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Who gets all the unused child care vouchers?

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Who gets all the unused child care vouchers?

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infocominfocom Forumite
47 posts
I've been Money Tipped!
So my wife has over saved into her childcare vouchers at work. We have over £900 I think. But our kids are old enough to not use anything that takes childcare vouchers. We even enquired with babysitters thinking we could have a few rare nights out, and they said they are not allowed to anymore, the government stopped it.

My wife says she cannot get the salary back from these vouchers. I am quite dumfounded to be honest. I totally understand its savings before tax, so would expect tax and NI dedications from a refund (in effect get paid it like salary), but am in utter disbelief she cant get it back. Its her salary that she sacrificed for it.

So if this is true, who would eventually get all the money everyone saves using salary sacrifice? Must be millions as we cant be the only ones. I find it very hard to believe you can sacrifice your salary, but if you sacrifice too much someone else keeps the excess. Totally not right.

So please someone tell me she can get it back, surely its not legal for someone to keep her salary sacrifice? And if it is, then who is keeping it? If legal, its immoral.

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  • SystemSystem
    177.8K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Buy baby milk formula and sell it. It goes for quite a bit online due to the fact it's unavailable in other countries.
  • AlleycatAlleycat Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Depending on the age of your children, they may still like to do holiday camps and the childcare vouchers can usually be used for these. Rather than just the standard school holiday clubs, there are adventure and activity weeks that older ones should enjoy. This would be a good way to try and use them up.

    My understanding is that as long as the babysitter/childminder is registered with OFSTED they should be able to take them but understand that there must be restrictions for evenings as that is a non-essential.
    "I've fallen down a hole" - said in best Monty Python voice-over.
  • jwiljwil Forumite
    12.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    It clearly states when you sign up to them that they are not refundable. You can adjust the amount you are sacrificing very easily, and stop it very easily, so there should be no reason to build up a big quantity of excess.

    I agree, any registered childminder/holiday club would be able to take them, book them in so you and your OH can have some days together.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
  • It is possible to get the vouchers refunded - I have done it myself. I had to get a refund form from the voucher company but go through my works HR to submit it. They wouldn't let me get it the first time I asked but once I demonstrated how I wouldn't be able to use them (i.e. There's no after school or holiday clubs for high school kids once they pass age 12 and I had family for childcare in the holidays) the refund came through quite quickly in my wages with the appropriate tax etc. paid.
  • nick6969nick6969 Forumite
    4 posts
    Refunds are at the discretion of your employer. I do think this is a scandal. All vouchers should be refundable, less appropriate tax. Any vouchers not used by time child is too old will just lapse and, as far as I understand, the company who issues your vouchers will reap the benefit. Ever wondered why these companies are always pushing for you to buy more vouchers? Now you may have your answer.

    Time for Martin to lobby on this scandal.
  • Our work situation changed following an injury, so we no longer needed after school clubs, but had vouchers accrued. My two (10+11yr) now do activity holidays with PGL to use up our leftover vouchers over time. You can use them even with all the promotional offers (we booked this year using a BOGOF promotion), and even to include the extras like the PGL insurance.

    The past two years we have done a four day break over Easter sometime, and a week in summer. This breaks up the holidays for us, as we cant afford to all go away for long, and we use the time they are away to do all the dull stuff like decorating etc. so we can spend quality family time together when they are back. They do x4 activities per day (usually including x2 big ones like kayaking or abseiling etc), and arrive back exhausted and happy to just chill out at home for a few days afterwards. I couldn't recommend them enough...mine love it, and are well looked after and make loads of friends every time.

    We did also look into converting the vouchers back, and whilst it was possible (Computershare vouchers), there were also tax implications as the vouchers are taken out of salary before tax, so we decided we would use them differently instead. We did also come across swimming lesson companies that will accept them.
  • rabb5itrabb5it Forumite
    59 posts
    My belief is that it depends on your employment. INTO University states in their computershare scheme that they will refund vouchers through your salary. I have had HR confirm this, had it not been the case I would have monitored the accrued amount very carefully.
  • HopezterHopezter Forumite
    1 posts
    I am in the same boat. Hundreds of £’s in childcare vouchers that I no longer need due to a change in circumstances and I have been told I am unable to get a refund as my employer does not allow this. I also think this should be lobbied as it does not feel fair.
  • Can I use my remaining childcare vouchers to pay for a friends child? I have £££ left unused.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
    8.3K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Can I use my remaining childcare vouchers to pay for a friends child? I have £££ left unused.

    2. The child is a qualifying child

    The child for whom the Childcare Voucher is provided must be a child of the employee or a child who lives with the employee and for whom he/she has parental responsibility.
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