Hand plugging in a charging cable to an electric car

Generation Z employees are pushing for planet-friendly benefits with Electric Vehicles becoming one of the most prized perks

Sustainability has a huge impact on consumer purchasing decisions in today’s planet-conscious world and it seems that employees are now sizing up the eco-credentials of employers when job seeking too. Accenture reports that for younger workers, the purpose of a business is increasingly important, with 86 per cent of millennials saying they would leave an employer whose values no longer matched theirs.

According to the Deloitte 2021 Global Millennial and Gen Z Survey, the environment remains the number one concern for Gen Z as a new wave of employees are channelling their energies toward meaningful action and driving change on the issues that matter most to them.

It’s no surprise then that becoming Carbon Neutral is a rising concern for organisations when attracting new talent. Ray Sieber, CEO at Zest – the award-winning employee benefits technology provider says: “A focus on sustainability will be critical to attracting and retaining staff in the coming years. What’s more, research by Zest indicates that the provision of electric vehicle (EV) schemes will be one of the most highly prized perks.”

“Having a strong carbon strategy shows commitment to a greener future ,” Nick Kjelgaard, Partnership Director at Zest notes. “For a long time, we have had bike to work schemes, but cycling is not an option for everyone. EV schemes are likely to have much higher attraction as many more people drive to work. By adding an EV scheme you are not only promoting your sustainability initiatives, but you are enabling your employees to play their part in a cost-efficient way.”

Rewards for the pocket and the planet

As well as appealing to the employee, an EV scheme also has financial benefits for the employer through tax and NI savings. Kjelgaard continues, “When supplied through the employer’s benefit technology, it’s very straightforward for the employee to purchase the car. An employee will then pay less tax and NI due to the salary sacrifice payment that this type of benefit attracts.”  When such schemes are facilitated through benefits software such as Zest, the savings are visible to the employee, so it’s clear to see how they’re reducing their own costs and making a meaningful contribution to the planet.

Research commissioned by Zest indicated that 65% of its own staff said they would be switching to an EV vehicle for commuting in the next five years. With demand for EVs on the rise, coupled with hefty penalties for petrol and diesel looking likely and rising fuel costs, more companies are sure to make the eco switch.

What’s more, while access to free charging points can come at an initial cost, the UK Government is offering support, allowing businesses to claim up to 75% back on the cost of buying and installing a chargepoint for electric vehicles (up to a maximum of £500 per chargepoint). In many cases, EV schemes offer insurance as part of the deal too – a potentially large saving for graduates or a young workforce who can be paying huge premiums for insurance. Just another employee incentive for this eco-savvy generation.

Going forward, car benefit schemes will be cheaper,  greener and definitely more in demand for employees. The question for businesses wanting to up their eco-credentials will be less about whether they can afford to offer these kinds of perks and more whether they can afford not to.

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