Helena Kennedy QC calls on legal firms to double Workplace Giving

20 Feb, 2013

Helena Kennedy QC (pictured) has called on all legal firms to reinvigorate or launch a Workplace Giving scheme with a target of achieving a 10% uptake amongst staff by May 2013. The initiative was launched at The House Of Lords on February 12th and is one of a series of activities to mark the 5th Birthday of the Geared For Giving Campaign which was set up to promote the tax efficiency of giving to the charity of your choice direct from your pay. Workplace Giving is the only way that charities can reclaim the 40% or 50% tax from higher rate tax paying donors.

 

In 2008 the Campaign surveyed Legal Week’s top 50 firms and found the average employee uptake was 4.5%.  Almost 5 years later this stands at 5.1%, while the national average sits at 6% of those employers who operate the scheme.  

 

8 legal firms attended the event including Dick Tyler, Senior Partner at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP who spoke about how they have grown the scheme to achieve a 20% uptake.

 

Helena Kennedy said ‘Workplace Giving remains the most tax effective way to support a charity particularly for a higher rate tax payer.  Their £10 gift can increase to £16.67 if given from pay for a 40% tax payer.

 

From supporting the Campaign over the past couple of years my biggest learning is that awareness of the scheme is still so low, but employers who make it easy for their staff to engage can see huge improvements in their uptakes and ultimately monies raised for the charitable sector.

 

Many employers within the Campaign are also supporting their employees giving by enhancing their donations made from pay.  Even with a small budget, that used creatively, there is no better way to show that you care about the causes they want to support.’

 

Peter O’Hara Managing Director of Workplace Giving UK which has funded the Geared for Giving Campaign since its launch said:  ‘The Geared for Giving Campaign was launched in 2008 to promote this simple way for employees to support any charity tax effectively from pay. It was asking for those employers who don’t operate the scheme to introduce one, but also for those that already have the scheme to promote it effectively.

 

The Campaign has helped give a further 2.2 million employees the opportunity to give, and raised over £3.6 million.

 

We look forward to hearing from legal firms who can contact Linda Cohen for more information on 07791 11 09 06 / 0208 731 5871, linda@gearedforgiving.com or at www.gearedforgiving.com

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