Salary sacrifice provider Tusker is claiming that car benefit schemes are helping staff recruitment and retention at UK hospitals.
The company now works with more than a quarter of NHS Trusts and a third of ambulance services after launching its first salary sacrifice scheme in 2008.
The car benefit scheme, which enables employees to exchange part of their salary for a new car, complete with insurance, road tax, breakdown cover, servicing and tyres, is now available to more than 300,000 employees of the NHS in the UK.
To date, Tusker has had 16,000-plus orders for new cars from the NHS, providing this benefit to employees of all levels in the organisation.
Rafaella Goodby, director of organisational development for Sandwell West Birmingham Hospital Trust, said: “In the current environment, it’s quite tough to get skilled people to come and work with us, so for these nurses and clinicians, we need to offer something a bit different. That’s where the benefits package comes in.”
Fiona Lee, HR manager for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital Trust agrees. She said: “Giving our staff the opportunity to drive a brand new car, is such a lovely feeling and helps us to become an employer of choice.”
Offering benefits can be a huge motivating factor for existing staff members too, with employees’ wellbeing increasing, says Tusker.
Goodby said: “When our staff are feeling their most productive, committed and engaged, our patients get a better service.”
There were hardly any benefits on offer to staff at London Ambulance Service, other than their salary, until the introduction of the Tusker car scheme in 2015, according to its senior HR manager, Greg Masters.
He said: “We had seen that paramedics were leaving the service in considerable numbers – going to other NHS Ambulance Trusts who were perceived to offer a better package. This has now been reversed.”
During the past 18 months, London Ambulance Service has seen employee turnover reduce from 14.5%, to almost half, at 8.1%, and this is expected to continue to fall as more employees take up the scheme, says Tusker.
The benefit scheme has been great for shift workers too, ensuring they are safe and secure in a brand new car, but also ensuring they can get to and from work easily; a big factor for those in rural areas or where public transport isn’t available 24 hours a day.
Masters said: “With the majority of our staff working shifts that may finish after most public transport had ceased, the offer to staff of a fully maintained, brand new car of their choosing and under a financially advantageous scheme, was considered as a high priority in tackling the staff retention issues we were experiencing.”
Paul Gilshan, Tusker’s chief marketing officer, concluded: “We’re proud to be supporting the NHS with this key benefit which is compliant with the NOE CPC, Health Trust Europe or NPS Frameworks.
“As the scheme is free to set up and manage, we’re able to save the organisation and the driver money in NI and pension contributions, which means their budgets can go even further.”