Most government departments have low payroll-giving take up

Eight out of 15 government departments have less than a 6% take up if in payroll giving among staff, according to research by the Geared for Giving Campaign.

The findings, which were obtained via Freedom of Information requests, found that the highest level of payroll giving can be seen in the Department for Education, which has 13% take up of the scheme, while the lowest level is inthe Department for International Development, which has 4% take up.

This comes months after the campaign revealed that just 2% of MPs were signed up to a payroll-giving scheme.

In January 2013, the government launched a consultation on proposals to reform payroll giving, including simplifying the scheme’s administration and making it easier for employees to give through their payroll.

Peter O’Hara, managing director at Workplace Giving UK, which funds the Geared for Giving Campaign, said: “Given the real benefits to charities and tax efficiencies that [payroll giving] provides, we would like to see the government set a real example. As a major employer, it is unacceptable that so many departments are not on par with the national average, and we would like to see all fifteen departments achieve and maintain levels of [payroll giving] above 10%.

“Employers with a 10% employee take-up or more of [payroll giving] have to consistently promote giving from pay on a regular basis and we hope these high-performing departments will share their success stories with others to encourage them to follow suit. 

“We know that a low take up is usually due to lack of awareness of the scheme among staff rather than a lack of generosity or interest in supporting good causes.”

Geared for Giving Campaign Research - May 2013