Eight law firms have pledged to sign up at least 10 per cent of their employees to payroll giving by May as part of a campaign to promote the tax-free donations scheme.
The initiative was launched in the House of Lords earlier this month by the Labour peer Helena Kennedy QC. It calls on all law firms to hit the same target.
The launch was part of a series of events to mark the fifth anniversary of the Geared for Giving campaign, which is funded by Workplace Giving UK, a professional fundraising organisation that promotes payroll giving.
The campaign, launched in 2008, is now targeting sectors full of high earners, such as lawyers and bankers, to encourage them to sign up to payroll-giving schemes.
A survey of the top 50 firms according to the magazine Legal Week, carried out by the campaign in 2008, found that the average employee uptake of payroll giving was 4.5 per cent. That now stands at 5.1 per cent, compared with a national average of 6 per cent.
In a statement, Kennedy said: "Workplace giving remains the most tax-effective way to support a charity, particularly for a higher-rate taxpayer. A £10 gift can increase to £16.67 if given from the pay of someone who pays the 40 per cent tax rate."
Kennedy said that awareness of payroll giving was still low. "But employers who make it easy for their staff to engage can see huge improvements in their uptakes and, ultimately, in money raised for the charitable sector," she said.
She encouraged employers to support their employees’ giving by adding to the donations that they make. "If you use it creatively, even with a small budget there is no better way to show that you care about the causes they want to support."