Law firm Mills & Reeve has gone through the selection process for a voluntary benefits provider on more than one occasion.
In 2007, the law firm set up a new voluntary benefits scheme after switching providers to avoid additional costs. It had pulled its scheme with Bringme after the provider decided to charge for its services. The law firm instead set up a new offering with non-charging provider perks.com. When searching for a new provider, Mills & Reeves had a clear set of requirements relating to communication needs, the cost of the scheme and management information services. Sandy Boyle, HR director at Mills & Reeve, says: “We wanted to know what sort of management information we would get in terms of the usage. Perks.com monitors how many people click through and what they click through to.” He says employers should be clear at the outset about what they want to achieve by offering voluntary benefits and use these objectives to select a provider.
A key concern for the law firm was that the scheme would be communicated effectively to staff. “The greatest challenge is making sure the scheme stays at the front of everyone’s mind,” says Boyle. “There needs to be an ongoing campaign of awareness.” He adds that the firm did not have too many concerns about the security of its scheme, which is accessed by using a company email address. “The scheme is available to direct family, or to family that live in the same household as the employee, but they would log in using the employee’s email address and user name,” explains Boyle.