Danone opens flex window for lifestyle changes

Food manufacturer Danone enables its staff to make changes to the perks they have selected through its flexible benefits scheme when they go through a lifestyle change, so they can quickly adapt their benefits to their new needs.

Danone office

The organisation, which won ’Most engaging benefits package’ at the Employee Benefits Awards 2014, opens benefits windows for such staff every month for certain benefits.

These benefits include childcare vouchers, the pension scheme, retail vouchers, gym membership and access to its health cash plan.

The monthly windows open for any employee who undergoes a lifestyle change, such as getting married, divorced, having a baby, seeing a change in hours or pay or returning from special leave.

The annual enrolment window for Danone’s scheme, provided by Thomsons Online Benefits, is in April.

John Mayor, head of UK rewards at Danone, says: “The annual window gives employees the opportunity to select about 30 benefits, but opening a monthly window gives employees the chance to opt in or out if they see a change in their lifestyle.

“We tend to look at more of lifestyle events and have the data to see whether a marriage is coming up, someone has given birth or an employee has seen a change in hours or pay.

“We open a window for the employee to look at, for example, flexing down or up on benefits that they may need to change.”

One benefit that is not offered flexibly is Danone’s bikes-for-work scheme .

Mayor adds: “We are very flexible and try to make anything available that would influence the way our employees live their lives.

“Bikes for work tends to be annualised because of the administration that goes behind it and the repayment period of 10 months. It is often easier for benefits such as that to keep within one window.”