With Benefit in Kind of 0% on zero-emission vehicles coming in April and the growing focus on the climate crisis, carbon footprints and the green agenda, there has never been a better time to relaunch your benefits scheme with a greener message. Here are our top tips to communicate a more environmentally friendly benefits package …
Starting with green car schemes, salary sacrifice could now be the most cost-effective way for employees to own a brand-new electric vehicle. Drivers could save an average of £320 per month in Income Tax, Benefit in Kind and National Insurance. And, with more charging points available now than ever it’s also one way to support the government’s ambitious environmental policy to reduce carbon emissions. Not only that, promoting a salary sacrifice scheme also presents the opportunity to generate significant savings for an employer with just 10 EVs generating potential savings of over £21K.
The Government has also recently given employers the opportunity to offer cycle to work packages without the usual cap of £1,000. So, employees can now get the bike they want, or even more than one provided it’s for work use, with all of the components and allowable accessories they need without having to top up the amount themselves. The Cycle to Work benefit now offers employees an attractive reason to get on their bike, so well worth promoting. As well as offering the cycle to work scheme you could also supplement with cycle insurance to sit alongside, to cover employees if they lose their bike, get it stolen or damaged or need cover for their accessories or personal injury.
Payroll Giving is a way to provide employees with an opportunity to give to charities that support green initiatives. Employees don’t pay tax on the donation provided it is paid through PAYE from someone’s wages or pension. The donation is taken from an employee’s salary before tax but after National Insurance.
Have you looked at your pension or workplace ISA? Do the investments made fall in line with sustainable environmental goals that could be promoted? Recent research by Smarterly suggested that 25% of employees would or already do invest in ethical companies that have a positive impact on the world.
Your discount programme has a green role to play as well. Make sure it includes, and you then promote, offers for things like walking and exercise gear to encourage a walk-to-work culture where possible. Are there savings to be made at local garden centres or nurseries for gardening supplies to encourage green fingers? Could you even announce workshops for those employees who might want to take up gardening as a way to a more sustainable lifestyle? And, what about discounts to help them improve the efficiency of their home? With Switchd, for example, you can choose sustainable energy only companies.
If you have a recognition programme does it support green initiatives and are employees rewarded for them? You could use the relaunch as a way to celebrate those employees who have practiced environmentally responsible behaviours in the workplace. Let their peers know what they have done and how it has impacted your organisation.
Make the most of your ‘green’ employee benefits platform and use it as the primary way of communicating the relaunch to staff, especially if it has an integrated comms manager, like the You at Work platform. If you do need to use paper as an additional form of communication then consider cutting down the amount used, eg go from a 12 page brochure to a four page leaflet and also look to use 100% recycled paper.
And finally, as part of the relaunch how about giving everyone a gift that meets the relaunch theme like a reusable coffee mug or perhaps even a small monetary contribution on a digital e-gift card.
Is it time to relaunch your benefits scheme with a greener message? If you’d like to find out more about adding benefits to your scheme in a greener way talk to You at Work today.