Nestle launches food scheme with tax break

Nestle is launching a salary sacrifice scheme for food and drink for its 1,000 head office staff.

The scheme will allow employees to save national insurance contributions and income tax on food and drink they purchase at work by sacrificing a monthly amount from their pre-tax salary.

The money will be stored on a card that employees will be able to spend onsite in vending machines, a coffee shop and a staff restaurant.

Neil Millan, head of employee relations and reward, said staff must sacrifice a minimum of £10 a month, but there will be no maximum limit in the You At Work-provided scheme.

“The window [to join the scheme] will be open all year, but once you are in it, you are in it for 12 months,” Millan explained. He added that the scheme is likely to be popular because Nestl™’s employee representative group had already requested such an option.

He felt it was important for employees to sacrifice the right amount for them. “If staff over-sacrifice it is not a problem because they don’t lose the money. But if they [underestimate] they might only get three weeks of meals and end up paying for the fourth week out of taxed income.”

Employees can opt in from April, but Millan anticipated that they won’t be able to start using the scheme until early June. In the future, the company plans to roll the benefit out to its other locations.

In order to implement the scheme, the company has had to purchase items such as new tills for its restaurants.