Employers should educate staff about childcare voucher changes

Vodafone appoints Gemma Dainty

Employee Benefits Live 2015: Employers should educate their employees about the government’s changes to childcare vouchers planned for autumn 2017, said Gemma Dainty (pictured), reward consultant at TalkTalk.

Dainty discussed the planned changes at Employee Benefits Live 2015, during a session entitled ‘The changes to childcare vouchers: assessing the impact on your organisation and workforce’.

If the changes go ahead, for every 80p a working parent puts towards childcare costs, the government will provide another 20p. Working parents will also be able to purchase childcare vouchers online either monthly or annually.

Dainty said: “The current maximum age of a child covered is 15, but if the changes go ahead it will be 12, probably because that is the age that the government sees fit for necessary childcare.”

Dainty also outlined that, come 2017, employees need to be enrolled in a childcare voucher scheme to have a choice of which option best suits them when the government’s scheme is rolled out.

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Dainty provided the example of a working couple with one child that pay £5,000 a year towards childcare, who would be worse off using the government’s option, whereas a couple with two children that pay the same amount would be better off.

She explained: “Employers must be educating their staff about the changes because it can all get very confusing. Working parents need to know what they need to be thinking about, so employers need to outline the differences between current childcare and what may be coming in 2017.”