Answers to some of your questions
If we haven't answered all of your questions please contact the Customer service team
The childcare voucher scheme was set up by Government in 2005 to help working parents save money on their childcare. Parents sign up to the scheme through their employer exchanging part of their salary for childcare vouchers known as a salary sacrifice. As childcare vouchers are exempt from Tax and National Insurance this can make you a saving of up to £933 per year depending on the rate of tax you pay.
Basic rate tax payers can receive up to £55 per week (or £243 per month) Higher rate tax payers can receive up to £28 per week (£124 per month) and addditonal rate tax payers can receive up to £25 per week (£110 per month)
As long as you pay the minimum requirement for National Insurance contributions, using childcare vouchers should not affect your basis State Pension. However, there may be a small reduction in your Second State Pension. Contact your tax office for more information.
Yes. However, When you register for childcare vouchers you are asked to state a set amount that you wish to sacrifice. If you do not require a childcare provider to be paid in each of your pay periods, for example you only use childcare at school holiday times, then please enquire about our Save as You Go scheme. If things change for you, such as you become pregnant or substantially change your hours of work you can change the amount you sacrifice by contacting one of our advisors. With maternity leave you will need to contact your HR department or please refer to the HMRC guidelines for maternity leave and vouchers at www.hmrc.gov.uk/employers/sml-salary-sacrifice.pdf
For your childcare provider to receive vouchers, they must be registered with Ofsted or the equivalent authority for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Your childcare provider should have their Ofsted certificate visible within their place of work. If you would like to check, use the Ofsted website. Childcare provided in the child's own home will not qualify if the person approved to give that childcare is a relative of the child. Relative means a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister (whether by blood, half blood, marriage or affinity), and includes step parents. Please note that it is your responsibility to inform Linking Up and your employer of any changes to your childcare provision including changes to registration or approval status.
All your childcare provider has to do is register, at no cost, with Linking Up. Most childcare providers are happy to do this due to the benefit of receiving regular and direct payments. The registration form will ask the childcare provider for their bank details and due to the requirement for Linking Up to ensure all childcare providers you use are registered with Ofsted/equivalent authority or have approved status, they may be asked to provide a copy of their inspection certificate.