Wolters Kluwer moves to harmonise perks and increase understanding

Wolters Kluwer has launched a flexible benefits scheme, extended its income protection coverage to all employees and switched to a salary sacrifice pension arrangement to harmonise its reward provision and increase staff understanding.

The publishing firm has acquired various businesses over the past 10 years, each of which has its own core benefits and pension arrangements. The company’s new My Benefits package is now intended to provide a common benefits platform for all of its 1,100 employees.

Through the flex plan, staff can generate an additional sum to spend on perks by flexing down the level of cover they previously received on core perks, such as life assurance and private medical insurance. They can also flex down to free up extra cash to add to their salary. Caitriona Banting, HR reward manager, said: “We wanted to give staff the opportunity to tailor their benefits to suit their own circumstances.”

Wolters Kluwer has also introduced a salary sacrifice arrangement for contributions to all the pension schemes it operates for staff. It previously did so for a small number of group personal pension (GPP) plans.

It will use the national insurance savings it gains from implementing salary sacrifice to fund the extension of its income protection coverage. This was previously provided to about 20% of its workforce, but has now been extended to all staff. “We wanted a way to make sure the savings went back to the employees,” said Banting.

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The company launched total reward statements in the run-up to the changes to ensure staff were aware of the improvements to their package.

The changes, provided by Enrich Reward, were implemented after an employee survey showed a lack of understanding of the benefits on offer. A subsequent sample survey has shown a large improvement in employee understanding and satisfaction since the changes were made.