Aussie work place parking levy drives employees to the brothel

The Nottingham Workplace Parking Levy, though highly opposed by some, is due to come into effect in April 2012. This is an initiative by the Nottingham City Council, who claim that the funds would be used to develop public transport within the city, and help reduce traffic congestion.

 The tax applies to employers holding 10 or more parking spaces and is charged on the basis of £250 per space in the first year; employers are in turn allowed to pass this cost on to their employees. It is the first time such a system is being implemented in the UK, and the businesses have now moved on from the question of ‘why’ and ‘why not’ to ‘how’ we can tackle this system. We looked to Perth Australia  to gain an insight  as to the issues that surround this contraversial subject.  A similar scheme has been in effect in Perth,  since 1999 and we seek to learn from some of the key issues faced by businesses and the likely outcomes in implementing the WPL.


The impact seems to affect small businesses the most as the cost of parking has a direct impact on their services and profits. One established jeweller in Perth, who has passed on the cost to his employees, is finding it hard to retain them as they now consider working in the city as costly. This employer is considering shifting operations outside the city to retain his employee expertise while compromising some revenue in the process. In addition to this, there are complains about the time taken in commuting outside the city as employees will have to leave their homes early in order to get to work on time. Other concerns include the traffic levels in Perth which have been on the increase albeit the WPL. The jeweller feels that avoiding the WPL will save you some cost and help retain employees but conversely will add an hour or so to your journey to work and back. The employees are sure to oppose such a move and eventually the employer might be left with only his most committed employees to run the business. The CEO of a leading finance firm in Perth is of the view that the levy will probably have very little impact on congestion and he chose to remain in the city despite the levy, paying for some of the employees to park in the city centre, stating it as a business need. He rejects the idea of his business personnel being seen carrying file loads and meeting with clients using public transport and stresses the need for personal transportation. He also comments that by not passing on the costs to his employees he is unable to change their attitude towards congestion and public transport but clearly views this scheme as ‘not very effective’ for business. The scheme is likely to be an added cost to running a business while not bringing any benefit to the employer or the employee – orthodox businesses will not approve of such a cost.

Parking at a brothel?

 While some employees will be lucky to have their employers pay for parking others might not, what about them? One such employee working for a jeweller in Perth has managed to evade this parking levy by discovering a parking space at a nearby brothel. He says that he chose to park here while his colleagues have to pay for parking or use public transport. He made this decision after realising that taking the public transport costs as much as driving to work, in addition to a 15 minute walk to the station from home and at times not being able to find a seat. He comments further saying: “It’s not a good way to start or end your day.” This employee managed to find a bit of free space suggested by his boss, an awkward area for parking, but on residential land exempting him from paying the levy. The question remains, how many free spaces are out there and how are you going to find them? If you don’t want to smear your business image, or spend an extra hour travelling to work, or prefer not to stand while you commute – you have no option but to succumb to the WPL and claim your parking space! But, on the other hand, companies like and have teamed up to setup a subsidised parking scheme within the Nottingham city area making life easier and cheaper. They say that Nottingham city has abundant parking allocation and it’s a matter of how to find them, which they will do on your behalf.

Finally, what we can take from the consequences of such a scheme in Perth, Australia, is that battling congestion in the city area is a tough and longstanding fight, where the commuters are constantly being blamed and eventually taxed to fund public transport, which the rest of the community may or may not choose to utilise for their personal chores. How fair is the City Council being towards businesses that are the engines of growth in their very own city? It’s your call… 


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