Discussions online

Car allowance scheme

Q The company cars my organisation provides for employees are leased for three years. But this becomes very expensive during recruitment, as the car sits in the car park for a long period of time, especially if the new recruit has to give three months’ notice on their old job. The tax on company cars is also very high, so we are considering moving to a car allowance scheme. I am carrying out a project to look at what car allowances different companies offer so I can get a view of what is an acceptable level of allowance. Can anyone share their car allowance information with me, both on the allowance offered and the policy? How do you find the scheme in practice? Have you moved from providing company cars to this scheme?

A We give a choice to certain employees as to whether they choose to take the car or a cash alternative (depending on whether it’s a perk or a necessity of their job). In practice, more people take the cash alternative, which is more cost-effective for the company.

A Our company states that a company car will be provided (not a new one). This way we redeploy cars to reduce costs. Naturally, we have different bands of cars, so every effort is made to ensure the car fits the job grade. People may like the thought of a BMW 5 series 3.0 saloon when they were expecting a Mondeo – but wait until they get the tax bill.

Also take a look at the expected mileage over a month for your drivers. If they are doing 3,000 to 4,000 miles a month, they need a diesel. It may cost you £30 to £40 a month more on a lease, but it will save you £200 a month on fuel.

Personal contract hire and personal contract purchase are becoming more popular to relieve the tax burden on the driver and the cost of holding onto a car park full of motors for the employer.

Payment for first-aiders

Q How much money, if any, do you pay your qualified first-aiders? I would like to review the amount paid at my company as I think it is too low – currently £100 per year – but would be interested in finding out the situation externally.

A This depends on the size and nature of your business. A factory (including industrial machines with more than 500 employees) would have a number of first-aiders on different shifts with higher pro rata responsibilities than a first-aider in an office environment with 20 employees.

Typically, a first-aider is paid £150 to £200 annually in an industrial environment. However, many firms pay nothing at all.

Monitoring age/race/sex etc

Q We would like to monitor the age/sex and ethnic background of all applicants but I am not quite sure where to start. Does anyone have a separate form they use in their applications? Does it work and how do you record your results?

A You need either a separate monitoring form or a page within your application form that can be detached. The key question is what your organisation wants to achieve through its monitoring. Most applicants will fill in the forms. Click here for details on what to put into your monitoring form in terms of ethnic background.

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