News update – Microsoft boots up new perks

Microsoft UK has revamped its flexible benefits package by switching providers, adding new benefits and increasing its perks budget. The software giant has used Motivano to implement Flexi:2006. It had previously used Northgate HR to run its flexible benefits programme.

New benefits include vital organ scanning, where employees are screened for heart disease and cancer from £485. Employees are also now able to buy two computers each under a revised home computing scheme, following clearance from HM Revenue and Customs.

Staff can select PCs worth up to £2,500. Microsoft has increased its funding for benefits to meet the higher costs. Microsoft staff are given a flexi fund from which to select benefits. The firm calculates entitlements using a formula of basic salary plus 7.4%, plus a further £695, so an employee earning £30,000 would have a total package worth £32,915.

Optional perks cover staff for health and fitness, travel, childcare and retail entitlements. Benefits may be upgraded to include partners and dependants.

The company has maintained a core level of compulsory benefits for all staff. Holiday trading is limited to three days, and there is no alternative entitlement for staff who opt out of private medical insurance or the personal pension plan. Employees can then upgrade these core benefits, including the pension plan.