News update – Perks stop staff being stolen

Newly formed security firm Group 4 Securicor has drawn up a set of benefits to stop rival companies from poaching its staff.

The company, made from July’s merger of Group 4 and Securicor, has cherry-picked a benefits package that takes into account the best bits of both firms’ previous schemes. And it is also implementing a group-wide voluntary benefits package to avoid losing staff after new regulations are expected to hit the security industry.

Liz Ogden, HR director at Group 4 Securicor, explained that new legislation will mean that all security guards must be licensed as of January 2005. She said that under the new framework guards will have to pass training and criminal record checks, and many are expected to be refused licences.

“The market’s going to become a lot more competitive. Security officers will be in high demand and we want to make sure we attract the best calibre of staff,” said Ogden.

Securicor staff have had the Bringme voluntary benefits scheme in place since February, but from the end of this year all 19,000 staff (the new combined workforce) will be eligible.

She added: “We wanted a new benefits strategy for a new firm. We did a lot of research to find out what people wanted and they said they wanted flexibility and a wider degree of choice. We are putting voluntary benefits in the whole company because it proved so popular [in Securicor].”

Staff were particularly pleased with the tax-free PCs, childcare vouchers and discounts on CDs.

The firm is communicating the changes through a benefits booklet and a website that staff can access from home. Ogden said home access was crucial because 18,000 of the firm’s 19,000 were not office based.

The company is also considering adding even more benefits and raising salaries once the regulation has come into force.