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Car-leasing plan for Hambleton council staff
STAFF at a North Yorkshire council are set to be invited to join a new car-leasing scheme which their bosses hope could save them about £80,000 a year and may prevent key workers leaving.
Hambleton District Council’s cabinet has agreed to introduce a “salary sacrifice” initiative, which would see them give up part of their pay in return for a lease car provided through the authority on a three-year deal, in a move similar to its existing schemes for cycling to work and childcare vouchers.
Officials have said that, while they cannot put a precise figure on the savings which may be made through the arrangement, 100 workers – about 16 per cent of the entire workforce – making an average salary sacrifice of £3,500 would cut the council’s costs by about £80,000 annually as National Insurance and pension contributions would be reduced.
In a report, director of resources Justin Ives said: “There is evidence salary sacrifice car-leasing schemes can have a positive impact on staff morale, recruitment and retention.
“The prospect of a low-cost new car every three years is an attractive proposition, and the cost of early termination may dissuade staff entering the scheme from seeking alternative employment.”
Mr Ives’ report said the scheme would also boost the council’s green credentials, as employees would only get low-carbon vehicles, but this would still allow “a wide choice” as there were more than 1,400 makes of car meeting this criteria.
Staff joining the scheme would have to sign contracts to prevent the council having to pick up the bill if they left before the deal expired, while the agreement would also lay down rules for repayments following maternity and sick leave.
Anyone who decides to opt out of the scheme early will have to pay the equivalent of five monthly instalments if they leave in the first year, three instalments in the second year and one in the final year. The cabinet has approved introducing the scheme for all its employees.
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