The government announced at Autumn Statement 2017 that there would be an extension to the save-as-you-earn (SAYE) savings holiday for participants on parental leave, from 6 to 12 months. The introduction of the change has been slightly delayed. However, the increased flexibility is to be extended to all participants (rather than just those on parental leave).

From 1 September 2018, employees with a savings contract under a SAYE scheme will be able to delay monthly contributions on a maximum of up to 12 occasions, without causing the savings contract to be cancelled.

HMRC has now published the guidance which will apply from 1 September 2018. This confirms that:

  • HMRC will update the specimen SAYE prospectus from 1 September 2018; and
  • new SAYE contracts do not need to be issued for contracts that started before 1 September 2018. All employees with a savings contract in place on 1 September 2018 can delay the payment of monthly contributions on a maximum of 12 occasions over the life span of the savings contract. If the employee has already delayed the payment of contributions on 6 occasions, they can only delay payments on a further 6 occasions.

For the new guidance, see Employment Related Securities Bulletin 29.