Have just discovered that due to a recent change in the law on sex discrimination, if a woman gets nursery vouchers by salary sacrifice then she continues to get them during her maternity period, since they’re now classed as a benefit like a company car or gym membership, which a company can’t take away because she’s on maternity leave. However obviously she’s not getting paid full salary for a lot of maternity, and if she only gets statutory maternity pay then after the first 6 weeks this drops to a set rate per week. Now the employer can’t make deductions from this fixed rate, hence has to pay for the nursery vouchers themselves – and the law says they’re not allowed to reclaim the money later.
You might be wondering what this has to do with the thread title, and why it’s in the bike forum. Well I realised that buying a bike on the bike-to-work scheme must come under exactly the same rules as nursery vouchers as it’s a very similar salary sacrifice benefit. The conclusion being that if you want a (almost) free bike and your company has a bike-to-work scheme then get pregnant and start a BTW purchase just before you go off on maternity leave. Your employer will end up paying for 90% of the bike directly.
Obviously not that useful to most on here (sorry chaps), and not particularly worth getting pregnant just to get a free bike. Would be interested to hear if anybody ever manages to get a bike this way though!Posted 9 years ago
just found some info on it on my laptop
Maternity / sick leave
Salary sacrifice can be taken from normal pay/any statutory pay.
Employer may either suspend or decrease payments until employee returns to work.
If I leave the scheme early or end my employment before I havePosted 9 years ago
completed my hire term, will I have to give my bike back?
If you leave the scheme or end your employment for any reason
before you have completed your hire term, you will be liable to pay
the amount outstanding from your final net salary. If you take paid
leave during the period of the hire term your payments will
continue to be deducted and you will be able to carry on using
your bike. If you take unpaid leave or leave where your pay is
reduced to a lower amount than that deducted, your payments will
be suspended until you return to work at which time payments will
recommence for the remainder of the term originally set out.’aracerSubscriber
As far as I remember if the employee is on maternity pay then deductions are put on hold during that time.
The law has changed recently (this came in in October last year). As I said, nursery vouchers continue but deductions stop (if on SMP or no MP), and it seems this should apply to bikes as well. I’d suggest it’s worth a go if you (or your wife) is going off on maternity, gets SMP, has a BTW scheme and you’d like your employer to buy you a bike (if SWMBO’s employers did BTW and weren’t a very small company who she doesn’t want to rip off I’d be very tempted to get a bigger bike trailer out of it!)Posted 9 years ago
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