Employee Benefits Awards 2009: Most effective use of a flexible benefits plan (Sponsored by Thomsons Online Benefits)

White & Case Youchoose

The judges were impressed with how the law firm went the extra mile to ensure it used its flexible benefits scheme to maximum effect. Since the scheme began in 2006, White & Case has sought employee feedback to identify how it can improve its offering, and has subsequently made changes to the scheme’s administration, cost and range of benefits.

Such improvements support the firm’s rationale for flex – to move the organisation’s culture away from one of a parent/child relationship to an adult/adult way of working. When reviewing the scheme, White & Case takes employees’ views and external pressures into account. For example, in 2008 it added a carbon offsetting perk following staff feedback, and introduced staff discounts to help employees’ money go further in the current economic climate. The scheme also includes innovative perks, such as subsidised wellness and learning accounts, skin cancer screening and emergency evacuation.

Replacing previous core benefits – such as private medical insurance and gym membership, which were provided for all employees – with more flexible options has resulted in significant cost savings. Removing the gym benefit alone has saved the company more than £200,000 since the scheme began. Just over one-third of staff have opted not to take up PMI, which has also saved the firm money.

Since introducing flex, White & Case has seen a reduction in unintended turnover from 20% to 12%, to the end of 2008.

Pictured left: Kate Coulson, senior HR manager – management information and reward. On winning, Coulson said: “This year was the fourth year of renewal and we wanted to give staff more choice. In the current economic climate that is even more important.”


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