An interesting survey caught my eye this week.
It was the one conducted by Jelf Employee Benefits on how employers intend to react to the change in legislation on employer-provided childcare vouchers (just 2% said they would scrap childcare vouchers as a result).
The sample of respondents is rather small (just 132 employers) so there is room for error if you extrapolate. Also, I suspect, this was done among employers already engaged in benefits (we have the same caveat for any Employee Benefits’ research).
But the value with any survey like this, is it gives a good steer on the direction of thinking in the market.
That said, what the survey found is that an insignificantly small number of employers will stop offering childcare vouchers through the workplace due to the change in legislation, effective from October 2015.
These vouchers are highly valued by working parents as we saw when the former Chancellor, Gordon Brown, of the previous Labour government, tried to scrap the tax break back in 2009. The huge outcry (fully supported by Employee Benefits) led Brown to revise his decision.
Given the current ongoing support for childcare vouchers in the workplace, I am hoping we land up in a place where parents can access them via their workplaces (the prime place to let new parents know these even exist) and where individuals can access them outside the workplace (currently not possible if an employer does not chose to offer them).
I have not heard from too many childcare voucher providers how they plan to adjust to this change, but I suspect that marketing to employers to get group sales will be a whole lot more manageable that trying to target huge numbers of consumers in the hope of individual sales. So the employer market will remain strong.
We will watch this space with interest, as the childcare vouchers market shifts to adapt to this change.