GlaxoSmithKline introduces company car scheme

EXCLUSIVE: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has introduced a company car scheme for its 1,500 sales staff after a car allowance proved too expensive.

GSK found that, as manufacturers raised prices, the cost to employees of buying cars through the scheme also rose. The increase in VAT caused employer’s national insurance to also go up.

Harsha Modha, director of UK benefits at GSK, said: “We have not got the money to spend on the scheme, so we asked what we could do to make it cost-effective while addressing health and safety issues and making it attractive to sales staff. We ended up going back to the traditional company car model.”

This arrangement posed a variety of risks, including whether employees were meeting health and safety standards, whether they had insurance in place, and whether they were keeping the car properly maintained. Modha added: “With our staff who use their car specifically to do their job, it is in our interest to make sure that they are driving a reasonable car that meets these criteria.”

The new scheme was launched on 3 October. In the first few days, there were over 1,400 quotes on the website. In the first week, there were 20 confirmed orders.

GSK began communicating the scheme by founding an employee representative forum, a group of five or six sales employees who were also involved in the development of the policy. The firm worked with the forum reps on a communication plan, which included an email campaign and employee survey to garner suggestions.

Modha added: “We will continue to get together every three months to make sure the scheme is still valued by employees and where we decide to make changes we will make them.”

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