Human Resources Division

Travel to Work loan scheme

Introduction

The University is committed to developing and promoting a sustainable travel policy to reduce the adverse impact of traffic on people, the organisation and the environment. The Travel Plan is documented on the Estate Management website.

This document sets out the arrangements and conditions of the interest free Travel to Work loan scheme. This is one of the initiatives being introduced to reduce reliance on motorcars and encourage travel by more sustainable modes of transport.

Purpose

An interest free loan, to the value of the employee's monthly net pay (or a maximum of £2,500, whichever is the lower), will be available to all staff on appointments of 3 months duration or more. (Staff is defined as those on a University contract of employment and paid through the Payroll Section of the Finance Division.)

The loan will be for the employee to purchase an annual bus or rail season ticket at standard class travel, or to assist with the purchase of a bicycle and associated safety equipment.

Conditions

Only one loan may be made at any one time and no further requests for Travel to Work scheme loans will be considered until full repayment of any previous loan has been made.

A photocopy of the receipt for purchase of a bicycle and any associated safety equipment must be forwarded to the Payroll Section, Finance Division within ten days of receipt of the loan.

The loan may not be used for any other purpose than that stated above. Failure to comply will be regarded as misconduct and dealt with under the appropriate Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.

The University would make no refunds or replacements for lost or stolen season tickets. Employees would be responsible for insurance of the season ticket.

Where the loan has been used to purchase a bicycle the University would not be responsible for insurance against loss, theft and personal accident. Employees would be responsible for obtaining appropriate insurance against loss, theft and personal insurance.

If the bicycle is sold before the end of the repayment period, the Payroll Section, Finance Division must be notified and the full balance outstanding will be repayable immediately.

University officers should note the residency regulations as laid out in Chapter XI of Ordinances.

Application Process

The employee must complete an application form (PD35) and submit it to the Payroll Section, Finance Division, The Old Schools. Forms are also available from the Payroll Section (tel. (3)32232, email ).

When a season ticket expires, it will be necessary to repeat the application process.

Employees may not reapply for a loan for the purchase of bicycles within five years of the previous application.

Payment Process

For rail season ticket loans, a rail warrant will be issued to the employee who should submit it to the relevant rail network operator. The operator will then issue the appropriate season ticket. Employees are reminded that they will be required to submit a photo card with the rail warrant. Please note that if your season ticket is more than the amount stated on the travel warrant you will be liable for the excess. You must pay this excess to the rail network operator.

For all other loans, payment will be made with the employee's pay. Applications received by the 1st of each month, and subsequently approved, will be processed in the following month's salary.

Repayment of Loan

Repayment of the loan will be by deduction from the employee's monthly pay, commencing one month after the loan is credited. The repayment period will be for no longer than 10 months. For appointments of less than 10 months, the repayment period will be within the appointment period.

If for any reason the employee leaves the University's employment before the total of the loan has been repaid, any outstanding amount will be deducted from the employee's final pay. Where this is not possible, an invoice for the outstanding balance will be raised which will be payable immediately.

In the event that the season ticket or bicycle is lost before the end of the loan period, the outstanding balance will still be deducted from salary.

If the employee embarks on an extended period of unpaid leave during the repayment period, the Payroll Section, Finance Division must be contacted to review the repayment process.

Tax and National Insurance Contributions

Whilst interest free, the loans are subject to tax and national insurance contributions in the circumstances outlined below.

The loan is not deemed to be a taxable benefit except where the balance outstanding (of any loans) is more than £5,000. (The Inland Revenue reviews this figure from time to time. Any required changes would then be made to the Travel to Work Loan Scheme.)

In the event of failure to repay a loan, the Inland Revenue will be notified. They may treat the whole of the outstanding balance as a taxable benefit and subject the employee to a tax charge at the appropriate rate.

Review

The operation of this policy will be reviewed. It may be amended or withdrawn at that time.