Zurich Financial Services offers staff green benefit

Zurich Financial Services, the leading financial services provider, has introduced a new green benefit for its UK staff offering reduced rate travel on public transport, Greentravel2work, created and managed by leading employee benefits provider, P&MM.

Staff will be given the option to take the greener approach to commuting by purchasing an annual bus pass paid for in monthly deductions from their pay-cheque, a salary sacrifice.

As the salary sacrifice payment is exempt from income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions up to 41 per cent, this process entitles both the employee and employer to significant savings.

Greentravel2work has been developed in support of the Government’s Green Travel Plan, which aims to increase bus journeys by 12 per cent by the year 2012.

It is designed to encourage staff to use local bus services to and from the workplace instead of less sustainable forms of transport such as cars.

Both the organisation and its employees can benefit from the financial savings as well as contribute to the improvement of the environment.

Pete Steer, director of UK HR Payroll & Benefits and Zurich Resource Centre Operations, commented:

“Greentravel2work has been added to the comprehensive flexible benefits package already available to Zurich Financial Services staff in the UK. With offices based around the UK, it was important to install a travel benefit that could cater for all of our staff.

“P&MM’s established relationships with bus companies throughout the country meant that this was easy to set up and the ongoing support that they offer enables the programme to run smoothly. It has been a good addition to our wide flexible benefits offering and a great success with approximately three per cent of employees taking up the benefit immediately.”

P&MM is believed to be the first benefits provider to launch and offer Greentravel2work as an outsourced product to enable employers to offer bus travel incentives to staff and promote corporate social responsibility.

Richard Davies, Head of Employee Benefits at P&MM, added: “There’s no doubt that organisations are making steady progress towards reducing their carbon footprints and when this can be achieved at the same time as saving money, especially apt in the current economic climate, there really is no excuse for not making these positive changes.”

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