Carlsberg increases flex take-up

Carlsberg has offered around 10 benefits through its flexible benefits scheme since it was launched five years ago. Julian Daley, reward manager, says: “We have added some benefits and taken some away, but we have always had about that number.”

Certain perks, such as a healthcare top-up scheme, have been removed after proving unpopular with the brewer’s 1,700 employees.

“We have never removed any benefits that had at least a small take-up, on the basis that the benefit is obviously important to someone,” says Daley. “Even if just two or three employees are taking the benefit up, the cost is minimal and we would rather continue to include it.”

Carlsberg’s diverse employee population, in terms of age, gender and job role, drives its commitment to offer a wide range of flexible benefits. Daley adds: “I agree that it can be a little overwhelming for people, but we have to strike a balance between providing the right sort of information that employees can quickly understand and provide something for everybody.”

Carlsberg uses staff feedback to determine which new benefits and services to add to its flex scheme. For example, some people requested help with the tax structure of the organisation’s car scheme. Daley says: “We saved that request and incorporated it into flexible benefits. We now offer a self-assessment tax service through the scheme.”

To help engage staff in the scheme, in 2010 Carlsberg replaced its 24-page flex booklet with an A5 sheet explaining each benefit in no more than two or three sentences. This resulted in a 22% year-on-year rise in take-up of its flexible benefits.

Carlsberg was shortlisted in the category for ‘Most effective use of a flexible benefits plan’ in the 2012 Employee Benefits Awards.

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