The University of Sheffield
Human Resources

Pay Plus for childcare

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Childcare Vouchers - Government Announcement March 2014

The Government has announced further details in relation to the new scheme for Tax-Free Childcare for working families to take effect from autumn 2015. Tax-Free Childcare is the scheme that will replace the existing arrangements for Childcare Vouchers paid for via salary sacrifice. Those already in a Childcare Voucher scheme, such as the one operated by the University through our partners Edenred, will be able to continue to participate in that scheme and benefit from the tax and NI free savings on childcare payments or have the option to join the new scheme- you will not be able to participate in both.

With the Introduction of the new scheme, the existing Childcare Voucher Scheme will be closed to new entrants in the Autumn of 2015. Those currently registered in the scheme can continue to receive childcare vouchers whilst employed at the University.

Further information on eligibility and on how the scheme will operate and can be found at:
Tax-Free Childcare

The University is in discussion with Edenred over the implications for our existing scheme and to develop a plan to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements.

The University will update these pages with further information as it becomes available.

Pay Plus for Childcare

Pay plus for childcare is the University's salary sacrifice scheme for childcare ‎vouchers. The scheme can help you reduce your childcare costs, because childcare ‎vouchers are exempt from income tax and National Insurance (NI), up to a maximum ‎of £243 per month. You can use your vouchers as payment towards a variety of ‎childcare provision, for children up to the age of 15 (16 if they have a disability) including:‎

How it works

You change your terms and conditions of employment to reduce your salary by up to ‎‎£243 each month and the University provides an equivalent amount of childcare ‎vouchers (from the University's supplier, Edenred). The salary reduction ‎results in a saving on the amount of tax and NI that you pay, as well as a reduction in ‎the amount of employer NI the University pays.

For staff joining the scheme on or after 6 April 2011, the maximum amount of vouchers you can claim will be based on an assessment of your annual earnings‎. The different monthly amounts are as follows:

• Basic rate - £243 (earnings less than £35,000)
• Higher rate - £124 (earnings between £35,001 and £150,000)
• Additional rate - £97 (earnings over £150,000)

The University will carry out a Basic Earnings Assessment when you join the scheme, which will determine how many vouchers you can claim. You can join the scheme before the Basic Earnings Assessment is carried out, but your order may be amended if you have requested more vouchers than permitted.

Pay Plus for childcare is administered on the University's behalf by an external provider, Edenred. They will manage the administration of all new orders, order amendments and leaving the scheme, so there will be no need to submit forms to Reward & Benefits.

How to join

New members can find out more information and sign up through the Edenred myBenefits site. If you have already logged in to access the UOffers site, you can use your existing username and password. If not, your username and password are as follows:‎

• Username – Employee number preceded by SU, removing any zeroes from the start of the number. E.g. if your employee number was 000123456, your login would be SU123456.
• Password – Your month and year of birth, in the format MMYY

Your employee number can be found on myJob or on your payslip. ‎

You will be prompted to change your password following your initial login.‎

If you join Pay Plus for childcare you will also receive unlimited use of Family Advice Line & Childcare Advice Line, a nationwide freephone telephone helpline operated by professional staff ‎offering advice and guidance on a range of childcare and family issues, including ‎sourcing emergency childcare, child disability or elderly care.‎

Amendments to Your Account

Existing members can access their account to make amendments or leave the scheme either through the myBenefits site as above, or through the direct link to the Edenred Childcare Vouchers site with their membership number.

If you wish to make amendments, join or leave the scheme, you will need to do this before the end of the current month in order to take effect the following month.  The order for vouchers is made at the beginning of the month, paid into your Edenred account mid month and debited from your salary at the end of the month.

It is your responsiblity to manage  your account. Once converted to vouchers, they cannot be converted to back into your salary.

Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for childcare for children up to the age of 15, or 16 if they have a disability. They can be used to pay for breakfast clubs, after school clubs, and holiday clubs and are for more than just nursery or pre-school care.