Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have collated the most Frequently Asked Questions our Family Benefits Advice Service receive from employers. If you have an issue not listed below, contact our team directly on 0800 028 3008 and we would be happy to help.
Where can I find more information on Shared Parental Pay & Leave?
Our advisors can answer any questions you may have on Shared Parental Pay & Leave - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can find more information in our ‘Shared Parental Leave Rights for parents’ factsheet.
My employee says they can’t afford childcare, what can I do to help?
As an employer you are able to pay into an employee’s Tax-Free Childcare account, therefore helping towards their registered childcare costs, the employee will receive the additional ‘top-up’ in line with their eligibility to Tax-Free Childcare.
There are no direct savings as an employer should you do this, however it may affect your overall corporate tax liability. The employee may wish to submit a flexible working request detailing the potential hours that may mean they are able to stay in your employment. You can encourage your employee to call our Family Benefits Advice Service 0800 028 3008 to ensure they are receiving the right support for childcare costs.
As an employer, do I ‘legally’ have to provide dependants leave?
Yes, employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with unexpected or sudden emergencies which can include the death of a dependant
A dependant is defined as the husband, wife, child or parent of the employee. It also includes someone who lives in the same household as the employee, for example, this could be a partner or an elderly aunt or grandparent
As an employer, do I ‘legally’ have to provide flexible working?
The law gives employees the right to ask for flexible working - not the right to have it.
Under the law an employer must seriously consider any application made by an employee and only reject it if there are good business reasons for doing so. When considering an application, the employer must follow statutory procedures and time frames. They must consider the request seriously and can only refuse on one of the specified statutory grounds. For more information, GB employers should visit: www.gov.uk/flexible-working and NI employers should visit: www.lra.org.uk/publications/advisory-guides.
How can I implement a workplace nursery?
A workplace nursery is a nursery provided by an employer for their employees to use.
Under the ‘workplace nurseries exemption’, the cost of a place in a workplace nursery is completely exempt from Tax and National Insurance Contributions. For more information download our ‘What is a Workplace Nursery?’ factsheet.
Can my employee claim Childcare Vouchers when off on maternity leave?
Yes, if the employee has been in the Childcare Voucher scheme and has salary to sacrifice through occupational maternity pay then yes, they can continue to claim Childcare Vouchers.
If the employee is only in receipt of SMP, or no pay, then they will be unable to claim Childcare Vouchers during their maternity leave.
Can my employee take a break from Childcare Vouchers whilst on maternity leave?
Yes, they can stop receiving Childcare Vouchers during maternity leave, and will be able to rejoin provided it is within 52 weeks of the last salary sacrifice.
My employee wants to move on to Tax-Free Childcare, can they also claim Childcare Vouchers?
No, employees who join the Tax-Free Childcare scheme must cease their Childcare Voucher salary sacrifice. HMRC allows 3 months from the opening in the Tax-Free Childcare account for an employee to stop their Childcare Vouchers.
My employee wants to opt out of Childcare Vouchers to use Tax-Free Childcare, can they?
You need to act upon the employee’s instruction and stop applying the salary sacrifice to their pay. The employee will not be able to use the Childcare Voucher scheme in the future if they start using Tax-Free Childcare.
My employee can't claim Childcare Vouchers as the Scheme is now closed, what can I do?
There may be other forms of help that the employee will be able to access, depending on their circumstances, for personal advice and guidance the employee can call our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008.
If the company is being bought over, can its employees receive Childcare Vouchers?
Yes, where there is a business takeover or merger employees are protected under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – TUPE - or COSOP regulations.
These employees will not be treated as new joiners to the scheme. If the new employer does not offer the Childcare Voucher scheme they can start to do so however it will only be open to those eligible employees who were in the scheme prior to 4 October 2018 and are protected under TUPE or COSOP regulations.
For more information or for personal advice and guidance (for your employees) please call our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008.