Guest post: Why are teachers excluded from one of the UK’s most popular employee benefits?

The Teacher Car Campaign has been working hard so that teachers are made eligible for salary sacrifice car schemes, similar to bike-to-work schemes. As it stands, state school teachers are the only professional group without access.  Even other local authority employees enjoy their benefits – the fact that state school teachers are excluded is unfair and wrong.

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Salary sacrifice car schemes would allow teachers to exchange a portion of their salary before income tax and NI payments are deducted, in exchange for a new, fully maintained and insured car. Also known as the “green car” scheme, teachers that choose environmentally friendly cars will be incentivised the most; not only will they save more money but they will be reducing their carbon footprint too.

Tusker, the leading provider of salary sacrifice car schemes, is running this campaign in response to thousands of teachers that have complained that they do not have access.

So why is this such an injustice? Firstly, the potential yearly savings teachers could benefit from is significant. With most teachers only receiving a maximum of a 1% pay rise this year, the savings generated through salary sacrifice car schemes could equal a 4% rise, the equivalent of £1300 on tax and fuel every year.

General

The campaign fits in to the wider debate surrounding teacher retention and recruitment with one key question rising to the fore: if we don’t remunerate teachers in a way that is comparable to their local authority colleagues or at least fair, how can Britain expect to achieve the highest level of tutorage and academic success?

The campaign is briefing Schools Minister Nick Gibb in October and is urging teachers to fill in a short survey and sign a petition in advance. It is vital the campaign provides as much evidence and documented support as possible so the Government realise the scale of the issue and act accordingly.

With over 1800 campaign signatories and 100 teachers filling in the survey so far, a couple of findings suggest our campaign is on to something:

  • Teachers have cited Workload, Pay and their Employee Benefits Package as reasons why they would leave teaching
  • 85% use a car to get to work and often this is over a 30 minute commute
  • 88% say they would consider use a salary sacrifice car scheme were they given the opportunity

We recognise that improvements in pay are the long term goal but small, incremental changes such as making teachers eligible for salary sacrifice car schemes will make teachers’ lives easier and more comfortable.

 

Your can follow the campaign on Twitter @Cars4Teachers

 

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