Childcare Vouchers by Sodexo - Home

Section 1: About Sodexo childcare vouchers

What are childcare vouchers?

Childcare vouchers are a Government initiative to help working parents. The most common method of offering childcare vouchers is through your salary; parents elect to take part of their existing salary as childcare vouchers. Your employer then orders your vouchers and you receive them electronically on the day specified, usually your payday. You then use these e-vouchers to pay your childcare provider directly online. ^

What is SayCare Pass?

SayCare Pass refers to the name of the online childcare voucher portal, created by Sodexo Motivation Solutions for our childcare voucher service. ^

How can the voucher scheme save me money?

Childcare vouchers are free from tax and NI contributions for the value of vouchers you order. The amount you can salary sacrifice depends on your earnings threshold:



Total Earnings*/ Rate
Amount you can take

Weekly

Monthly

Annually

Up to but not exceeding £42,386 (basic)

£55

£243

£2915

Greater than
£42,386 but less than £150,000 (higher)

£28

£124

£1484

Over £150,000 (additional)


£25


£110


£1325

*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and allowances. Please speak to your HR department if you are unsure of the value of tax and NI exempt childcare vouchers you are entitled to take.

The amount you save depends on your rate of tax, the amount of NI you pay and the total value of vouchers you redeem every year.


Employee Savings

Earnings/Rate

Amount (per year)

Up to but not exceeding £42,386 (Basic)

£933


Greater than £42,386 but less than £150,000 (Higher)

£623


Over £150,000 (Additional)

£606

*These savings are subject to changes by HMRC ^

How do I use the childcare voucher service?

Your employer will register with us to provide childcare vouchers. You will then be able to set up your personal account. When your employer orders vouchers for you, they will be credited to your account and you can then use this to pay your children’s childcare provider directly. ^

How much can I take in vouchers?

The amount you can take in vouchers depend on your earnings threshold, this will be calculated by your employer and will for a Basic Earnings Assessment:



Total Earnings*/ Rate
Amount you can take

Weekly

Monthly

Annually

Up to but not exceeding £42,386 (basic)

£55

£243

£2915

Greater than
£42,386 but less than £150,000 (higher)

£28

£124

£1484

Over £150,000 (additional)


£25


£110


£1325

*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and allowances. Please speak to your HR department if you are unsure of the value of tax and NI exempt childcare vouchers you are entitled to take.

** These allowances are subject to change by HMRC.

When taking childcare vouchers, you must check that your salary doesn’t fall below the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL). This is to make sure that you continue to pay enough National Insurance to be eligible for state benefits, including Statutory Sick Pay. You must always remain above National Minimum Wage after salary sacrifice. ^

Can anyone apply for vouchers?

To take childcare vouchers you must fulfil the following criteria: You must have parental responsibility for the child.

Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for care up to 1st September following the child’s 15th birthday, or 1st September following their 16th birthday if the child is disabled.

You must use the vouchers to pay for registered childcare.

You can find out more on the HM Revenue & Customs website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/childcare. ^

Can my partner and I both apply for vouchers?

Yes, the amount of vouchers that a parent can take is limited to the amounts illustrated below, irrespective of how many children you have. So you could maximise your savings by ensuring that you both take part in a childcare voucher scheme. If your partner’s employer is not currently running a scheme, call us on freephone 0800 328 7411 and ask for more information.

(Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes).



Total Earnings*/ Rate
Amount you can take

Weekly

Monthly

Annually

Up to but not exceeding £42,386 (basic)

£55

£243

£2915

Greater than
£42,386 but less than £150,000 (higher)

£28

£124

£1484

Over £150,000 (additional)


£25


£110


£1325

*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and allowances. Please speak to your HR department if you are unsure of the value of tax and NI exempt childcare vouchers you are entitled to take. ^

Can I apply for vouchers for more than one child?

You can pay for as many children and childcare providers as you wish with your vouchers, but the amount of vouchers that can be taken is limited to the amounts specified below:



Total Earnings*/ Rate
Amount you can take

Weekly

Monthly

Annually

Up to but not exceeding £42,386 (basic)

£55

£243

£2915

Greater than
£42,386 but less than £150,000 (higher)

£28

£124

£1484

Over £150,000 (additional)


£25


£110


£1325


*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and allowances. Please speak to your HR department if you are unsure of the value of tax and NI exempt childcare vouchers you are entitled to take.

If both parents claim vouchers, the benefit is doubled. ^

Can I use any kind of childcare?

You can only use the vouchers to pay for registered care. Many childcare providers are now registered and are happy to take childcare vouchers. If your childcare provider is not registered, we have information for them on how getting registered here. Providers may include nurseries, child-minders, breakfast clubs, after school clubs, activity after school clubs, holiday camps and certain elements of Independent school fees. ^

Can I use more than one childcare provider?

You can pay as many childcare providers as you wish providing they are registered with Sodexo Motivation Solutions. If you wish to add a childcare provider to your account, simply go online and add them using our comprehensive system.

Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes. ^

How long do I have to sign up for?

HMRC guidance suggests that you can leave the scheme at any time. However, we ask that you stay for a minimum of one month to avoid unnecessary administration. It is also worth bearing in mind that your employer may not allow you to re-join the scheme for a specified period of time. ^

Do vouchers have an expiry date?

Vouchers are valid for up to 18 months, so you can save them up for times when you may need extra childcare throughout the year. Expiry dates of vouchers are available through the Childcare Portal. All vouchers expire on their expiry date and you must use the vouchers before they expire. Expired vouchers may be replaced on request, please contact the Customer Care team at Sodexo for further information. ^

Do I have to pay back tax and NI on unused vouchers?

No, as long as the vouchers have not expired, you can use them in the following tax year. ^

How do I leave the scheme?

Simply access your online account and request to leave the scheme.

Please note: it is your employer’s decision whether you can be reimbursed for any remaining vouchers. If this is agreed, you will have to pay the tax and NI contributions on the reimbursed amount through payroll.

Also please bear in mind that you will also be considered a new joiner if you wish to re-join your current employers scheme after 12 months. If you leave your current employer, and were subject to pre-April 2011 scheme guidelines. you will be considered a new joiner. This will mean that you will be subject to the guidelines of the new scheme, which may reduce the amount you save. ^

How can I contact you?

If you would like further advice or information, please get in touch with the team.

Email: customercare.motivation.uk@sodexo.com

Phone: 0800 328 7411*

Address: Sodexo Motivation Solutions, Unit 5 Albany Court, Albany Park

Frimley Road, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7QR

*Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes. ^

Section 2: How choosing childcare vouchers affects you

What will my payslip show?

Your vouchers may or may not appear on your payslip. Often your salary is shown with the voucher cost deducted and the voucher value is shown separately. The reduced tax and National Insurance contributions are then shown on the opposite side of the payslip. ^

Will childcare vouchers affect my pension scheme?

The impact on the state pension scheme (S2P or SERPS) is likely to be negligible. Most other pension providers are happy to accept childcare vouchers as notional pay. Ask your employer for confirmation of whether your pension contributions are affected. If you are contributing to a personal pension, you are unlikely to be affected by taking childcare vouchers, but we recommend that you seek advisement on this. ^

Will childcare vouchers affect my statutory maternity or paternity pay? What are my options whilst on Maternity Leave?

You have 3 options in relation to your childcare vouchers whilst on maternity leave:

Option 1 - You can withdraw from the childcare voucher scheme. If you do so prior to the period in which SMP is calculated (the 'qualifying period'), your SMP calculations will be based on your higher salary (not including your salary sacrifice deductions). This period begins at approximately week 17 of your pregnancy.

Option 2- You can opt out of the childcare voucher scheme during the qualifying period, so your SMP calculations are based on your higher salary, and then rejoin the scheme afterwards. The qualifying period lasts for 8 weeks and is approximately between weeks 17 and 25 of pregnancy. If you will be receiving contractual or occupational maternity pay, you may continue to salary sacrifice until your pay reverts to SMP/SAP. Please note that childcare vouchers cannot be deducted from SMP/SAP so, at this point, you may be required to take a break from receiving childcare vouchers until you return to work. (As long as you resume your childcare voucher claim within 12 months, it will not be considered a new claim).

Option 3- You can remain in the childcare voucher scheme during the qualifying period, and your maternity leave until you are no longer receiving contractual or occupational maternity pay. Your SMP will then be calculated at the lower rate (after your salary sacrifice deductions).

Statutory Paternity Pay is not affected. Before making your decision, you should seek advice from any relevant agencies in relation to Tax Credit Implications or ongoing childcare costs.

Please consult your HR department for further guidance. ^

Will childcare vouchers affect my Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit pay?

Taking childcare vouchers may have an effect on Tax Credits. Because every family’s situation is different, we can’t comment on your individual circumstances, but HM Revenue & Customs have a Tax Credits helpline on 0845 300 3900 which may help you decide what is best for your family. They also have an online tool to help you decide whether you’ll be better off with childcare vouchers.

HMRC Childcare Indicator ^

Will my overtime payments be affected?

Most employers are happy to accept childcare vouchers as pay when calculating overtime, so your payments should not be affected by taking childcare vouchers. Check with your employer. ^

Section 3: Joining the childcare voucher service

How do I join the Sodexo childcare voucher service?

Your employer has to put the childcare voucher service in place before you can join it. If your employer doesn’t have a scheme in place, why not let them know about the childcare voucher service from Sodexo? Once your employer has joined the service, they will invite you to join and our online tools will guide you through the process:

Step 1. You create an individual account

Step 2. You add the details of your childcare provider(s) to your account

Step 3. Your employer orders vouchers for you

Step 4. The vouchers show up as credit in your individual account

Step 5. You can pay your childcare provider(s) directly from your online account. ^

What happens when I join?

Once you have registered with us, you will be sent a confirmation email. You can access your e-voucher account at any time using your username and password. ^

Can I join at any time?

Most employers allow you to join the scheme at any point – check with them for more information. ^

What if my childcare provider isn’t registered?

Your childcare provider has to demonstrate they are registered if you want to pay them using childcare vouchers. If your childcare provider is regulated by a national body such as Ofsted they should have a registration number and a certificate. ^

How do e-vouchers work?

E-vouchers work in a similar way to online banking. You are given a personal e-voucher account that you access to arrange payment directly into your childcare provider’s bank account. You can easily monitor your payments and make them when it suits you or set up a regular payment for a set amount, which goes directly into your CCP’s bank account on a set day every month. ^

Can I receive vouchers without access to the Internet?

If you temporarily lose access to the internet, you can manage your account by calling our friendly customer care team on 0800 328 7411.