E-zec’s ongoing court case with HMRC: the latest

E-zec ambulance

“The team here at E-zec has recently received some positive news in an ongoing case against HMRC, and whilst it’s not yet all set in stone we did want to share an update. Along with other PTS providers, we’ve been challenging HMRC on an element of VAT law and how they classify some of the vehicles used across the patient transport sector. The case was finally heard and considered, and the Judge agreed with us that the current interpretation wasn’t right, and was causing real inconsistency across the board. His judgement gave clarity for the whole industry moving forwards. 

HMRC have the right to appeal but if the original decision remains unchanged we do see this as a milestone for the sector. The suggested new VAT rules would allow us, and all others who transport patients in the same way, to operate to the same rules as others in allied industries. Importantly, it will also remove a key business risk that we’ve have had to invest significant time and resource to manage. This resource will now be freed up to further support our people, our clients and their patients. 

We’ll know whether HMRC intends to appeal later in October and we’ll be in touch again then to let you know. For now though, we’re pleased to have taken a stand for what we believe was right, and – hopefully – for a more level playing field moving forwards.”

Rob Harvey, Chief Financial Officer

Benefits, wellbeing and engagement platform launches

The end of August saw the launch of E-zec’s new benefits, wellbeing and engagement platform, which all of its employees could use and benefit from, with immediate effect.

Available as an app that can be downloaded from the app store for android and Apple devices, online and nestled in E-zec’s colleague portal ‘My E-zec’, the innovative tool provides a number of benefits, including:

Shopping discounts including most of the main supermarkets for grocery shopping through to money-off purchases of home furnishing, clothes, restaurants, short breaks and a variety of luxury goods

Round-the-clock online GP consultation including a private prescription service.

Access to various Cash Plan Services that can provide colleagues and their families with peace of mind if they become unexpectedly ill or if the very worst happens.

An Employee Assistance Programme providing counselling support 24/7, 365 days a year, including a confidential helpline for medical, legal and financial matters as well as access to an online library of self-help tools and webinars to help support physical and mental health and wellbeing.

An ambulance care assistant based (ACA) in Bristol has already benefitted from the online GP service saying:

I had suddenly developed an infection that if it had developed further would have meant me taking time off work over a weekend shift. I called the GP service, secured a video call appointment with a lovely GP who prescribed antibiotics, which I collected from my local pharmacy before starting when the next morning. No way would it have been so straight forward at my normal GP surgery – I wouldn’t have had an appointment until the Monday and even then would have had to hold for an appointment at 8.30 in the morning, having suffered with symptoms all weekend.”

Similarly, a colleague based in Somerset secured a huge discount on new carpets for his home, using the 8% discount on offer at Carpetright.

Using a combination of discounts from E-zec’s app and Blue Light Card, others have saved 14% on their weekly shop at Asda.

E-zec’s new platform can be used in conjunction with existing retailer-specific discount and voucher schemes as well as Blue Light Card savings and promotions.

Of the platform’s launch, E-zec’s Chief People Officer Justine Vaughan said: “We are delighted to have recently launched our new and very exciting Benefits and Rewards based platform for all E-zec colleagues.  

Recognising our ‘People First’ company value means that we truly believe that our colleagues should come first by providing access to a variety of Wellbeing, Engagement and Discounted benefits and it has been very positively received internally. In addition to the benefits our colleagues have already started to enjoy, our focus on colleague wellbeing is now being further supported by providing access to immediate 24 hr, seven-day access to GP support, enabling colleagues to access medical assistance when they need it and when it’s convenient for them. This a huge benefit and unique in the workplace. We have already started to see an uptake in other benefits we provide through this platform, providing ‘peace of mind’ when it comes to absence in the workplace or the need to receive hospital treatment – through these aspects of the platform, and if they chose to take up these benefits, our colleagues continue to receive an income if they are too unwell to work or have an important medical appointment. 

The great opportunity here and one of the reasons why working at E-zec is so rewarding is that our colleagues have a choice of benefits they can access… We recognise that what’s important to one may be different to another – flexibility is key and that’s the aim of our Reward and Benefits Strategy, which we will continue to develop moving forward.”