The government has announced that existing childcare voucher schemes which operate by way of salary sacrifice must close to new entrants by 4 October 2018. Employees who join the scheme before that date can continue to participate as long as they remain with the same employer, the employer continues to run the scheme and the employee does not take a break from receiving vouchers for a year or more. The government's replacement tax-free childcare voucher scheme (which does not operate by way of salary sacrifice) launched on 21 April 2017.