Childcare vouchers during maternity leave

In Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Donaldson the EAT considered whether childcare vouchers provided under a salary sacrifice scheme are part of the employee’s “remuneration”,  and therefore do not have to be provided during maternity leave.

The EAT held that they were remuneration and accordingly, it is not an unlawful detriment, nor discriminatory, for the employer to cease to provide them during a period of maternity leave, as the obligation to maintain terms and conditions during maternity leave does not extend to remuneration. However, where the vouchers are provided on top of salary, without a salary sacrifice, they are not part of the employee’s remuneration and must therefore be continued. For more information see our recent blog on this case.

The EAT expressed its conclusion somewhat tentatively, acknowledging that the issue was not clear-cut so please wait or take further advice before changing your maternity policies or practices.

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