Fife Council launches voluntary benefits

Fife Council has introduced a range of voluntary benefits in a bid to become a more competitive employer when compared with the private sector.

The council, which employs 21,500 staff, has launched an employee-paid LHF healthcare cash plan alongside a voluntary benefits scheme.

Caroline Murphy, HR adviser, said: "We are trying to bring the council up to date to make us a competitive employer against private [sector] organisations in Fife. Obviously we have a final salary pension scheme, which puts us ahead of some organisations, but we felt that to recruit good people we needed to push the benefits that bit more."

It has also extended a discount card scheme, which was previously only available to Fife residents on state benefits, to its employees. Staff can buy a £5 card each year to give them cheaper access to council-funded leisure facilities. "If they want a membership of the local council golf course they might get that for £80 whereas before it was about £190, so it is quite a substantial discount," Murphy added.

This month, the council will also relaunch its bikes-for-work scheme for the second year. Staff can sign up for the scheme between 2 April and 18 May. The organisation also launched a childcare voucher scheme at the start of the year.