Nottingham City Council scoops perks award

Nottingham City Council has scooped the Grand Prix prize at the Employee Benefits Awards 2006 for its successful launch of a voluntary benefits scheme in a sector which is notorious for its limited reward budgets.

It decided to develop a benefits package for its 12,800 employees last year to help reward staff for the role they were playing in improving the council’s frontline services during a period of much organisational change. It was also intended to improve the council’s image as a local employer.

The result was its Works Perks scheme, which included an impressive range of voluntary benefits such as discounts on health club membership, flight bookings and holidays, meals in local restaurants, and health and fitness plans. Staff could also choose from three benefits offered through salary sacrifice arrangements: bikes for work, childcare vouchers and computers.

The judges felt that the scheme was supported by a "strong marketing strategy", which more than paid off when its target take-up rate of 10% was achieved in just two weeks.