The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers e-learning

The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced online training courses for staff to give them the opportunity to boost their skills.

The Home Training Initiative gives staff the chance to take out a free loan of home computing equipment from the scheme’s provider RedPC, then pay for access to online training on a range of work-related topics.

The trust is offering the e-learning package as a voluntary benefit to its 4,000 staff and is running the scheme on a salary sacrifice basis with employees making a monthly contribution from their gross pay. Therefore staff make tax and national insurance savings on the cost of the course, but their loan of the computer is treated as receipt of a benefit in kind for tax purposes.

Employees can choose to pay over one, two or three years, and can select a package consisting of 10, 20 or 30 e-learning courses.

Roadshows have been used to to raise employee awareness of the scheme and to explain how it works. The benefit is also being communicated via email, posters and the intranet.

Anne Burton, staff support and benefits co-ordinator at the trust, said: “The emphasis is on uplifting skills and a flexible approach to e-learning.

“If you’re on a shift system or something like that, it’s very difficult to go and do a standard course at the local college, so we were interested in the flexibility of the scheme and the range of courses it offers to employees.”