Penguin Random House UK is today launching an exciting new company initiative, ‘Home Sweet Loan’ to support employees with the cost of a deposit of a rental property. Eligible to all our employees, including new joiners, this new benefit offers an interest-free loan to help employees pay their rental deposit when moving into a privately rented home.
Around 5 million households across the UK are in privately rented accommodation, according to a Knight Frank survey earlier this year, with that number set to rise to 5.79m over the next five years. The deposits required are often very high, with the average across the country at £970 (and £1,830 in London), based on figures from the Deposit Protection Scheme. With more and more of our employees choosing to privately rent, this new benefit aims to help our staff to secure a home without enduring financial difficulty.
Employees across all our sites can apply to borrow up to £2,500 interest-free (or £1,500 during their probationary period). The loan can be repaid in either 6 or 12 monthly instalments and will be deducted directly from an employee’s monthly salary. The loan is also tax-free; working in a similar way to our season ticket loan scheme.
The scheme complements other initiatives from Penguin Random House UK designed to reduce barriers to entry into the publishing industry and attract more talent from diverse backgrounds and low income households. This includes removing the requirement for a university degree, transforming our work experience placement programme, and proactively reaching out to candidates who might not have previously considered publishing as a career through our #JobHack workshops.
Val Garside, HR Director, said: “We are really pleased to be rolling out this new benefit and providing an additional helping hand to our employees. Supporting our commitment to be a more inclusive employer, we also hope it will help make us more accessible for talented people across the UK who are considering relocating but worried about how they will afford high rental deposit costs.”
A Penguin Random House UK employee also commented: “This is awesome! Speaking personally as someone who is looking at the slightly daunting task of looking for a new place to live in a few months, it a wonderful thing to know the company offers this benefit if needed.”