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20 Jun 2024

Lessons to be learnt about salary sacrifice car benefits scheme

The Discovery Trust finds a salary sacrifice car benefits scheme helps boost recruitment, morale and sustainability



Leicestershire-based school partnership The Discovery Trust is boosting the recruitment and retention of staff as well as its sustainability credentials, after introducing a Tusker salary sacrifice car benefits scheme. 

Discovery’s chief finance and operations officer Steve Orton chose Tusker to implement its scheme to bolster the benefits provision for its staff across all levels at the 13 primary schools and two Special Educational Needs schools.

Flexible hybrid working environments had added to the strain on recruitment and retention at the trust but these extra benefits have been helping to redress the balance.

While traditional company car schemes have often only benefitted more senior staff, Tusker’s salary sacrifice benefits scheme was favoured for its ability to offer vehicles to a far wider range of employees, from basic-rate taxpayers up to more senior management. 

Energy-conscious benefits

The Discovery Trust has also introduced an energy-bill salary sacrifice scheme. Staff can enjoy a new, environmentally-friendly electric vehicle for a fixed monthly sum, while saving on their tax and national insurance (NI). They can also charge their vehicles in the same tax-efficient manner. 

As the cost of the car is taken before tax and NI, the employer can also save money in their NI contributions, as well as with pensions. It can help make public sector budgets go further at a time when rising costs are a concern.

Steve Orton had introduced a Tusker scheme for an educational trust as part of a previous role, and having had a good experience, he was keen to repeat the process for Discovery. As part of the due diligence process, Steve consulted with other academic trusts who reported a positive experience. 

Understanding the challenges faced by schools staff

The implementation process was smooth, with Tusker managing weekly calls during this process to ensure that not only were Discovery’s needs met throughout the onboarding phase, but also that it was completed in a timely manner before it was launched to staff. 

Orton said: “Setting up the Tusker scheme was a no-brainer, it was a really simple process which was delivered sooner than we expected. It all worked really well, and the Tusker team were very supportive. They understand the challenges that schools and staff have.” 

Alison Argall, business development director at Tusker, said: “Discovery Trust, like many other multi-academy trusts, recognises that the Tusker scheme can enhance its employment package, while enabling the schools to save money through Class 1 NI and pension contributions.”

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