Childcare vouchers: Child’s play

This is the first snapshot survey from the Personnel Today HR Opinion Panel, which provides an exclusive insight into the views of HR professionals, decision makers and influencers.

Key insights

Contributory pensions, paid maternity and paid paternity leave are considered to be the most important aspects of an organisation’s benefits package.

Around two-thirds offer childcare vouchers to employees as it is believed they help to improve an organisation’s reputation, retain existing staff and attract new employees.

HR professionals do not favour the government’s intention to scrap tax and national insurance contribution exemptions for childcare vouchers. Many believe that it will make the cost of childcare too expensive and that employees will decide that it’s not cost-effective to work.

How important are each of the following benefits to your organisation’s overall package?

More than half of the panellists stated that a contributory pension, paid maternity and paid paternity leave were the most important aspects of their organisation’s benefits package.

Around three-quarters of the sample (74%) said childcare vouchers were important (31% said very important), which was a similar rating to car allowances and non-contributory pensions.

Only a small number of panellists (5%) stated that eldercare vouchers were very important to their organisation’s overall benefits package.

Childcare vouchers were much more likely to be offered to staff compared to eldercare vouchers, with around 12% of eligible employees having signed up. Almost one-third of panellists (29%) stated that neither childcare or eldercare schemes were offered as part of their company’s overall benefits package. There was a strong belief that childcare vouchers improve an organisation’s reputation while helping to retain existing staff and attract new employees.

On balance, childcare voucher schemes appear to be well communicated within organisations, with the vast majority (86%) saying it was handled very or somewhat effectively.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the government’s intention to scrap tax and national insurance contribution exemptions for childcare vouchers?

There is strong feeling among HR panellists against the government’s intention to scrap tax and national insurance contribution exemptions for childcare vouchers, with one-third of the sample (35%) stating that this will greatly impact on their organisation’s provision of such a scheme.

Key stats from snapshot survey

Voucher schemes currently offered

  • 71% – Childcare vouchers (average of 12% of eligible employees have signed up)
  • 1% – Eldercare vouchers

Percentage agreeing with statements about childcare vouchers

  • 90% – Improves an organisation’s reputation
  • 81% – Improves employee retention
  • 81% – Helps with recruitment
  • 79% – Improves HR/staff engagement
  • 75% – Enhances an organisation’s consumer brand
  • 56% – Reduces absence levels.

Effectiveness of childcare voucher communication at organisation

  • 55% – Somewhat effectively
  • 31% – Very effectively
  • 14% – Not at all effectively.


Personnel Today
 HR opinion panel

The Personnel Today HR Opinion panel is a unique community where members can express their views on HR and business topics, providing them with the opportunity to contribute to engaging and relevant content in Personnel Today magazine and online.

The panel was launched in October 2009 and has nearly 3,000 UK panellists, comprising of HR professionals from across a range of industry sectors, company types and sizes.

To sign up to the panel, go to www.personneltoday.com/onlinepanel

Comments are closed.