More should be done to make new employees aware of payroll giving, minister says

Sajid Javid, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, tells the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards that a consultation will be launched this year

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

More should be done to attract people to join payroll giving schemes whenever they get a job, according to the minister in charge of payroll giving.

Speaking at the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards at the Treasury last night, Sajid Javid, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said that more needed to be done to make new employees aware of payroll giving. "In particular we want to see more from those who are newly entering the job market," he said.

"It is an excellent way to engage with these potential donors and start a giving culture."

Javid said that a consultation on payroll giving would be launched before the end of the year and added that payroll giving agencies had already been asked to give their views on reforming the scheme.

Speaking at the awards, Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said payroll giving has had a poor image in the past, but described it as an "intriguing, enthralling and untapped" resource for charities. "We want to make it easier and more compelling for people to give," he said. "Giving is a minority sport in the country. We give as much as we spend on cheese."

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said donations through the scheme were at the highest level ever, raising £118m in 2011/12, up 3.5 per cent on the previous year. But he added: "Charities are still struggling to recruit more payroll donors," he said. "We need to look at how we can reform payroll giving to make it work for the donor, charities and employers. We’re looking for transformational change."

The awards, which were organised by the IoF, recognise the individuals and businesses that have contributed significantly to payroll giving promotions over the past year.

The award for best overall campaign was won by Robert Holdcroft, a multi-restaurant franchisee of McDonald’s. The company has 430 employees working across six sites. Its scheme attracted 60 per cent of employees within two months and used the idea of giving £1 per day to attract the mainly young workers.

Best innovative promotional partnership went to the online fashion retailer ASOS and Workplace Giving UK. The company increased take-up of payroll giving by 30 per cent after attracting employees with a gingerbread house theme.

Save the Children won in the category of best civil society employer campaign. The charity used raffles, prize draws, tea and biscuits, an online sign up option and face-to-face meetings to ensure all its employees were aware of the scheme.

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