Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme FAQ

Eligibility

Can anyone currently using the University nurseries apply for the Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme?

No – only those who are employed by the University of Oxford (and not employees of other organisations working within University departments).

I hold a joint appointment. Am I eligible?

Yes, providing that the University's contribution to your salary is greater than the cost of your nursery fees.

I work part-time, and have a part-time nursery place. Can I use the scheme?

Yes, as long as your salary is greater than the cost of your nursery fees.

Financial questions

Will I lose any University Pension benefits by taking an abated salary?

For the USS and OSPS pension schemes, your contributions, and therefore your pension scheme benefits, will be based on your full salary before any reduction for salary sacrifice.  If you have an NHS salary (having previously worked there before joining the University) then nursery salary sacrifice is not penshionable.  Therefore you will only pay pension contributions on the remaining salary after deduction of nursery sacrificed fees.

You may wish to contact the University's Pensions Office for further information, particularly if you are over 50 or if you wish to consider paying Additional Voluntary Contributions. You may also wish to seek independent financial advice.

Do I have to declare my participation in the Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme to the Inland Revenue?

No, as the cost of your childcare under this scheme is not a tax liability on you.

What happens when I qualify for a salary increase e.g. national pay award or salary increment?

Increments and any cost of living awards will be applied to your normal salary in the usual way.

I receive Working Family Tax Credit. If I join the scheme, could this be affected?

If part of your WFTC is calculated on the basis of the actual cost of your childcare, the amount of WFTC you receive may be affected by the scheme. You may receive a higher or lower WFTC award. You should contact the WFTC office and seek independent advice.

Other questions

What do I have to do if I wish to withdraw from the scheme?

You may only withdraw from the scheme if your child leaves nursery, after having given two months' notice to the University via Childcare Services.

What if I want to increase or decrease my childcare requirements after joining the scheme?

First request this from the University via Childcare Services and then the nursery manager. As soon as your request can be agreed, you will be notified and your salary will be adjusted accordingly and an amendment to your employment contract will be updated. The deduction from salary for salary sacrifice will be adjusted accordingly.

Will I always be able to use the Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme whilst I am employed by the University?

Yes, as long as the scheme continues in force, and providing that you continue to receive a salary payment.  Your salary must be at least equal to your nursery fee provided the remaining amount after deduction does not reduce your monthly income to below the minimum wage.

What happens to my salary sacrifice scheme payments when I go on unpaid occupational maternity leave?

While you are on Statutory Maternity pay only, this means unpaid leave, you will have to cease participation in the salary sacrifice scheme and arrange to pay the full fees direct to Childcare Services. When you return to work please notify Childcare Services if you wish to rejoin the salary sacrifice scheme.

My partner's employer offers a similar scheme. Which one should we join?

Eligible parents who wish to pay fees via the University of Oxford's nursery fee salary sacrifice scheme can only do so from their University of Oxford salary and only if using University of Oxford nursery provision.  University nursery fees cannot be paid using a partner's salary sacrifice scheme if it is operated by another organisation. However, childcare vouchers from any registered scheme can be used to pay some or all of the monthly childcare costs.

Where can I get independent advice?

From a variety of sources, such as your union, the Citizens' Advice Bureau, an independent financial adviser, your accountant, or your solicitor. The University cannot give you independent advice.