Frequently asked questions on the Workplace Parking Levy. if your question isn’t answered get in touch with us (contact details below FAQs) and we’ll get you an answer.
Q. what is the Workplace Parking Levy?
A. A Tax being imposed by Nottingham City Council on car parking spaces inNottingham to help pay for the tram service only a minority of workers (including teachers) will be able to use
Q. What is the difference between the Workplace Parking Levy and the Workplace Parking Charge?
A. The ‘Levy’ is the tax imposed by the Council on employers. The ‘Charge’ is the tax the employer charges the motorist for parking their car at work. Employers do not have to pass the charge onto their workers but will do so either in full or in part
Q. Do all employers have to pay the levy?
A. No. Most employers with less than 11 parking spaces are exempt from the levy but Nottingham City Council have decided to aggregate all their workplaces and tax them all – including schools with less than 11 spaces
Q. Why are local authority schools not treated as individual employers enabling many small primary schools to be exempt from the WPL?
A. The only answer seems to be to increase the income from the tax at the expense of workers
Q. I am a ‘blue badge’ holder – do I have to pay the WPL?
A. Members with a ‘blue badge’ are exempt and will be able to continue to park on school premises.
Q. I need assistance to carry heavy loads, piles of books etc into school – do I have to pay the WPL?
A. If you need assistance with carrying loads etc you may be exempt from tax if you can show this to be a reasonable aid and adaptation necessary to address an impairment. You do not necessarily need to be disabled under the terms of the Equality Act 2010.
Any member who requires parking near their place of work in order to carry packages etc should contact their NASUWT school rep or Local Association Secretary to negotiate parking with the headteacher.
Q. Do all council staff have to pay the WPL?
A. No. Under the scheme Council staff identified as ‘essential car users’ are exempt from the WPL, NASUWT will monitor how many senior managers including headteachers and governors exempt themselves from the charge.
Q. I take student work books home to mark them, as these are too heavy to allow me to use public transport am I exempt from WPL?
A. No – only those with impairments or a blue badge are exempt. Our advice is that you should not take the books home and you mark them at school. If you take them on public transport and lose or damage student work you can be held responsible.
Q.I have a letter from the head teacher asking me to sign forms about the WPL, what should I do?
- Do not sign any form relating to WPL, especially if it mentions paying the tax. Tell the head that NASUWT (and our sister unions) are in negotiations with the council on WPL and you will not sign anything until these are concluded. You should forward copies of any letters you receive on WPL to your NASUWT school rep or Local Association Secretary for the latest advice.
Q. I have been asked to agree to the Charge being written into my contract of employment. What do I do?
A. Do not sign anything at this stage. If you sign up to pay WPL now you are committed to pay it. You can not withdraw from the scheme during the year you sign up for it. You should advise the school in writing that in accordance with NASUWT advice you will not be signing to pay the Charge.
Q. If I sign a contract variation now can I change my mind later?
A. No. You should not agree any variation to your contract of employment without seeking advice from NASUWT as this could be a permanent change.
Q. If I do not agree to pay WPL can I still park at school?
A. No – unless you are exempt from the WPL. WPL does not apply to on-street parking or other arrangements and it may be possible to agree other arrangements such as parking in local shopping centres
Q. I work on split site schools and need to park in two separate sites – do I have to pay the levy for each site?
A. This is a possibility, under the rules of the scheme site managers, for example, can be asked to pay the Charge for each car park space they use on a regular basis, unless they can be considered to be visitors at one site.
Q. I have been told only non-teacher member can sign up to a salary sacrifice scheme – is this true?
A. Teachers covered by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) can only sign up to the three salary sacrifice schemes identified in STPCD which are child care vouchers; a cycle or cycle equipment scheme or a mobile telephone scheme (STPCD 2011 page 101 paragraphs 52.1 – 52.3) Non-teacher members may be able to sign up for a ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme offered by the Council/ HM Revenue and Customs whereby the levy can be deducted from gross salary thereby saving a (small) amount of the WPL.
Q. I have heard that members who agree to pay WPL and subsequently change their post, such as taking up a post in Nottinghamshire rather than the city, will still be committed to pay the levy in the city. Is this the case?
A. This is not likely to be the case as WPL is a Nottingham City only tax and should not transferable to workplaces outside the city.
Q. What is NASUWT doing to challenge this additional tax on my income?
A. The Nottingham Association is working with our sister unions to try to negotiate changes to the scheme with local authority schools in the city. We are also negotiating with academies, independent and other non-local authority schools to ensure either that the WPL is not passed on to staff at all or that any charge is a nominal amount.
Q. What can I do to assist NASUWT oppose this unnecessary tax?
A. You should attend your local NASUWT meetings, and pass on information to your colleagues, encouraging them to join NASUWT and get involved with the campaign to get rid of this punitive tax on incomes already under attack by the Coalition Government without a Labour authority adding other unjust and regressive taxes.
Q: Can my school impose Fixed Penalty notices if I park at school without paying the levy?
A: Your school can not impose a Fixed Penalty notice without advising you in advance of their intention to introduce such a scheme and the details of the scheme. The school would also need to put up signs advising all car park users of the existence of the charge and the amount to be charged.
Q: can the school take money from my pay to meet what they say are back dated non-payments?
A: No. Any non-statutory deduction from your salary has to be agreed in advance with you. Any unauthorised deduction could be considered an unlawful deduction of wages and you should contact your school Representative or Local Association Secretary if this is threatened by your school.
Q: My School Office is issuing permits this week, and notes will be going on cars who have not registered, what should I do?
A: If the school has said that only those who pay the levy can park on site then anyone who has not paid and who continues to park on site could face disciplinary action and potential fines (see previous questions). If you do not wish to pay the charge you should park off site to avoid this risk.
If you have any queries, or problems or want to pass on your ideas for the campaign please contact your NASUWT school representative
Don’t know who to contact? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0115 976 7180 (NASUWT East Midlands Regional Centre) and ask to be put in touch with your local rep