skip to content
 

The Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme is available to all University staff who hold a contract of employment with the University and are listed on the University payroll. The Childcare Voucher Scheme enables employees to benefit from Tax and National Insurance savings on their childcare costs, up to specified government allowed voucher values.

  1. The Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme is available to any full or part-time employee of the University of Cambridge who has a Contract of Employment with the University and is on the University payroll.
  2. Please note temporary workers are not eligible to join the scheme. For verification please contact the Childcare Services Administrator.
  3. In order to join the scheme the child/ren for whom you anticipate Ofsted-registered or approved childcare will be required, must have been born.
  1. Childcare vouchers are provided to University staff by 'KiddiVouchers', who administer all aspects of the vouchers scheme and they are your first point of contact. You will find more information in the KiddiVouchers Childcare Voucher Scheme Rules.
  2. For further information and to apply please call 0800 612 9015 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm Monday to Friday, or visit the KiddiVouchers website.
  3. You can use salary exchange to get childcare vouchers up to a maximum of £243 per month (£55 per week), depending on your tax status. For more information see How much can I exchange?
  4. The amount you salary exchange each month will be deducted from your gross salary, before Tax and NI is applied.  This is how you make savings on your childcare costs.
  5. Your agreed salary exchange must not take you below the National Minimum Wage (NMW).  If you are unsure, please contact Payroll.
  1. You apply to KiddiVouchers before the first day of the first month that you wish to receive vouchers. Tel: 0800 612 9015 or visit www.kiddivouchers.com.

NOTE: The exception is if you sign up to receive your first vouchers in December, the deadline will be mid-November - for more details please contact the Childcare Services Administrator.

  1. On your application you will need to provide the following information or your application cannot be processed:
  • Full name (please provide the surname that appears on your payslip)
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • National Insurance number
  • University Payroll number
  • Details of the child for whom vouchers are required
  • Details of your childcare provider (if known at point of registering)

3. When asked for the Scheme Reference Number please quote: S477446L

  1. The minimum salary exchange sign up period is 3 months. The quarterly periods start January, April, July and October. Any changes made to your voucher amount will only take effect at the start of the following quarter. (Exceptions are detailed in 3 below).
  2. If you cancel your vouchers at the end of a quarter, (December, March, June, September) you will not normally be able to reinstate a voucher order until the start of the next quarter (January, April, July or October).
  3. Exceptions to the above will only be approved if one of the following acceptable Lifestyle Changes apply:
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Birth or at key stages in adoption of a child
  • Notification of pregnancy or commencement of/return from maternity leave
  • Divorce/legal separation/dissolution of civil partnership
  • Change in formal custody arrangements
  • Death of a partner or dependant
  • Long-term sickness of child
  • Commencement of/return from long-term sick leave/ starting receipt of long-term disability benefit
  • Redundancy, loss of job or change in working pattern of partner
  • Commencement of or return from unpaid leave of greater than 3 months (adoption, additional paternity, career break, etc.)
  • A significant change in working hours (20% or more)
  • Decrease in Reference Salary (20% or more)
  • Commencement of/return from an overseas secondment
  • Moving house
  • Sibling starting daycare/sibling starting school
  1. Any changes that are approved due to a Lifestyle Change will apply to whole months.
  2. If you do not make changes, your membership in the scheme will continue automatically.
  3. Unused vouchers cannot be returned but they do not expire. See ‘Do my childcare vouchers expire?’
  4. Your membership in the Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme will continue unless you notify KiddiVouchers that you want to withdraw or if you apply a lifestyle change.

 

  1. Basic Rate taxpayers are entitled to exchange a maximum of £243 from their monthly salary (£55 per week) in exchange for childcare vouchers, regardless of the number of children they have.
  2. Higher Rate taxpayers who sign up for childcare vouchers after 5 April 2011 will only receive tax and National Insurance relief on up to £124 a month of childcare vouchers.
  3. Additional Rate taxpayers will only receive tax and National Insurance relief on up to £110 a month of childcare vouchers.
  4. Your agreed salary exchange must not take you below the National Minimum Wage (NMW). All other Salary Exchange Schemes will be taken into account as well (eg pension, cycle scheme). If you are unsure, please contact Payroll.
  5. Note: higher rate and additional rate taxpayers who signed up for vouchers before April 2011, remain with their current employer and do not take a break for longer than 12 months, will be able to continue to exchange a maximum of £243.

Table of Savings from April 2011

 

Basic Rate Taxpayer

Higher Rate Taxpayer

Additional Rate Taxpayer

Gross Earnings

Up to £42,385

£42,386 to £150,000

£150,001 or more

Maximum voucher amount per month

£243

£124

£110

Annual Savings

£892

£624

£620

 

  1. Your vouchers will be sent to you or credited to your account on the 26th of the month.
  2. The cash amount you have requested in vouchers will be deducted from your salary before deduction of tax and National Insurance contributions.

If you have not received vouchers or had a deduction from your pay in any month, please contact the Childcare Services Administrator who will assist you in resolving the issue.

 

  1. When you exchange pay in return for a benefit that is exempt from National Insurance (NI) contributions you do not pay NI on the exchanged portion, only the actual earnings. As your entitlement to some benefits is based on the amount of NI contributions that you pay and others are based on the amount you earn, joining this scheme may affect your current or future entitlement to benefits including:
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • State Pension
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  1. For more information about how these benefits would be affected by a salary exchange arrangement, contact the relevant benefit provider.
  1. You can use childcare vouchers to pay for any approved or registered childcare (e.g. nurseries, after-school clubs, nannies, and registered childminders) for any child.  This includes the University of Cambridge Holiday Playscheme.
  2. You are entitled to this tax concession until 1 September after the child's 15th birthday (16th birthday for registered disabled children).
  3. KiddiVouchers will check whether your childcare provider has the necessary approvals.
  4. You can either use paper or e-vouchers to pay variable amounts to your childcare provider as and when you want to, or you can set up a regular payment of the same monthly sum.

Vouchers do not have an expiry date so you can continue using them for any registered or approved childcare until 1 September after your child's 15th birthday (16th birthday if your child is registered disabled).

  1. No, the Scheme is a non-refundable one.  However, vouchers continue to be valid until 1 September after your child turns 15 years (16 years if your child is registered disabled).
  2. You are able to use your childcare vouchers for many forms of provision, including the University of Cambridge Holiday Playscheme, other holiday provision including many sports and activity clubs, breakfast and afterschool clubs as well as nurseries and childminders.

Yes. The University also offers a Workplace Nurseries' Salary Exchange Scheme for staff with a child/children in one of the two University Workplace Nurseries.

  1. Legislation relating to the provision of non-pay benefits during maternity leave, states that, if you go on maternity leave for a second or subsequent child and are eligible, the University will provide you with the benefit of childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself, depending on which of the following options you take.
  2. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:
  1. Be in the Childcare Voucher Scheme and be receiving childcare vouchers through the Childcare Vouchers Salary Exchange Scheme at week 15 before your due date. To comply with this criteria you must be in the scheme by the last day of the month before the month in which your "week 15 before your due date" falls. I.E. if your "week 15 before due date" is 25 June you will need to have joined the scheme by 31 May at the latest.
  2. Maintain the voucher value at the week 15 level, until the start of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA). Please note that if you reduce the voucher value after week 15 and before your due date the University will provide you with the reduced level of benefit.
  3. Remain in the employment of the University for the duration of your maternity leave.
  1. If you don't meet criteria i. and ii., you are able to salary exchange until SMP or MA starts, and the University will automatically withdraw you from the scheme.
  2. If you meet the above criteria then you can choose either option 1 or 2 below, depending on your personal circumstances.

Option 1: in receipt of University Contractual Maternity Pay

  1. If you opt to receive University Contractual Maternity Pay, you are able to continue to salary exchange in the normal way during the first 18 weeks of your maternity leave. This is because during this period you will receive maternity pay equal to your normal salary, which can be used for the purposes of salary exchange.
  2. After the first 18 weeks, if you are entitled, you will receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for 21 weeks. You are also able to take up to 13 weeks unpaid leave after this period, amounting to a total of 52 weeks maternity leave.
  3. The University will provide you with the benefit of childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself from week 19 of your maternity leave. (Known as Maintained Benefit.)
  4. The amount of Maintained Benefit provided by the University will be based on the rate at which you salary exchanged from the 15th week before your due date onwards. This is calculated by the University once you have supplied the University with your due date. This arrangement will continue until the end of your maternity leave (week 52) or your return to work, whichever is sooner.

Option 2: in receipt of SMP or MA only

  1. If you opt to receive SMP only, or are only eligible to receive MA, from week 1 of your maternity leave, you will not be able to continue to salary exchange.
  2. The University will provide you with the benefit of childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself from week 1 of your maternity leave.
  3. The amount of Maintained Benefit provided by the University will be based on the rate at which you salary exchanged from the 15th week before your due date onwards. This is calculated by the University once you have supplied the University with your due date. This arrangement will continue until the end of your maternity leave (week 52) or your return to work, whichever is sooner.
  1. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:
  1. Be in the Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme and receiving Childcare Vouchers at week 15 before your due date for your second or subsequent child.
  2. Maintain the voucher exchange value at the week 15 level, until the start of Statuary Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA). Please note that if you reduce the exchange value after week 15 and before your due date, the University will provide you with the reduced level of benefit.
  3. Remain in the employment of the University for the duration of your maternity leave.
  1. You will receive 2 letters from the Manager of Childcare Services:
  1. 1st letter – Introduction to Maintained Benefit – this will inform you of your eligibility to receive childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself during your maternity leave. This letter will be sent to your work address.
  2. 2nd letter – Starting Maintained Benefit – this will detail the childcare voucher payment arrangements for the first and subsequent months of your maternity leave and will be sent to your home address. (Please use Employee Self Service (www.chris.cam.ac.uk) to check your home address is accurately recorded).

Option 1: in receipt of University Contractual Maternity Pay

  1. If you have opted to receive University Contractual Maternity Pay, you must maintain your salary exchange for childcare vouchers up to and including the 18th week of maternity leave to qualify for the continuing provision of the benefit for the remainder of your maternity leave.
  2. The Childcare Office will make an amendment to the normal childcare voucher order which will ensure that you receive childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself from the start of your 19th week of maternity leave. Should the start of week 19 fall part way through a month rather than at the beginning/end of the month, you will be required to salary exchange in the normal way until the start of week 19 of your maternity leave and the University will cover the vouchers for the remainder of the month. The University will make payments directly to the voucher provider who will then supply you with vouchers in the same form as you previously received them (paper, electronic). If you have electronic vouchers, you will see the vouchers recorded in your account as ‘supplied by the University’ or ‘employer funded vouchers’.

Option 2: in receipt of SMP or MA only

  1. If you have opted to receive SMP, or are only eligible to receive MA, from week 1 of your maternity leave, the University will provide the benefit from that point.
  2. The Childcare Office will make an amendment to the normal childcare voucher order which will ensure that you receive childcare vouchers at no cost to yourself from day 1 of your maternity leave. Should this date fall part way through a month rather than at the beginning/end of the month you will be required to exchange in the normal way until the day you start your maternity leave and the University will cover the vouchers for the remainder of the month. The University will make payments directly to the voucher provider who will then supply you with vouchers in the same form as you previously received them (paper, electronic). If you have electronic vouchers, you will see the vouchers recorded in your account as ‘supplied by the University’ or ‘employer funded vouchers’.
  1. Please be aware that should you decide to return to work and receive University Contractual Maternity Pay in retrospect, you will be required to reimburse the University for the childcare vouchers they provided on your behalf during the first 18 weeks of your maternity leave.

For more information please contact the Manager, Childcare Services on 01223 (7) 65305.

  1. If you have not been eligible to receive employer funded vouchers during your maternity leave, but want to receive childcare vouchers on your return to work, please contact KiddiVouchers to reinstate your salary exchange. Please note the deadline date to sign up for vouchers is the last day of the month before the month in which you require the vouchers.

  2. If you received employer funded vouchers during your period of maternity leave you will receive a 3rd letter – End of Maintained Benefit - from the Manager of Childcare Services. This will detail the final payment arrangements for the last month of your maternity leave and information regarding reinstating your salary exchange. This letter will be sent to your home address.

Option 1: in receipt of University Contractual Maternity Pay

  1. If you opted to take University Contractual Maternity Pay, your membership in the Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme will need to be reinstated using the financial details contained in your End of Maintained Benefit letter.
  2. The Childcare Office will inform KiddiVouchers of your return to work and make arrangements to provide the University contribution of your voucher allocation for your last month.
  3. Should your return to work date fall part way through a month rather than at the start/end of the month, the University will cover the vouchers to the day before your return and you will be required to salary exchange in the normal way for the remainder of the month.
  4. The Childcare Office will arrange this with KiddiVouchers who will then contact you by email to sign up for your new salary exchange arrangement; you will be able to amend the amount of vouchers you order, up to a maximum of £243, depending on your tax status, should you wish to do so.

Option 2: in receipt of SMP or MA only

  1. If you opted to receive SMP only, or were only eligible to receive MA, from the beginning of your maternity leave and you are not returning to the University, you need take no further action.
  2. However, if you return to work at the University, your membership of the Childcare Voucher Salary Exchange Scheme will need to be reinstated. The Childcare Office will arrange this with KiddiVouchers who will then contact you by email to sign up for your new salary exchange arrangement; you will be able to amend the amount of vouchers you order, up to a maximum of £243, depending on your tax status, should you wish to do so.
  3. If you claim University Contractual Maternity Pay in retrospect for the first 18 weeks of your maternity leave, you will be required to reimburse the University for the Childcare Vouchers they paid for on your behalf during that time. This will be arranged through the Childcare Office and Payroll upon completion of the required 3 month period.

 

  1. The effect of a salary exchange for vouchers on pension provision is dependent on the rules of your scheme.

CPS

Pension contributions are based on the notional salary and therefore would include any salary exchanged. The death in service lump sum is four times the notional salary (three times the notional salary where the member joined or rejoined the CPS on or after 1 December 2009). As the maximum lump sum permitted by HMRC is four times taxable salary there may be circumstances where the lump sum death benefit is restricted.

USS

Pension contributions are based on notional salary and therefore would include any salary exchanged. The death in service benefit is calculated at three times notional salary and therefore would not normally be affected by the exchange. However, the HMRC rules only allow for four times taxable salary so there may be scenarios where the benefit on notional salary exceeds the maximum legally allowed.

  1. If you require further information about the impact of your pension deductions and entitlement please contact the Pensions Section. If you are on any other pension scheme you will need to check the implications of entering into a salary exchange scheme with your provider.
  1. The University cannot offer independent advice and can only provide information about the scheme.
  2. You may want to consider seeking independent advice before making a decision—you can get advice from a variety of sources, such as your Union, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, an independent financial adviser, your accountant, or your solicitor/legal adviser.