Electric Cars / Employer / Salary Sacrifice
March 1, 2024

The right new benefit for Lion Academy

The right new benefit for Lion Academy

Finding the right new benefit for staff at the Lion Academy Trust

The Challenge

Lion Academy Trust is based in North London and with the introduction of the ULEZ recently, found that a number of staff needed to replace their older, polluting vehicles, to meet with the scheme’s requirements. Additionally, the Trust had conducted a staff survey which found that a vehicle scheme was highly sought-after by employees and senior management felt it would also assist with the on-going issue of attracting good teachers to their teams.

Finding the right provider

The Trust looked at a number of providers to identify those who might be suitable and to also understand fully how the scheme would operate with their organisation. There was a wealth of information to review, and the organisation was keen to review risks and insurances to ensure that there was no danger of taxpayer money being taken up with the scheme, as their priority is to maximise spending on the children within the schools.

The CFO spent considerable time producing financial models for employees to ensure that the scheme would be viable, safeguard public funds, and also attractive to employees. The lifestyle protections offered by Tusker were critical in ensuring that risks were mitigated for the Trust.

With the un-capped savings offered by Tusker, coupled with the protections, the Trust identified the market-leading company as the ideal partner to provide this benefit for their staff.

The Scheme

Having previously only had technology and bikes on salary sacrifice, the car scheme was a new arrangement for the Trust.

CFO David Bond wanted to make sure that staff had a comprehensive understanding of the scheme and so worked with Tusker to adapt FAQs and provide information for employees of the schools, particularly when it came to pensions and savings.

David comments, “This scheme really is a win-win for our staff and our schools.  Our people can easily access the vehicle scheme without any barriers such as up front payments for deposits or downpayments.  As well as the fixed monthly amount and everything being included makes it highly accessible – we’re able to approve requests straight away once we’ve looked at their salary.  The process couldn’t be easier or, thanks to salary sacrifice, more affordable.

While staff are saving, our schools are saving too.  With the on-costs schools have on top of the gross salary paid to staff, the saving achieved via salary sacrifice is very beneficial and supports mitigation of risk.  If we consider that for many schools on-costs, including pension, are an additional 30% – 40%, then the savings made through salary sacrifice helps directly mitigate any financial risks within the first 3 months before the protections come in, as well as providing money back to the schools to invest in our pupils.”

He continues, “We have been able to pass back some of the NI savings that the Trust also is able to make, in order to support staff in making the car scheme as affordable as possible.”

The Results

David comments, “I know many colleagues across the educational sector are struggling to make budgets work, the roll out of a new staff benefit may not seem possible and counterintuitive in helping to make the savings needed to provide for our pupils.  However, on just the first 3 cars which were ordered on the scheme, we were able to save more than £1,100 every month. If we multiply that by three or four years, it means tens of thousands of pounds will go back into our schools.”

David finds the reporting from Tusker very comprehensive and provides him with all of the details needed to ensure the scheme is properly managed in accordance with local authority regulations. The Trust registered with HMRC for tax at source to make deductions from salaries straightforward and annual reports disclose the funds from the car scheme so all the financials are completely transparent.

Drivers are happy with their cars as they are arriving and are finding the support from Tusker in-life to be comprehensive – the CEO recently had a cracked windscreen which Tusker were able to replace quickly and effortlessly.

“Our staff are really happy with their cars” comments David, “so it’s fantastic that we’re able to help people into a new car and save them some money at the same time.”

For more information on the best in new staff benefits, click here