A high percentage of employers throughout the United Kingdom are planning to continue their childcare voucher programmes after the government implements its new tax-free scheme in the autumn of next year.

According to a recent poll of more than 200 companies, 82% of all employers will still offer childcare vouchers despite plans for a new tax-free subsidy known as tax-free childcare (TFC). The new scheme was announced as a benefit for almost two million working families in the UK, worth up to £2,000 per child.

The new tax-free system previously drew controversy and concern from tax experts, with many believing that working parents might be worse off under the new government programme; however, the fact that a majority of employers will continue to offer vouchers suggests that these firms recognise the value of this particular employment benefit.

As it stands, working parents who currently pay the basic tax rate and spend £7,321.60 or less on childcare might be better off sticking with the existing childcare voucher scheme.

Fewer than 3% of UK employers indicated that they would cease providing childcare vouchers for their staff, while 15% stated that they were unsure about how they would proceed.

“As more detail has become known regarding the government’s proposals for TFC, it has become increasingly apparent that some employees will be better off retaining their membership under an existing employer-supported childcare voucher scheme. So it’s encouraging that so many employers are now actively considering retaining such arrangements to help these employees access this vital government support towards the rising cost of childcare,” explains Steve Herbert, Jelf Employee Benefits' head strategist.