41% want to receive childcare vouchers through salary sacrifice

Two-fifths (41%) of respondents want to receive childcare vouchers via a salary sacrifice arrangement as part of their employee benefits package, according to research by Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services.

Its survey of 1,000 employees also found that 51% of respondents want to contribute to their workplace pension through a salary sacrifice arrangement.

The government will limit the range of benefits that attract tax and national insurance advantages when offered through a salary sacrifice arrangement from 6 April 2017. Childcare, pensions, ultra-low emission vehicles, and bikes-for-work-schemes are among the benefits exempt from the changes.

The government’s new tax-free childcare scheme will be rolled out gradually from 28 April 2017, with all eligible parents set to be brought into the scheme by the end of the year. The existing childcare voucher scheme will close to new entrants from 28 April 2018.

The research also found:

  • 36% of respondents would like to have access to discounted shopping through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
  • 20% of respondents would like their employer to provide access to car schemes through salary sacrifice, and 18% would like to be offered gym membership as a benefit through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
  • 22% of respondents who are parents have had to borrow money from friends and family to pay for childcare, and 32% have seen the cost of childcare increase by more than 10% since they started raising their child.

James Malia (pictured), director of employee benefits at Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Sevices, said: “With just a matter of weeks to go until the new tax-free childcare scheme is introduced by the government, our research highlights that employees still view childcare vouchers as a highly valuable and sought after employee benefit.

“With vouchers soon to disappear from the employee benefits world, businesses are going to have to think about other ways they can support families in order to remain competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.”