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dollars cash in a black wallet SBI 3001863221
dollars cash in a black wallet SBI 3001863221

Cash is king – employees seek cash-saving benefits during cost of living crisis


  • Employees place cash saving as the most important factor when choosing workplace benefits, new YouGov survey shows
  • Two thirds of UK employees are missing out on electric car salary sacrifice savings of £1200 p/a 
  • A communication gap exists – with many employees reluctant to ask for new benefits

Employees want cash-saving workplace benefits like salary sacrifice schemes but are not comfortable enough to ask for them, new research from YouGov finds*. 

When asked to choose the most important factor of an employee benefit, respondents overwhelmingly selected the ability to save money (73%) as their top priority. Considerably behind this were the benefits focused on mental and physical wellbeing (42% and 39%). 

Despite clear employee preferences towards saving cash, according to HR professionals** less than one in five (18%) UK firms offer salary sacrifice for electric vehicles (EVs) – an employee benefit that could directly save staff upwards of £1200*** each year. 

Similar to the cycle-to-work scheme, salary sacrifice helps staff save 30-40% on the monthly cost of a brand new electric car by paying through their gross salary. 

Once employees fully understood the benefits of salary sacrifice (fully maintained EV, insurance, charger and thousands of free miles) three quarters (74%) said they would like the scheme on offer at their workplace.  

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Only half of the employees surveyed felt comfortable to ask their boss for additional benefits. While only a third of respondents (36%) believe they are aware of all the benefits available at their workplace, 54% have never, or don’t recall ever being asked for feedback on their benefits package. 

Commenting on the research, Fiona Howarth, CEO of Electric Vehicles, says: “It’s a really difficult time for many households, so it’s no surprise that people are prioritising financial support from their employer. An EV salary sacrifice scheme can save employees thousands of pounds on their car costs, making an electric car a possibility for many that couldn’t afford to buy one.” 

Octopus Electric Vehicles, which has more than 2,400 companies signed up to its salary sacrifice scheme, is running a campaign to help staff initiate conversations with their employers about their workplace benefits. Octopus provides an all-in-one service of everything a driver needs to take the road – the leased electric car, installed charger, specialist EV tariff and access to over 330,000 public charge points across Europe via the Electric Universe.

By providing advice for employees, Octopus hopes to help people switch to an EV in the most cost effective way possible, while helping employers boost benefits packages and staff retention, and doing their bit to cut their own emissions. 

Large companies who have already seen the value of salary sacrifice have been reaping the rewards. Melvin Rogers, Director of Human Resources at Sytner Group, one of the UK’s largest car dealership companies, who signed up with Octopus Electric Vehicles salary sacrifice scheme, said: “We’re always looking for ways to enhance our employee benefits. Salary sacrifice has helped do exactly that, saving our colleagues thousands of pounds over the lease, while doing their part for the planet and lowering our own scope three emissions. The Octopus team’s EV knowledge has made the whole process really straightforward and we’re looking forward to helping more colleagues make the switch to an EV.”

Fiona continues: “For many people, the idea of speaking to their boss or HR team about employee benefits can be pretty daunting, so we’ve created an info pack and are on hand to make it as easy as possible. It’s super easy and zero cost to set up EV salary sacrifice – to help your team save cash – it’s a win win. It can even save the business money. Ultimately, most companies want to create a great place to work – and armed with info on these benefits, we find employees are having great conversations. ”


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