Fleet News

Salary sacrifice schemes could resolve post-lockdown grey fleet issues

Row of parked cars

Fleet managers should encourage salary sacrifice schemes in order to avoid the potential pitfalls of having more grey fleet drivers, as workers become home-based.

Venson Automotive Solutions warns that businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that staff owned vehicles used for work related travel are properly maintained and legally compliant.

As more workers are likely to be home-based following the Coronavirus pandemic, any requirement to travel to an office by car would be classed as a business trip.

A Fleet News survey showed an overwhelming majority of fleet decision-makers – close to three-quarters (73.4%) – were working from home; one in 10 were dividing their working day between the office and home, and just 15.4% were still in the office full-time.

Meanwhile, a separate Fleet News poll suggested that for many, some two-thirds (68.1%) of respondents, working from home will become their 'new normal’.

Simon Staton, client management director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. 

“Where employers allow own vehicle use, it is important that processes are in place to manage aspects such as driver licence checking, insurance validity, vehicle condition and mileage audit.

“Businesses and fleet managers, therefore, need to review their Driving for Work policies in the post-lockdown era, as well as looking at offering vehicle ownership schemes such as salary sacrifice which benefit both the employee and the employer.”

Salary sacrifice schemes that incorporate ‘plug-in’ cars can be an attractive proposition for employees because of the large difference in tax on salary (depending whether a lower or higher rate taxpayer) and company cars.  Employees could make substantial savings over a retail deal for pure electric vehicles and the implementation of such an arrangement supports the ‘green’ agenda for businesses.

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