Amex introduces a care service

EXCLUSIVE: American Express is to introduce a back-up care service, open its voluntary benefits website to home access and host a series of events to coincide with National Work-Life Week from 24 to 28 September.

The back-up care service, which will be provided by Bright Horizons, will be promoted with information stands at the credit card firm’s four largest sites. Webinars and paper-based communications will also be provided to all 6,100 UK employees.

American Express has a number of different networks set up throughout the UK, including an Hispanic employee network called Ahora, a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender network called Pride, and the parents and carers network called Pacs, which will be running events throughout the week.

Jonathan Sparham, benefits manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at American Express, said: “We have been working closely with the parents and carers network, which has about 400 employees, to start a rolling programme to get the message out to the smaller sites across the UK.”

“We are doing a lot of work internally to plant the work-life flag around the world,” said Sparham. “The idea is to bring together lots of benefits and programmes that support that work-life fit. It goes from maternity and paternity, to our discounts programme, to the networks, to our employee assistance programme (EAP) and childcare vouchers. The back-up care really fits in with that overall work-life mix.”

The firm is also opening home access for its voluntary benefits scheme, Smart Spending, which is provided by Asperity Employee Benefits. The scheme is already available in this way to the company’s 400 home-working staff.

Sparham added: “By moving to home access, employees will be able to use a home computer rather than just a work computer. It means that things like back-up care can be included, so staff can get the information at any time.”