The Government has announced that the launch of its tax-free replacement for the childcare vouchers scheme will be delayed until early 2017.
The new scheme was originally due to be implemented in Autumn 2015 and was designed so that employers will no longer bear the burden of administrating childcare benefits through salary sacrifice schemes. Instead, the benefit will be delivered by HMRC directly to eligible parents through “childcare accounts”.
The delay is as a result of a Supreme Court challenge from companies who currently administer childcare voucher schemes to the government’s decision not to put the contract to administer the new scheme out to tender. While the challenge was ongoing the court required preparations into setting up the new scheme to be delayed. The challenge was ruled unsuccessful, therefore the Government is now free to press ahead with its plans, albeit that the implementation date has been pushed back substantially.
Continuing on the theme of family friendly rights, Acas has published two new guides explaining the new rights of adopting patents and those in surrogacy arrangements to leave for attending antenatal and adoption appointments. The guides can be found on the Acas website.