Sony BMG gives staff cash value of benefits including insurance perks

Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK has launched a flexible benefits scheme to give all staff equal access to perks following the merger of Sony and BMG. Under the new package, employees receive the cash value of their previous benefit entitlement, which included perks such as pensions, private medical insurance, income protection and life assurance, and was calculated according to the terms of an employee’s contract, to spend in flex.

Following the merger, which took place in 2004, the company has also introduced a number of new benefits and extended the availability of childcare vouchers to all staff. Helen James, human resources manager at Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK, said: “The biggest differences in terms of the benefits we are offering now that we weren’t before are dental insurance, the option to have a private health check and access to childcare vouchers for all employees.” All staff are now eligible to trade their holiday entitlement up or down. They can also add to their flex fund from their salary if they wish to purchase additional perks.

“The biggest restriction is on the holiday side of things. [Employees can] buy or sell down to a minimum of 20 days and up to a maximum of 30 days. “With life assurance there is the restriction that they have to [adhere] to a minimum of one times their base salary and for income protection a minimum of 50% of their base salary,” added James.

To ensure that all employees reviewed their benefits package and considered making changes, the system was set up so that staff had to select their benefits via the company intranet, even if they wanted to replicate their existing package. As a result, around two-thirds of staff ended up altering their benefits. James added that the company is now considering bringing its pension scheme into the flex plan for future launches.