Salary sacrifice

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Pay and pensions
02 November 2016
Wallet with money in it
Teachers in maintained schools and nurseries can participate in certain salary sacrifice arrangements offered by their employers.

These provide tax break advantages for recognised activities, namely childcare, bicycles for work and mobile phones.

The arrangements mean teachers can take part of their pay as, for example, a childcare voucher instead of cash. This part of their salary is not liable for tax or national insurance.

England and Wales

Teachers are only able to participate in salary sacrifice schemes allowed in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document.

Teachers have been unable to participate in such arrangements previously because the statutory School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document, which forms a part of their employment contracts, did not permit them to be paid less than their statutory entitlement.

Where salary sacrifice arrangements are provided by employers, participation by teachers is voluntary. However, sacrificing salary for tax advantages can affect entitlement to other state benefits so individual teachers thinking of taking part will need to consider the possible consequences on their personal circumstances carefully.

Northern Ireland

With effect form 1 April 2007, a teacher may participate in a salary sacrifice arrangement where operated by their employer, and their gross salary may be reduced accordingly for the duration of their participation in it. In these circumstances, the amount of salary sacrificed counts as contributable salary for the purposes of the Northern Ireland Teachers' Superannuation Scheme.

Participation in any salary sacrifice arrangement shall have no effect upon the determination of any reorganisation allowance/safeguarded sum to which the teacher may be entitled.

See also