Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Particular aspects: child care - entitlement to child care element

Entitlement to WTC may include an element for child care charges (the child care element). The child care element is associated with WTC, not CTC, as it is intended to help parents with the child care costs they incur to put themselves in a position to work.

You should remember that there is an over-riding requirement that customers should first satisfy the WTC criteria before their entitlement to the child care element can be determined. For example, you may have taken up an examination or enquiry because of doubts about the payments for child care. But if you satisfy yourself that the customer(s) has met the criteria for entitlement to the child care element, but obtain information which shows they do not in fact meet the minimum qualifying hours test, they will not be entitled to the child care element. This is because they will not qualify for WTC, of which it is a part.

To qualify for the child care element of WTC the customers must be aged 16 or over

  • a single customer must be in qualifying remunerative work for 16 hours or more a week
  • couples claiming jointly must be either:

    • both in qualifying remunerative work for 16 hours or more a week

    Or

    • one partner is in qualifying remunerative work for 16 hours or more a week and the other partner is:

    • classified as incapacitated or having a limited capability for work
    • an in-patient in hospital
    • in prison (whether serving a custodial sentence or remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence)

Note: From 6 April 2012 couples with children will only be eligible for WTC if one person works at least 16 hours per week and

They work a combined total of 24 hours per week

Or

The other person is:

classified as incapacitated or having a limited capability for work

* an in-patient in hospital
* in prison (whether serving a custodial sentence or remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence).
* receiving Carer’s Allowance
* entitled to Carer’s Allowance, but not actually getting any payments as they receive other benefits instead.

Note: The Carer’s Allowance exception only applies from 6 April 2012. The customer may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance but not actually get any payments as they receive other benefits instead.

Note: the requirement of a couple with children to work 24 hours a week could be fulfilled by one partner working 24 hours per week or by one partner working at least 16 hours and the other partner’s working hours taking the total between them to 24 hours or more. Be aware that certain exceptions still apply such as sick leave, maternity leave or being incapacitated for WTC purposes

For an explanation of:

  • remunerative work, see CCM6610 
  • qualifying hours and calculating the number of hours worked, see CCM6630 
  • incapacitated or having a limited capability for work, see CCM6230.

A customer who is already a parent can claim:

  • WTC if they worked at least 16 hours before going on ordinary maternity, ordinary adoption or paternity leave
  • the WTC childcare element to help with the costs of eligible childcare for the new baby/child as well as for other children in the family

A customer who is becoming a parent for the first time can claim:

  • WTC before the baby/child arrives if they were aged 25 or over and worked at least 30 hours a week before going on ordinary maternity, ordinary adoption or paternity leave
  • the WTC childcare element from the child’s date of birth or placement for adoption if they worked at least 16 hours before going on ordinary maternity, ordinary adoption or paternity leave

A self-employed customer is treated as being in qualifying remunerative work during a period that would be classed as ordinary maternity, ordinary adoption or paternity leave if they were an employee as long as they meet the work requirement before the ‘leave’ began.