Thursday, 19 April 2012

Busy Bees Ensures Employers Don't Fall Foul of Minimum Wage Legislation

Offering Childcare Vouchers as an employee benefit is a great way to help working parents meet their childcare costs and aid recruitment and retention of experienced staff. Workers near the minimum wage are often those most in need of this benefit to help them pay for childcare. If Childcare Vouchers are operated as a salary sacrifice scheme, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that once deductions have been made, no employee’s salary falls below the National Minimum Wage levels. If this check is not made, the employer could fall foul of the law.

A recent case cost a major company £35k after an investigation by the HMRC for just this situation. Whilst an employee agrees that their wages are effectively cut in exchange for benefits, it is up to the employer to check they are not paid less than the current minimum wage rate of £6.08 per hour (for staff aged over 21).

Busy Bees Benefits has always prided itself on excellent customer service in terms of the operation of the scheme, ease of registration, support and service standards. When signing up to its Childcare Voucher scheme, employees complete a basic earnings assessment electronically which asks them to declare their gross earnings and any pre-tax outgoings – including any other salary sacrifice schemes such as cycle to work, some pension schemes and some car schemes. The system then automatically calculates whether or not they would fall below the minimum wage threshold. If the amount of vouchers they request takes them past the lower limit, the system automatically tells them the maximum amount of vouchers they can claim, or lets them know if they cannot request Childcare Vouchers at all. Busy Bees Benefits is also ensuring that existing scheme users are not breaching legislation by requesting that the employee re-enters their salary details annually.

John Woodward, managing director of Busy Bees Benefits, said: “It is important that as a Childcare Voucher provider, we help our customers – both employers operating our scheme and parents requesting our vouchers – to remain compliant with legislation. Our system is easy to understand, will take customers just a matter of moments to complete and ultimately protects vulnerable employees whilst helping busy employers meet their legal obligations. ”


Busy Bees Benefits Wins Major Public Sector Clients

Busy Bees Benefits is continuing to expand in the Childcare Voucher market and has had a great start to 2012. Amongst its successes, the company has recently won four major public sector tenders.
Busy Bees Benefits re-entered the Childcare Voucher market in 2010 and is delighted with the continued growth of the current business.
The company has always prided itself on excellent customer service and in competing to run the childcare voucher scheme for Calderdale Council, it scored top marks on the operation of the scheme, the transition onto the scheme for working parents, ease of registration, support and service standards.
John Woodward, managing director of Busy Bees Benefits, said: “It is fantastic to be working with these major public sector employers and helping so many working parents to pay their childcare costs. As part of the Busy Bees group we are in a unique position to understand the needs of working parents. Parents using our scheme have access to Emergency Childcare through our 146 nurseries. They also receive an additional discount if they use a Busy Bees Childcare Voucher at a Busy Bees Nursery. Any public sector client is obviously looking for value for money, as well as a great service, and our innovative online service meets the needs of the employer and staff, making the scheme really easy to use.”
Any parent can use childcare vouchers if their workplace is part of the scheme. There is no set up cost for parents or businesses. For further information visit or call 0330 333 9100.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Busy Bees Benefits Adds More Retailers to Discount Scheme

Busy Bees Benefits has added further retailers to its Discount Retail Voucher Scheme.

The retail discounts are available to those using the online account for Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers, including the scheme administrator, childcare providers and of course parents using the vouchers.

Vouchers are now available for Bella Italia, Strada and Café Rouge, so you could enjoy a meal out, followed by a trip to see the latest film at Cineworld, enjoying a 10% discount at each venue.

If you prefer to spend time at home with the family, you might like to buy some new outdoor toys for the kids and save 8% at Toys R Us. British weather permitting, you can sit back in the sunshine and take some memorable snaps for the family album - there’s now 12% off at Sunglass Hut and 8% at Jessops.

If the weather is less favourable, plan a holiday to sunnier climes and use the 5% discount at Thomsons and First Choice Holidays.

Gentlemen – if you love to hit the road on two wheels, there is now a 15% discount at Hein Gericke, whilst ladies may prefer to take advantage of 10% off at Schuh or 12% at Crabtree and Evelyn.

Gift cards can be purchased via the user’s personal online account at a discounted cost. New users just need to set up an account with our partner, SVM Cards. This only requires their name, email address and a password, so it only takes a minute. They will then gain a discount on the value of the retail gift card they buy.

For further information about the Busy Bees Childcare Voucher scheme, visit