Brokers help Henmans lay down law to benefits providers

Strong relationships with brokers help law firm Henmans get the most from its benefits providers. The Oxford-based law firm uses brokers for its insurance benefits, pensions and employee assistance programme (EAP), but sources childcare vouchers directly.

Viv Matthews, head of HR, says: “We have one main contact with our broker for pensions and life assurance, and another for private [medical] insurance and the EAP. We have regular contact with both and have built up a sound rapport over several years.”

Matthews says the firm’s pension broker explores the market fully and checks regularly on providers’ performance. “The broker is also very proactive in arranging pensions surgeries and has helped us prepare for Nest [the national employment savings trust],” she says.

Henmans, which has 130 staff, also uses brokers to get results in tricky situations. Matthews adds: “In the case of private [medical] insurance, they can bring some weight to bear in difficult situations where the provider might be difficult about covering a full claim. This is certainly more powerful than us trying to deal with it direct.”

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The firm also sets up service-level agreements around staff surgeries, costs, timescales and additional benefits. “In all of our benefits, we also receive lots of posters and materials to spread the knowledge,” says Matthews.

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