EXCLUSIVE: Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Centrica promote benefits to support financial wellbeing

Employee Benefits Live 2023: Enterprise Rent-A-Car has supported employees during the cost-of-living crisis with a salary increase and conducted a benchmark analysis of its pay and benefits providers.

Addressing delegates at Employee Benefits Live 2023 in a session titled Increasing employee financial wellbeing without increasing business cost, Alyson Dickman (pictured), HR generalist at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, explained how the organisation wanted to ensure it remains competitive in the market in order to attract and retain key talent. To do so, it benchmarked its roles and salary levels, and also reviewed its benefits providers to ensure they continue to provide benefits that are relevant to its employees.

In addition, the organisation was keen to put money back in the pocket of staff and, in conjunction with BH Network, it rolled out a salary sacrifice technology scheme that allows employees to spread the cost of buying home technology. It also promoted its discount portal and cashback card to staff to ensure they are aware of the perks available to them.

“We feel that we pay [employees] fairly and are also giving them money back, so it’s a win-win,” said Dickman.

Centrica, meanwhile, reviewed its benefits package to ensure that it is fit for purpose during the cost-of-living crisis and unprecedented times of change.

Tanya Llewellyn, benefits manager at Centrica, said: “It’s not about increasing the number of benefits we have, it’s a really comprehensive programme that we have, but we needed to be confident that what we offer to people is a really resilient scheme.”

Centrica focused on communication in order to increase employees’ engagement with the benefits they have. It promoted its employer-funded benefits such as an online GP service and a retail discount site.  It also offers employees an energy allowance and has seen a 64% increase in employees taking up the allowance and switching to British Gas. It also offers a bikes-for-work and electric vehicle salary sacrifice scheme which offer tax and national insurance savings.

“We want to get employees to see what is on offer and how much they can save,” said Llewellyn. “It really makes a big difference to everyone’s pocket. We offer so much so it is about getting employees to see what is on offer and take the time to explore different options.”

Dickman and Llewellyn have both noted a shift in employees not looking towards the long term, but instead focusing on the short term. Llewellyn said: “It’s been about getting benefits in a quicker timeframe. We’ve seen a lot of [employees] want to come out of their pension or reduce contributions so that they can have funds to buy other benefits. It’s been slightly worrying because we want our [employees] to think about the long term and their retirement.”

Llewellyn explained that employees at Centrica have taken more of an interest in financial wellbeing signposting during the cost-of-living crisis. “[Employees] wanted to know about debt services and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Through our pension scheme, we have a financial wellbeing tool where we can look our spending and future spending, and affordability. It’s a simple tool that allows us to get a personalised direction on finances,” she said.

Enterprise Rent A Car asked its pension provider to run a webinar to encourage long term planning for its employees. As a graduate recruiter with a large cohort of younger employees, it also ran a session about how to build a stable financial future which included information about budgeting, debt and managing money. “We are really trying to build that skillset in that generation and support employees through that financial journey,” said Dickman.