Case study: City and Guilds takes advantage of partner suppliers for benefits

Vocational qualification awarding body City and Guilds saw the need to deliver value to staff at a time when reward is under pressure, so it took advantage of the partnership between Thomsons Online Benefits and Asperity Employee Benefits.

Under the providers’ joint venture, formed in 2008, Thomsons offers Asperity’s Reward Gateway as its voluntary benefits scheme.

City and Guilds started working with Thomsons on its flexible benefits scheme in July 2010, when the provider offered the opportunity to take up Asperity’s online retail and leisure discount portal.

Chris Coyne, group head of reward at City and Guilds, says: “When we came to the scheme design, we looked at whether this [online discount portal] was an appropriate thing for us to be offering. Was it going to be a helpful addition to our package?

“The advantage of the portal is that at a time when employers are struggling to do anything particularly exciting with salary reviews, this is a way of delivering immediate savings to employees in hard times.”

City and Guilds launched Asperity’s scheme to its 900 UK employees in November 2010, and has found that working through one contact point has saved it time and resources in terms of checking the reputation of a provider and sourcing references from other employers.

“It was definitely useful to have a one-stop shop in terms of a consultant which could front the whole thing,” says Coyne.

“Through the single contact we had with Thomsons, we did not have to worry about setting up relationships and liaising directly with Asperity. The interface could be done for us and handled by Thomsons rather than us having to deal with two project managers.”

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