News update – Phone perk proves hit

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has seen over 1,600 employees choose a mobile phone as part of the firm’s latest flexible benefits roll-out.

Graeme Wylie, head of pension and benefit services at RBS, said the majority of the bank’s 84,000 employees elected to change their benefits this year and the introduction of the flex phone was particularly popular. He said: “Our mix of benefits has changed each year since the plan was first launched in 1998 and this year we’ve added mobile phones. We’ve always tried to keep our offering new and interesting, so adding mobile phones to the package was an obvious choice especially with the tax and NI savings.”

Staff could choose between a standard or camera phone package through a deal with Vodafone. Included in the deal is a set call time value and once that expires employees top up their call times electronically, which can be done at RBS cash machines. Employees benefit from buying a mobile phone through a flexible benefits scheme, from a discounted rate, and from effectively paying for the phones from gross pay.

“This option is aimed at our younger employees with a choice of two mobile phones; there’s no up front charge for the handset and [there is] the chance to benefit from great savings,” said Wylie.

Home PCs were another popular choice in the scheme’s sixth year, with 3,000 employees signing up, meaning that over 12% of the company’s workforce has signed up to for home PCs. Wylie said that he thought this explained an increase in the number of employees making their flex choices online. This year almost 60% of elections were done via the company’s intranet or through an internet site.