One issue that causes employers a lot of anxiety is where a woman is receiving childcare vouchers (CCVs) as part of a salary sacrifice scheme and then goes on maternity leave. The business must continue to provide the CCVs during maternity leave and cannot opt the employee out of the salary sacrifice scheme. However, the ruling on a case that recently went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) determined that such an arrangement is not a “benefit” for the purposes of maternity leave legislation and therefore can be stopped during the period of maternity leave. However, if CCVs are provided as a benefit in addition to salary then they must be provided throughout the ordinary and additional maternity leave.
Before employers take any steps to suspend CCVs during maternity leave, they should exercise caution and carefully check the wording of agreements that form part of a salary sacrifice arrangement
CCVs cannot be sacrificed from SMP
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