Charity responds to transport cost rises

Charitable organisation United Response has brought in season ticket loans to help London employees cope with the rising cost of public transport.

The learning disabilities body is piloting the scheme, through which staff can get interest free loans for up to a year, on 200 staff in the capital.

Louise Hughes, human resources manager, said that the deal has been structured to help take the financial strain away from both existing employees and new recruits.

"We wanted to give staff the opportunity to get discounts by having a season ticket. Obviously with a new member of staff it can be problematic; you won’t get your first month’s pay until you’ve been there a month, but you have to pay out for your travel before that," said Hughes.

Staff that have completed their probation stage can borrow the cost of up to a year’s travel. Newer staff can get a loan for a one month pass. The season ticket loan has been brought in to compliment a range of other new salary sacrifice benefits such as childcare vouchers and a home computing scheme.

Many staff work away from the office, providing 24-hour care to people with learning disabilities. She hopes that the new benefits package will help to bring people together and make them feel like part of one team. "They often work in small locations, in a care home for example, and are quite dispersed," said Hughes.