Policy News Journal - 2014-15

The online solution should be fully tested, and ideally made available, before the scheme goes live in autumn of 2015. This will avoid unnecessary and disruptive confusion for working parents who will inevitably turn to their employers for assistance.

The guidance should make very clear that it is not mandatory for employers to have a role in the new scheme.

We would ask you to recognise that employers who have sufficient resource will naturally look to help parent employees where they can. However, smaller employers or those who lack sufficient resource should not be ‘confused’ into providing support by misleading guidance. On a final note, we noted that nowhere within any eligibility criteria is the requirement for the parent to be a tax payer and whilst we acknowledge that this might indeed put them within tax credits or universal credit thus making them ineligible it does strike us that the current name ‘tax-free childcare’ and terminology used might be confusing. The CIPP are delighted that there will be no mandatory role to play for the employer or payroll practitioner with the operation of Tax–Free Childcare. However, we do welcome government recognition of the vital role that employers and the payroll industry already play in the current operation of tax efficient Employer Supported Childcare schemes We also welcome the proposal that the design of the Tax-Free Childcare scheme will have no impact on the existing rules around the provision of work place nurseries, which provides a measure of consistency for affected employers and we are grateful for that early confirmation. Experience tells us that employees will turn to their employers, generally through the professionals that process their pay, on occasions when they are unclear about the tax and benefits system, so we also value the thought that has gone in to ensuring that employers, who wish to remain involved, can do so, but we are concerned that enthusiasm to keep the employer involved could easily result in confused guidance being issued to the employer community running the risk of diluting the non mandation message. In our response we concluded:

Thank you to those members (27) who took the time to respond to our survey. Members can read the full response to this consultation through our news pages .

Tax-Free Childcare – consultation outcome

19 March 2014

The government has published their consultation response to the design and operation of the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme due to launch in autumn 2015.

The Policy team will scrutinise the 87 page document and provide further comment shortly but in the interim the response includes the top ten things to know about the scheme:

1. The scheme will launch in autumn 2015

You’ll be able to open an online account, which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. This will be done through the government website, GOV.UK.

2. For every 80p you or someone else pays in, the government will top up an extra 20p

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 168 of 521

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