Youth Hostel Association (YHA) launches voluntary benefits scheme

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has launched a voluntary benefits scheme to group together all of its standalone perks.

As well as grouping together its defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, bikes for work, health cash plan, dental plan and physiotherapy plan, the hostelling association has introduced an employee discount scheme and 10 free hostel stays for staff.

The website, provided by Asperity Employee Benefits, is a single portal where staff can log on and access all the benefits available.

Kate Adderley, head of planning and performance at YHA, said: “We had lots of different benefits available to staff but they were not joined up. Nobody knew what was available or where to find them. We had a pension, a bikes-for-work scheme, our staff could stay at the hostels but we did not make that clear to them. We wanted to join everything up but add in a bit more.”

The hostelling association has 600 permanent staff with 600 temporary staff joining during its busy March to October season. Based in England and Wales, staff are spread over 100 different sites so communication was challenging.

The new scheme was communicated using a weekly internal magazine, emails to managers encouraging them to brief their staff, briefings for 150 national office staff, briefings at team meetings within the hostel network, and a roadshow at YHA’s staff conference in February.

Adderley added: “We focused on working with a lot of suppliers to help promote it to staff. It is about a continual engagement with staff, not just a one-off in April. That is critical because if you do not engage staff they will not use it.”

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