Case Study: How HBOS offered mobile phones to staff

This article is brought to you by Flexphone, sponsors of the flexible benefits channel.

Mobile Salary Saver


HBOS is the UK?s largest mortgage and savings provider in the UK with over 22 million customers. Their ?Total Reward? approach is designed to reward and recognize individual performance as well as ensure that each of the 64,000 eligible colleagues share in the success of the Group.


HBOS already had a well established benefits package but wanted to enhance it and maintain interest levels with colleagues. Within their Total Reward approach, HBOS?s Flex scheme is one of a number of key areas HBOS deploy to attract, retain and reward the right talent to deliver their challenging plans and achieve success for all their stakeholders,. They wanted to identify new benefits as part of their proposition and reward colleagues by offering something that provided tangible savings.


Quick to recognise the benefits to both colleagues and its business, HBOS launched mobile phones as part of their Flex scheme in November 2005. Flexphone worked with HBOS to communicate the benefit to colleagues by attending roadshows throughout the UK during the benefits window. In addition, information on what was on offer, how to save and how to place an order was provided through both electronic and printed materials. Colleagues were able to make their selection via telephone and on the Flexphone shopping website.

Access to the Flexphone administrator website was provided to the small number of HBOS administrators to approve colleague participation and ensure they are kept up-to-date.


Flexphone?s partnership with Vodafone in early 2006 meant that HBOS colleagues would benefit from more than the tax and NI savings associated with the mobile phone benefit.

The March 2006 Budget announcement restricted the number of mobile phones employers could loan to its employees for private use, tax-free, to one per employee. Colleagues who had elected more than one phone in the 2005 election window were able to continue to enjoy the tax savings until their 2006 election window when the number of phones they could have under the scheme reduced to one.

Re-branded ?Mobile Salary Saver?, the Flexphone/Vodafone 2006 offering assured HBOS colleagues of savings on Vodafone?s High Street pricing. Colleagues were able to choose from the latest handsets, the full range of Vodafone pay monthly and pay as you talk price plans plus the usual Vodafone High Street benefits such as live!, Stop The Clock and optional extras.

Dan Hartley, Reward Manager, Group HR at HBOS enthused ?I think Mobile Salary Saver is a cracking offer for our colleagues. With the tax/NI break on top it makes it fantastic, if you?re in the market for a phone?. HBOS colleagues? agreed and 2006 participation in the scheme increased by 82% on 2005, despite the Budget impact.

The views and opinions in this article are those of our sponsor, Flexphone, and do not necessarily reflect those of