Conference news: Salary sacrifice obligations

Employers are still failing to recognise that implementing a salary sacrifice arrangement requires a change to employees’ contracts of employment.

At the Employee Benefits Conference’s Beginner’s guide: how to go about flexible benefits, Chris Bruce, director of marketing and technology at flex specialist Thomsons Online Benefits, warned: “We have come across a number of horror stories where [the employer] has not implemented salary sacrifice properly.”

He reiterated that employers need to ensure salary sacrifice provision is treated as a contractual change and to put mechanisms in place so that employees are not “salary sacrificing themselves below minimum wage levels”.

Bruce also reminded employers that they need to alert HM Revenue & Customs to any salary sacrifice changes, and that running salary sacrifice in a paper-based format can place a huge burden on HR.