Vodafone launches flexible benefits

Vodafone UK has launched a flexible benefits scheme for 9,500 of its employees, following feedback from staff.

The scheme went live in mid-January for all staff except senior managers. Employees have been given a three-week enrolment window and any perks they select will take effect from 1 March.

Fedra Nicholls, UK reward manager, said the organisation would consider rolling the scheme out to senior staff in future years.

She added that the scheme forms part of the company’s strategy to help staff better understand their benefits package, following the launch of total reward statements last year.

“Launching flex is exciting for us because it means employees will have some opportunity to pick their own reward package,” Nicholls explained.

Through the scheme, full-time employees will be able to sell up to three days holiday, and the company has devised a calculation for part-time staff to allow them to sell a portion of their annual leave without falling below the statutory minimum.

In addition, employees can sacrifice salary to purchase benefits.

“We are not giving any additional allowances. What we have done is negotiate good rates using Vodafone’s buying power, and the levels of cover we are offering are great. With healthcare, for example, we are offering no excess to cover all pre-existing conditions,” Nicholls said.

A number of new benefits have been introduced through the scheme, including private medical insurance, dental insurance, critical illness cover and a wine club.

Staff can also select from a range of high street discounts and a bikes-for-work scheme. The possibility of allowing staff to purchase extra holiday days is scheduled for review next year.

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In the run-up to the scheme’s launch, employees were sent information at their home addresses. They can select options by calling a helpline or using the tools on a website designed to bring all of the company benefits together.