Freshfields to launch targeted benefits events

EXCLUSIVE: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to focus the communications for its January 2013 flexible benefits enrolment period by hosting targeted events around lifestyle, health and finance.

The law firm has offered flexible benefits for four years, but is changing its approach this year to keep it fresh and to keep employees engaged.

Jackie Palmer, senior manager, compensation and benefits at Freshfields, said: “We have three benefits themes: lifestyle benefits, health benefits and financial security benefits. We have always run general roadshows during our enrolment window.

“This year, for the first time, we will have three separate weeks, so the first week will be focused on lifestyle, the second on health and the third on finances.”

The lifestyle week will include a seminar run by Xexec, which provides the firm’s employee discounts programme, and information for staff about the childcare voucher scheme.

The health week will include a biometrics kiosk, bikes to promote the bikes-for-work scheme, and additional classes run by Nuffield Health, which manages the law firm’s onsite gym.

The finance week will include pensions one-to-one sessions with adviser Hargreaves Lansdown and one-to-ones on mortgages with Charles Cameron and Associates. It will also offer lunchtime seminars, including an investment seminar that is heavily attended each year.

Palmer added: “We offer pensions one-to-ones already, but we need further investment in that service throughout 2013 to get people ready for auto-enrolment.”

Freshfields’ staging date for auto-enrolment is September 2013. It is aiming to get employees thinking about auto-enrolment during the January enrolment, but plans to communicate the changes fully during its June 2013 enrolment period.

Freshfields will start to communicate the flexible benefits enrolment period in December. It will begin with an email to all staff, followed by a poster campaign and pop-up banners around the office.

Palmer added: “Our flex provider Vebnet will do a targeted communications campaign into the enrolment period for each employee who hasn’t submitted their choices and will send them reminders during the enrolment period.”