Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme offers benefits to boost employee wellbeing

Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme (BYPHS), a charity that helps homeless young people, has developed a comprehensive set of low-cost, employer-paid health and wellbeing benefits to ensure that the charity’s 52 employees are physically and mentally fit to cope with potentially harrowing and emotional caseloads.

A holistic therapist visits the charity’s offices twice a year when BYPHS pays for employees to have a 45-minute massage or reflexology treatment each. The organisation saw 75% of staff make use of this benefit in November 2016.

To target physical health, BYPHS introduced a health cash plan, provided by UK Healthcare in January 2017, with the charity providing a basic package for all employees where certain healthcare costs can be reimbursed up to £100. Individuals can then pay to upgrade their package if they wish.

BYPHS will also fund six sessions of private counselling if required, with the employee themselves selecting an independent counsellor. Approximately 30% of staff have used this service since it was introduced.

In addition, BYPHS has offered a voluntary benefits scheme, provided by Perkbox, since 2015, which has seen a 60% take-up rate since it was introduced. It also provides twice-yearly team lunches and away days, as well as free fruit.

BYPHS ensures each benefit it provides costs the business £5 per employee or less, because this ensures the benefit remains non-taxable. Maura Jackson, chief executive officer at BYPHS, says: “We don’t want to do something that costs people money, that’s just defeating the object.

“The idea is to have a variety of tools in [the] toolkit to make sure that people are fit to work, they’re happy at work, that they’re safe, and that they’re healthy. We’ve got a big responsibility, so we’ve got to make sure that staff are absolutely at 100%.”