British American Tobacco improves financial education for staff

Maturing employee share options under British American Tobacco’s (BAT) sharesave scheme provided the impetus for its HR team to improve financial education for its employees.

Nina Crossen, HR project manager at BAT, says: “Because the share price had increased enormously there was good profit to be gained by employees and this meant more employees than we originally thought would be subject to capital gains tax.”

The success of the company’s targeted approach – sending invitations to relevant employees asking if they would like to attend a presentation on how to make the most of their profits – led BAT to then implement a more comprehensive financial education programme for staff. This covers broad financial issues, but BAT targets employees by age group. “If you make something relevant to an individual and relate to something on their mind they’re more likely to participate,” adds Crossen. “We feel our financial education programme helps employees fully understand the value of their benefits.”