Severn Trent staff pay water bills via salary sacrifice

Severn Trent Water has simplified the way it communicates to staff that they can pay water bills via salary sacrifice.

Its Smart Water benefit, which was added to the utility firm’s flexible benefits scheme in January 2010, is open to all its 6,000 staff, but only 3,500 can take it up because of restrictions on supply regions or if they live in accommodation where the water charge is already paid, for example if they live with their parents.

This year, the company sent letters and information guides to employees’ home addresses to promote the scheme, and used external consultants to help explain the technical side of the arrangement, and the tax and national insurance (NI) savings.

More than 1,500 staff took up the benefit in 2010. Tax and NI savings on their water and sewage bills resulted in an average saving of £72 each. Chris Blakesley, pay and benefits manager at Severn Trent Water, said: “It is one of those benefits that helps in challenging economic times. It helps people’s pounds go a bit further.”

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