Kindred Group adapts end-of-year benefits for remote workforce

As is the case with many organisation, the Kindred Group is still at the planning stage with its end-of-year celebrations and festivities.

In previous years, the gambling operator has held large Christmas parties for its 400 UK employees, but with government restrictions placed on large gatherings due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, this is looking unlikely this year.

The employer is looking into options of what can be given to its remote-working workforce, for example vouchers or doorstep deliveries of food or drink, says Nick Lawry, head of reward. “Something that is a bit fun, that people can get together and open when we have an online call, or a company update,” he says.

Since the lockdown was imposed in March 2020, Kindred Group has been running lots of virtual events for its 1,800 global employees, and will continue these into the festive season, in the absence of being able to do anything in person.

Suzi Read, head of talent development, says: “We’ll definitely be having lots of virtual events, we’ve been doing a lot of social events. In Malta, they have been doing cooking events, so [employees] have been sent a list of ingredients and they’ve all cooked together. We’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness; we’ve really boosted it during lockdown.”

Although Kindred’s offices are open if employees wish to return, the organisation has let them know they can work remotely into the new year if they wish to do so. For this reason, Kindred has adapted some of the benefits that it usually offers at this time of year. Usually, employees are able to have a flu jab onsite, but this year, the organisation has posted vouchers to home addresses. “It gives them the flexibility to go to whichever pharmacy they want,” says Lawry.

Employees are also able to carry over 10 days holiday into quarter one of the new year, compared to the usual five days. “It’s been difficult for people to take holiday this year, so in trying to give people more flexibility we’re allowing them to take two weeks into the new year,” explains Lawry.