75 organisations have called for the voucher scheme to be kept open for new parents alongside Tax-Free Childcare (TFC).
Currently, the scheme is due to close to new applicants from the 4th October – having already been delayed by 6 months. Parents who already receive the vouchers will continue to do so after the scheme closes, as long as they stay with the same employer.
Charity Barnardo’s and manufacturer Kettle Foods are just some of the employers who have signed a pledge to keep the voucher scheme open to new parents indefinitely.
The chief executive of Barnardo’s, Javed Khan, said: “Barnardo’s employs over 8,000 people. As part of our package of benefits to help families, we offer childcare vouchers to all staff, which we believe is pro-family and supportive to our staff with young children in managing their work-life balance.
“Barnardo’s believes parents should have a choice in which scheme they wish to use.”
A spokesperson for Kettle Foods said, “Kettle Foods is proud to be one of the thousands of businesses that offers childcare vouchers. The scheme helps many of our working parents to maintain a healthy work-life balance and is one of the most popular employee benefits we offer.”
The Childcare Vouchers Providers Association has stated that closing the scheme will affect thousands of parents, including those who are expecting a baby or planning a family. Over 780,000 parents use the vouchers to pay for their childcare.
A spokesperson from HMRC said, “Tax-Free Childcare is available to working parents regardless of where they work and includes the self-employed, making it fairer and more accessible than vouchers – which are only offered by some employers.
“It will provide support to nearly 1 million more families compared to the number currently using vouchers. It’s also paid per child rather than per parent, so lone parents can access the same support as couples, and parents get more support as their childcare costs rise.
“Parents who are already getting vouchers can continue to do so, as long as they stay with the same employer and they continue to run the scheme.”
More information on the #SaveChildcareVouchers scheme is available here.