Leicester City Council’s car salary sacrifice scheme offers cost-effective benefit

Leicester City Council introduced a salary sacrifice car scheme in November 2013 for 13,600 eligible employees.

Leicester city council

The scheme, operated by Tusker, includes motor insurance, servicing and maintenance, roadside assistance, tyres and glass, plus protection against redundancy, resignation and maternity leave .

Before implementing the scheme, the organisation wanted to reduce the cost of its employee benefits, having previously offered a central user allowance for employees to travel to work in their own car. 

Cory Laywood, HR, pay and benefits manager at Leicester City Council, says: “The first case was to identify a need for the scheme, and we did, because we wanted to reduce benefits costs and come up with something more cost-effective as an alternative for employees. We wanted this to be beneficial to the organisation.”

A salary sacrifice car scheme fitted the bill because the council felt it was offering employees more than just a car. “We are supplying staff with a car that is brand new and saves the employee tax and national insurance,” says Laywood. “That formed a large part of the business case.

“We also informed staff that the car was not only insured, but it would be fully maintained with roadside recovery. We wanted everything to safeguard the employee while they have the car.”

The council has set a CO2 emissions cap of 120g/km to encourage staff to choose fuel-efficient and more environmentally-friendly cars.

But the stand-out point of the business case was that the scheme improved the authority’s green credentials and kept business local, says Laywood.

“A big thing for us, because we are a council, is localism. What Tusker is able to do, where possible, is to supply cars from local dealers and maintain them locally, so that business stays in the area.”

Communication was also key, and was carried out via emails and intranet messages.

“We built a communication strategy to tell staff about the scheme and how it related to the employee, which aroused interest in the benefit before it went live and we continue to communicate the scheme to staff,” says Laywood.