UK Leasing

Sheffield council chief hopes giving staff an electric car will help tackle staff shortages

Councilor Cate McDonald, the co-op’s executive member for finance and resources, gave her take on the program at a leadership meeting this week before it was officially approved.

She said: “This is a really important thing in terms of retaining staff and attracting staff because in many areas there are a lot of staff shortages.

“We cannot continue to increase salaries and financial offers, but this is a very good indication of a complete package that would make Sheffield a very attractive employer.

Councilor Cate McDonald.

“So I welcome it from that point of view as well.

“This is a good opportunity for us to put our entire offering together and use it to promote Sheffield as a good employer alongside the fair wages that we also pay.”

The wage sacrifice program is part of a series of measures aimed at reducing the number of car trips by municipal workers, including increased home work and an electric bicycle program.

Councilor Douglas Johnson, Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “I am delighted to see this happen. It helps switch from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles for those who need it.

“This is not a criticism because I think we touched on it in previous discussions about the need to not fall into the trap of thinking that electric cars are the answer to everything.

“They always lead to traffic jams, they always lead to particle pollution and there are already programs that are already provided by the council that support people with loans and purchases of electric bikes and there is information and support that is given to people on walking and public transport.

“I just wanted to reassure that all of these options are going to be promoted to our staff as much as that, because if we can completely get people out of vehicles, it’s still a help where people can do it.

“But overall I’m happy to see this project come to fruition.”

To get a new, fully serviced and insured electric car at a lower cost than the market, municipal staff must accept a pay cut that will be the value of a monthly rent.

Employees will be able to choose a vehicle online through the leasing company, presumably Tusker, and they will be able to add additional drivers to the policy.

Eugene Walker, executive director of resources, said it would not only benefit the environment, but lead to savings in taxes, national insurance and pension contributions.

The program will run for four years and an employee will be able to enter into a lease at any time during that four-year period and purchase the car from the leasing company if they leave.

The council declared a climate emergency and set a goal of becoming net zero by 2030 at a plenary council meeting in 2019.

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