Macfarlanes introduces flexible benefits scheme

International law firm Macfarlanes has introduced an online flexible benefits scheme to boost its 450 employees’ awareness of the value of the benefits package and to provide options that suit individual lifestyles.

The Macsflex scheme, which was rolled out on 1 January, has replaced the law firm’s existing voluntary benefits package.

Rob Hind, head of HR at Macfarlanes, said: “Flexible benefits are now becoming the norm within the legal sector.

“We looked at a benchmarking survey of the upper quartile of law firms, which demonstrated that quite a high number of them are introducing flex schemes to maintain a competitive position.”

New benefits introduced for the flex roll out include: an employee discounts scheme, dental insurance, travel insurance, and holiday trading of up to three days a year.

The scheme also includes long-standing benefits such as a bikes-for-work scheme, a group personal pension (GPP) plan, private medical insurance (PMI), childcare vouchers, critical illness and life assurance.

Macfarlanes is also giving employees the opportunity to flex life assurance, which was previously offered at four-times, down to two-times or up to six- or eight-times. Employees can also choose to add dependents to the PMI scheme at their own cost.

The new benefits were requested through an employee benefits survey prior to the launch. Macfarlanes then ran focus groups with its provider Portus Consulting, followed by roadshows with the benefits providers. At launch, posters were put up around the office and on the intranet.

Since the launch, more than half of the firm’s employees have chosen to flex their benefits, with the highest rate of take-up for the pension scheme.

Hind added: “It was already the most popular benefit before we introduced flex, but increased awareness led to a number of long-standing employees either joining the scheme for the first time or increasing their personal contributions.”

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