The Childcare Vouchers scheme closed for new applicants in October 2018.
The closure required certain actions to be taken by both employees and employers, and the Reward Gateway product implemented a number of changes and improvements to our Childcare Vouchers product, RG Childcare, in order to help our clients and their employees navigate the new world of childcare support.
Two key changes made to our RG Childcare system relate to the following aspects of the government's move from Childcare Vouchers (CCV) to Tax Free Childcare (TFC):
- The closure of the Childcare Vouchers scheme to new members by October 2018; and
- Notification process between parents and employers if moving from CCV to TFC
Here's some more detail on these aspects and how RG Childcare facilitated them:
1. Closure of the scheme to new members
As of October 2018, only those employees who are signed up to Childcare Vouchers may continue to use the benefit, provided they do not leave their current employer. Eligibility to remain in the scheme will depend on:
Having a child who meets the age requirements - must be under 15 on the 1st of September, or 16 if the child is disabled.
Parent must stay with the employer they are receiving Childcare Vouchers from, and may not take an unpaid leave of absence of more than 12 months
Parent must make at least one contribution per 52 weeks
Note: Although the scheme closed to new members, it will continue to run for existing members. As such, a company is still able to change their Childcare Vouchers provider after October 2018 if they wish to, and Reward Gateway has made it easy and hassle-free for employers to transfer over to RG Childcare from an incumbent provider.
To facilitate the closure of the scheme to new applicants we have made the following updates:
Removal of the application page
In October 2018, we removed the application page along with the menu links as soon as a client passed the stage that an employee could receive their first voucher before the shutdown date. Any historic links from Pages or Tiles redirect to a holding page.
2. Notification of move to Tax-Free Childcare
It's important to note that both caregivers must use the same scheme (i.e. CCV or TFC) for all children.
If a parent wishes to switch from CCV to TFC:
The parent must provide notice to the employer of their intent to leave CCV and join TFC. When they sign up for TFC, they have 90 days to provide this notice.
As soon as this notice is served, the employer must suspend CCV contributions and may not let them re-enter the CCV scheme.
Preventing re-entry to CCV
When an employee opts to pause their contribution on the RG Childcare system, they will also be given the option to permanently suspend their contribution to join TFC.
Once an employee has indicated they are joining TFC, their account will be marked with a special flag that will prevent them from restarting their Childcare Vouchers contribution. This change is immediate and permanent.
Employers also have the ability to mark their employees with this tag if the employee informs them of their intent via different channels.