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Salary sacrifice leaders challenge ACFO research

Date: 25 August 2010

Several salary sacrifice providers have reacted to BusinessCar's 10 August story, 'Research reveals limited appetite for salary sacrifice', where ACFO claimed nearly half of fleet managers were not interested in the employee benefit and that only 17% were actively researching the scheme.

Leasing company Tusker said the survey outcome was "not surprising" as the initiative usually comes from the human resources department.

MD David Hosking said: "In the overwhelming majority of schemes we implement the impetus comes from the HR or benefits manager. This is because salary sacrifice cars are seen as an additional flexible benefit that is usually open to all employees.

"This contrasts with the traditional company car scheme, which is usually only available for those who qualify for a car because of their job description or they receive one as a perk of their job."

He added: "We don't find the ACFO research out of the ordinary - if anything, it's hugely encouraging that such a huge percentage of fleet managers are actively looking at it."

Leaseplan commercial director Matthew Dyer also said the survey of fleet managers had "the potential to misrepresent the true scale of interest". According to Dyer, interest in the firm's Salaryplan product is "rapidly building" mainly from HR and finance teams who "want to understand how it can contribute to the increasing need to address the seemingly conflicting requirements of controlling costs while retaining and attracting good people".

But Roddy Graham, commercial director at Leasedrive Velo and BusinessCar blogger, admitted that take up of salary sacrifice schemes has been slower than it ought to be. He said while some providers may have been slow in offering schemes, some blame for poor take-up must lie with HR and, in particular, the compensation and benefits community.

"In many cases, they have not taken the time to fully understand the 'ins' and 'outs' of salary sacrifice or, when convinced, properly developed an implementation plan and clearly communicated the benefits of the company car as a benefit under salary sacrifice. Given that the company car is one of the most valuable, high-profile and emotive employee benefits, this can often represent an oversight on the part of HR to properly seize the initiative, especially at a time when they have to be more creative with total reward packages."

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