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Protected rights


1. My colleague says they have protected rights. What does that mean?
 
Parents who received childcare vouchers prior to 6 April 2011, and have continued to do so (ordering at least one voucher in every rolling 12-month period ), can still request up to £243 a month (£55 a week) in childcare vouchers regardless of their tax status. They can do this as long as they stay with the same employer and have a child under 16^ years old. 
 
2. My employer has just been acquired by another company and we have to switch to their childcare scheme, which is with another provider. I have protected rights and I’m worried I’ll lose them.
 

If the acquisition is being conducted under TUPE regulations or, to give it its full name, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, it’s likely your new employer cannot change the transferred employees’ terms and
conditions to match its existing employees.

 

Under these terms you would keep your current protected rights with the new childcare voucher provider too, as long as you continue to order childcare vouchers at least once within a rolling 12-month period.

 
 
3. I’m a Basic rate taxpayer who registered for childcare vouchers before 6 April 2011. My employer has promoted me to a new role which means I’ll be a Higher rate taxpayer. Will this affect the amount of childcare vouchers I can order?
 
As a Basic rate taxpayer you’ve been entitled to receive up to £243 in childcare
vouchers every month. Providing you have ordered vouchers at least
once in the last rolling 12-month period, you will have protected rights.
 
This means that you can keep ordering up to £243 in childcare vouchers, even though you’re now a Higher rate taxpayer. In order to keep your protected rights, you must continue to order childcare vouchers at least once in a rolling 12-month period.
 
If at any time there are more than 12 months between your childcare voucher orders, you will lose your protected rights and you will only be able to order £124 in vouchers per month.
 
4. I’m a Basic rate taxpayer with protected rights and I am about to move to a new employer. Will I still be able to order the same tax-free amount of childcare vouchers through their scheme?
 
You will still be able to order up to £243 in childcare vouchers for as long as you
remain a Basic rate taxpayer. However, by joining your new employer’s scheme you
will lose your protected rights and your new employer will have to carry out a basic
earnings assessment for you each year. If you become a Higher
rate taxpayer in the future, the maximum amount of childcare vouchers you can
order will reduce to £124 a month.
 
 
5. I’m a Higher rate tax-payer with protected rights and I am about to move to a new employer. Will I still be able to order the same tax-free amount of childcare vouchers through their scheme?
 
No, you will be treated by your new employer as a new starter, so you will lose
your protected rights and you will be able to order £124 a month in vouchers.
  
6. I joined my employer’s scheme before 6 April 2011, but it’s been more than 12 months since I last placed an order for childcare vouchers. Can I still order up to £243 each month?
 
As it’s been more than 12 months since your last order, you have lost your protected rights. Therefore, the maximum amount of childcare vouchers you can order will be dependent on your tax band:
 
Basic rate tax-payer:
£243 a month
(£55 a week)
Higher rate tax-payer:
£124 a month
(£28 a week)
Additional rate tax-payer:
£110 a month
(£25 a week)