0800 328 7411.

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.

Salary Exchange

To meet the requirements of HM Revenue & Customs, a salary exchange 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 you are experiencing a ‘life-changing’ event (please see full list of qualifying events on the relevant form).

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).

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 for members of USS and ERSS where an employee elects for a salary exchange, both employer and employee contributions will continue on the normal salary for the appointment.

‌What is the new Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme?

From April 2018, it was advised that existing members of the current childcare voucher scheme would be able to stay in the existing scheme, but that no new entrants to the childcare voucher scheme will be permitted. However, following a parliamentary debate, it has been announced that the childcare voucher scheme will remain open for new joiners for a further six months and therefore the new closing date will be the  5th October 2018. Under TFC, eligible families will receive 20% of their annual childcare cost, up to a maximum of £10,000 of registered childcare, giving a maximum saving per child up to the age of 12 of £2,000 (or £20,000 of registered childcare giving a maximum saving per disabled child of £4,000 up to the age of 17).

For more information please visit Childcare Choices and to access a TFC versus Childcare Voucher calculator, please go to

Further information

Further information on the scheme can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions‌ or you can contact Sodexo on 0800 328 7411 (please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes) or email