Saving employees money on their commute can be both easy and rewarding, just by letting the experts do the work says Paul Martin, sales manager at Abellio Corporate Travel
Commuting to and from work can cost your valued employees large sums of money on weekly and monthly tickets as they are unable to realise the savings associated with an annual rail ticket.
As their employer by recognising the burden of travel costs and offering a solution to support them by buying the ticket upfront, the employee can then pay back the money direct from salary, usually over 10 or 12 months, enabling them to benefit from the savings associated with an annual season ticket
There are three ways season ticket loans can be purchased. - issuing the employee with a company cheque to buy at the station. This option could prove to be difficult in some circumstances with some operators no longer accepting cheques as form of payment and those that do often request a supporting company letter.
Some companies pay a loan amount directly into the employees’ bank account. The employee then buys the ticket at the station and produces a supporting receipt for company records.
The Abellio Way. A seamless and 24/7 accessible solution that allows employers and employees to order and approve season tickets as and when they require them. Once purchased employees receive their tickets without the need to visit a station.
Abellio Corporate Travel partners has over 400 clients across the UK supporting them with their season ticket loan scheme.
Employers will receive access to our online portal, ACTnow. This can sit on your intranet or integrate with your online benefits portal. Employees would make their selection and submit their loan request. Once received by your designated point of contact (Line Manager and/or HR/Payroll), the loan can be approved. Once approved, tickets, oyster cards and passes will be distributed to the employee, in some instances before they go home that day.
Every week, the administrators receive detailed management information enabling salary deductions to be prepared. The portal can be customised to include employee numbers; cost centres etc. ACTnow can also monitor probationary periods.
And in terms of process management; if the ticket is lost or stolen, does not work, or the employee moves home, we will resolve the issues on behalf of both the employer and employee.
How does this benefit the employee? Convenience - Once the employee has applied for a loan, the ticket is delivered to them, without the need to queue at the station and usually the same or next day – but there is more to it than that.
Savings - It also saves them money over the course of the year compared to buying weekly or monthly tickets. For example, if you were to travel frequently from Woking to London Waterloo that would cost £78.40 for a week, £301.10 each month or £3136.00 for a year.
In buying the annual ticket, you are only paying for 40 weeks, getting the extra 12 weeks included. However it is still a significant lump sum for an individual to pay up front, and if you’re travelling longer distances, the costs can be £6000 or £7000 or higher. If an employer can loan their employee that money which is then paid back interest free over ten or twelve months, the savings can make a big difference.
We can help publicise the season ticket loan benefit within your organisation with posters, brochures and attending benefits roadshows.
Over the next few years season tickets will transfer to Smart Cards. The intention is that, once the loan is approved, the employee will be able to collect their ticket from a machine at the station or directly from their mobile device.
Train companies are working towards part time season tickets for those employees that work a few days each week.