First, they get pregnant. Then they go on maternity leave and you have to struggle with the complexities of SMP and KIT days, all the while having to find someone to cover their work. Then they want to come back to work, but only part-time or flexi-time. Eventually, they tell you that they would be happy to sacrifice some salary to get the non-taxable (up to £55 a week) benefit of employer-provided childcare.
Vouchers are the standard way of doing this, but it seems expensive and overly complicated for a small employer to make arrangements with a voucher-issuing company for just one employee's childcare. The alternative is direct provision of childcare by the employer, which means the employer contracting with the child-minder and paying her invoices when received.
But how do you contract for childcare costing (say) £150 a week when you are only going to pay £55 a week, with another £55 being paid by the employee's husband's vouchers from his employer and the remaining £40 being paid by the couple themselves? Does an agreement to pay a contribution only £55 a week satisfy the conditions for the tax-free benefit of directly contracted childcare?