Only 2% intend to scrap childcare vouchers

Only 2% of respondents intend to remove their existing childcare voucher offering prior to the introduction of the government’s proposed new scheme in 2015, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits.

Its research, which surveyed 132 employers, found that 75% of respondents would consider retaining their existing childcare voucher scheme post-2015.

In his 2013 Budget in March, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that the current childcare voucher system will be replaced by a tax-free childcare scheme for working families.

The change, which will take effect from autumn 2015, will see the government provide working families with 20% of their childcare costs, up to £1,200 initially for each child up to five years of age, eventually extending this to cover children under 12 years of age by about 2020.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits, said: “We anticipate a significant period of dual running between the two childcare systems as employers demonstrate their commitment to parent employees.

“There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest some employers that don’t currently offer any scheme may even look to set up new ones, meaning that employees who are not eligible for state support under the new system can achieve it now, and maintain it post-2015.

“It is proposed that those who will be worse off under the new system will be able to retain their existing rights via their current childcare voucher provision.

“However, both employers and employees should be aware that it’s likely that this flexibility will only be available where childcare vouchers are implemented prior to, and not after, the 2015 changes.”