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What you should know about salary sacrifice

  • Blog
  • 13 February 2018

Salary sacrifice is a useful way for staff to help stretch their money that much further and make use of some great benefits in the process. But what else goes into a salary sacrifice scheme, what other benefits might there be, and what should you be aware of?

This blog looks to explain some of the things that businesses and staff should know about salary sacrifice.

What you should know about salary sacrifice

Benefitting both business and staff             

Salary sacrifice can be such an enticing prospect because everyone involved in the scheme stands to benefit in some way – it isn’t just a benefit for staff.

While staff can and do gain tax-free benefits, which leads to overall cash savings, they also get to reduce their expenses through salary sacrifice.

This is because both parties stand to save money from salary sacrifice schemes. A staff member ends up paying less income tax, and a business won’t have to pay Employers’ National Insurance contributions on the part of the employee’s salary that they’ve sacrificed. This means staff can make their money go further, and businesses have less national insurance to pay.

Variety of ways to use it

Another major benefit of salary sacrifice is that there are multiple ways that staff can make use of the scheme.

For example, a popular option that many staff could make use of is childcare vouchers, so families are still able to work while saving money on childcare costs.

But what can you offer staff who aren’t parents? Thankfully, for those staff, salary sacrifice is rather broad.

Staff could choose to subsidise a company car through salary sacrifice. Or, for those with an easier commute, they could take advantage of a cycle to work scheme, which will let them save money on buying a new bike.

It might even be a way for your staff to save more money and build up a nest egg for their retirement. Salary sacrifice can be implemented in the form of additional pension contributions. This could be a fantastic way for a staff member to contribute to their savings in addition to a workplace pension, for example.

Important points to keep in mind

Salary sacrifice is a great scheme for many employees to make use of. That said, though, there are still some things that you should keep in mind before looking to make use of a scheme for your staff.

Perhaps the biggest point to consider is that staff can’t really make use of a salary sacrifice scheme if doing so would take their hourly wage below that of the national minimum wage. This could either limit the total amount that can be invested into a scheme, or limit some staff from making use of a scheme entirely.

It’s also important to keep in mind the actual ‘sacrifice’ element of the scheme. Because a portion of an employee’s salary is given up in exchange for a certain benefit. This does mean that their take-home pay is technically lower.

Similarly, if a staff member receives child tax credits, then salary sacrifice might not be the best option for them. This is because childcare through salary sacrifice is offered through vouchers, while child tax credits are given for childcare paid through money put into their bank account. To help staff figure out their best option, you could direct them to HMRC’s childcare voucher calculator.

How FSB can help benefit your staff

Salary sacrifice can be a great benefit for your staff, and offering some desirable schemes might even help staff feel motivated, and more like a part of your business.

FSB provides a range of packages which offer a number of services that can benefit your business and your staff. These include:

  • Health and safety advice
  • Employment protection services
  • Workplace pensions advice

The packages that we offer are suited to new businesses, already established businesses, or those looking for a network of fellow business owners. To take a look at our packages and the benefits they could provide for your business, please visit our package comparison page.

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