Employee Benefits research in 2020 found that 59% of employers offer a travel season ticket loan scheme to employees. The scheme, which allows employees to spread the cost of travel season ticket loans interest free over a set period, is immensely popular. But what role does it play in the current working world?
Adapting to change
Changes to the way we work have forced many businesses to revaluate their employee benefits offerings. How your benefits support employees with their commute should be a key consideration.
Changes in the job market have also affected how businesses shape their benefits offering. Employers are casting their nets wider to recruit the best talent and employee benefits that support the commute can only serve to support this recruitment.
There are also employee attitudes towards commuting to consider. Most see commuting costs to be too high. Schemes that can help reduce these costs or make them more manageable will be tackling a key pain point for employees with their commute.
Opening up different commuting options will be important to employees moving forward and any scheme which helps an employee make changes that matter to them, such as reducing their commuting time to spend more time with family or reducing the costs they’re concerned about, will be incredibly well received.
There are also the newly introduced flexible rail tickets, or “Flexi-Season” tickets, to consider too, which allows travel on eight days in every 28-day period and looks to save commuters on costs when only travelling a few days per week.
There are a few different types of these flexible rail tickets available which can be purchased through a season ticket loan scheme, helping make the scheme even more appealing.
Where do season ticket loans fit in?
While flexi-rail tickets do provide more options for employees and should be promoted, season ticket loans also offer the flexibility to be used for alternative options.
Season ticket loans can help make the commute easier and more affordable not just by rail but by bus or tram for example and can even help make parking more affordable for those who still want to commute by car but are doing so into busy cities with costly parking.
Employers also have full control over the scheme, controlling spending limits by employees on the scheme which can help support financial wellbeing.
The scheme can also be used to cover the cost of travel or parking with various providers.
The importance of providing options
Season ticket loans help give employees loads more commuting options. The scheme helps employees save on virtually all modes of commute whether it be by car, rail or even the bus.
Employers have responded to employees’ needs for more flexibility and so employee benefits offerings need to be brought up to date too to be more flexible and provide more options.
This is one reason why flexible benefits have become even more popular in recent times. It’s more important than ever to offer a wide range of benefits that appeal to varying demographics.
With the commute, different employees have different priorities. Some prioritise their time more, others comfort, some may prioritise the environment.
Offering a season ticket loan scheme helps adhere to all these different needs and priorities
There are plenty of other benefits that can support these too.
Other benefits that support the commute
The Car Benefit scheme is a great example. In recent times, the Car Benefit scheme has become one of the cheapest ways for employees to drive brand-new electric and ULEV cars.
Any scheme which helps employees reduce carbon emissions and save money is going to be a winner. For some, transport by rail, tram or bus simply isn’t an option. Providing schemes like this help support employee’s own green targets while making the commute easier and more affordable.
The Bike to Work scheme has also proven massively popular since the start of the pandemic. Into the winter months, it may become a less appealing option for the commute for some but with savings of up to 42% available on a brand-new bike and accessories it’s no wonder the scheme is so popular.
All these schemes help support the various needs and priorities of employees. It’s not just the commute they help with either and rail travel using season tickets doesn’t always have to be confined to the work commute either.
Each of these schemes are incredibly versatile and only support the argument that a wider ranging employee benefits offering is without doubt a better one for employees!