Virgin Group targets cost savings in global benefits review

Virgin Group is to complete a review of its benefits across Asia Pacific, North America and the UK before the end of this year, in order to identify any areas where cost savings can be made.

The global review will, in particular, focus on risk benefits and, where possible, multi-national pooling of benefits will be considered, to make the premium costs on risk benefits as cost-efficient as possible.

Caroline Jowett-Ive, group reward manager at Virgin Group, said: “I think especially with our risk benefits there could be potential to make cost and efficiency savings and have more of a global provision.

“I think that multi-[national] pooling will be better because the more lives that are covered, the better the premium rate, and this is certainly something worth looking at.”

The group will complete the review by the end of 2008 and if changes are to be made, they will be carried out next year.

Harmonising Virgin’s benefits across the world may also be an option, although Jowett-Ive believes this will work only for core benefits, as opposed to smaller perks.

“I think there is potential that some of the core benefits could be harmonised, but the smaller benefits will probably be more influenced by local markets,” she added.

Across the UK, Asia Pacific and North America, Virgin Mobile has a total of 55,000 employees and any decisions on benefits will be made with the co-operation of the heads of each territory.

“I will work with senior members of each country, for instance the chief executive officer of North America, and put a business case forward [on benefits],” said Jowett-Ive.