Get Home Safe Initiative publishes open letter to Prime Minister, signed by over 200 creative businesses
Written in response to the murder of Sarah Everard, the letter published in The Guardian yesterday calls on the UK government to review HMRC rules on business taxi expenses, to help keep employees safe.
- Jenny Brewer
- 25 March 2021
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
Following the murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard on 3 March, a new initiative titled Get Home Safe brings together hundreds of creative, advertising and media agencies in a campaign to make employees feel safer when travelling home from work. Spearheaded by Dan Cullen-Shute, CEO of Creature and Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), the initiative has published an open letter to Boris Johnson in The Guardian signed by over 150 agencies, demanding changes to the current business tax legislation regarding taxis.
According to a White Paper published last year by the Global Business Travel Association, safety is the top priority for 60 per cent of people when choosing how to travel for business. However, as the letter states: “As things currently stand, taxis employees take home from work after 9pm are viewed as a legitimate business expense; taxis taken home from work before 9pm, regardless of context, are viewed as a taxable benefit. Or, to put it another way, employers are currently disincentivised from keeping their employees safe before 9pm; and employees are taxed if they try to look after themselves.”
Therefore the initiative urges the UK government to review and change the HMRC rules around taxis and make it easier for all businesses to make sure their employees get home safe, should they use taxis.
Cullen-Shute adds: “There is clearly a vital conversation to be had around the behaviour of men, and the safety of women within society – and it’s a conversation in which I hope our industry will play a positive part in the months and years to come. As business leaders, though, we have an immediate duty of care to the people who work for us, male and female, and as things stand, we and, most importantly, our employees are penalised if they would feel safer taking a taxi home before 9pm. In a country where it’s dark at 5pm for a third of the year, that feels fundamentally unjustifiable: and we would ask HMRC to take this small step as soon as possible.”
Reports show that nearly a quarter of women have experienced sexual assault or attempted sexual assault since the age of 16, and more than 750,000 adults aged 16-74 were victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in the year ending March 2020, according to the data published by the ONS.
To find out more about the Get Home Safe Initiative and add your name to the list of signatories, go to www.get-home-safe.com
Courtesy of the Get Home Safe Initiative