FOI request detail

Costing of staff travel employee benefit

Request ID: FOI-2322-2324
Date published: 26 October 2023

You asked

According to the Evening Standard, 54,000 friends and family of TfL staff receive free travel: The same article claims that TfL have stated that the cost is minimal, as no additional trains or buses are provided as a result. I understand that TFL's Statement of Accounts is prepared on a IFRS basis, which means that short-term employee benefits have to be costed, including non-monetary benefits. Further, as this benefit is offered to retired staff, under IFRS 19 it must be costed as a post employment benefit. Please disclose the calculation of the costs of these benefits for the financial year 2022-23 for accounts, showing a separate costing for: a. Short-term employee benefits b. Post employment benefit. If this has not been calculated because it is thought to be immaterial, please disclose the level of materiality applied to the nearest £0.1m, and estimate the size of each of these benefits in 2022-23 to demonstrate that they are not material.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-2322-2324

Thank you for your request received on 2 October 2023 asking for information about the costing of the staff travel benefit.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you have requested.

From a tax perspective the provision of this benefit is not considered to be a taxable benefit. When an employer provides a benefit the amount that is taxable is generally considered to be the cost of the provision of the benefit to the employer. The cost to TfL of providing this benefit (to current or retired staff) is restricted to the processing of applications and printing of cards which is negligible, therefore there is not considered to be any marginal cost to TfL for providing this benefit. This position was agreed with HMRC several years ago.

Under IAS 19 the amount recognised should be measured at the cost of providing the benefit. That follows the same logic as the tax explanation given above.

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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