New initiative available through salary sacrifice with money firm saves put towards other green initiatives
Eco-conscious aspiring lawyers will be pleased to hear Stephenson Harwood will soon be offering staff a new perk that allows them to lease an electric car at an “affordable” rate.
Employees in the commercial law firm’s City of London office will be able to configure a new electric car — complete with insurance, road tax, replacement tyres, routine servicing and maintenance, as well as breakdown cover — for a fixed monthly amount from next year.
The initiative is available through salary sacrifice; an arrangement where an employee can choose to reduce their salary in return for a non-cash benefit.
The firm said that as a result of the income tax and national insurance savings which apply under such an arrangement that leasing a vehicle in this way “make it better value than a normal private lease agreement for our people”. It will also put any money saved on its own NI contributions towards other green initiatives.
Axel Koelsch, chief operating officer at Stephenson Harwood, who had the idea for the e-car benefit, said: “We were looking for a way for everyone to be able to participate and do something tangible. Historically, many of the steps law firms have taken on the environment have been either invisible to staff — like heating system optimisation — or tokenistic. We know that the key drivers for carbon dioxide usage are buildings and transport. We’re doing a lot of work with our aviation, shipping and rail clients to help them keep goods moving in a sustainable way that aligns with the COP26 goals. Offering our people an accessible and affordable option for leasing an electric car felt like a great benefit to provide.”
Stephenson Harwood achieved carbon neutral status in the London office in 2019 and is working towards net zero and reducing its carbon emissions by 50%.