Employee Benefits Live 2010: BG Group gives staff free shares with flexible benefits sign-up

The BG Group gave employees £3,000 worth of free shares when it launched its flexible benefits scheme.

During the session Getting the right results from your flexible benefits, Lisa Philpott, HR manager at BG Group, said employees could keep the full amount of shares or use some of the value to purchase other benefits within the scheme.

Those who did not enrol themselves into flex lost their free shares, which meant the scheme attracted virtually 100% take-up. As a result of participating in flexible benefits, twice as many staff also made additional contributions to their pension.

When implementing flexible benefits, one of Philpott’s main concerns was getting full approval from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Scheme administration was also a priority for the firm, which outsourced the running of a scheme as soon as it went live. “It really was a bit of an admin nightmare managing the benefits”, said Philpott.

The oil and gas company decided to introduce the flex scheme after its 2006 employee opinion survey revealed staff wanted more flexibility and transparency around benefits. Previously, BG Group provided core benefits, such as life assurance, but the survey showed workers were not necessarily aware of the value of their package.

The scheme, which is provided by Vebnet, includes a range of benefits divided into four sections. In the finance section, benefits include pension, group income protection, critical illness cover for employees and their partners, personal accident insurance for employees, their partners and children, and the main part of the scheme, the share incentive plan (Sip).

Read more articles on launching flexible benefits schemes

View Lisa Philpott’s video presentation from Employee Benefits Live