Novartis’ purchase of Chiron prompts move to flexible benefits

Novartis UK is looking to introduce a flexible benefits scheme in order to harmonise benefits provision across the organisation having recently acquired a business which enables staff to pick and choose perks.

The pharmaceuticals company, which has approximately 4,000 UK staff, is to carry out a feasibility study in September as the first step towards launching flex next year.

It has sent out requests for tender to seven potential consultancies to conduct the study and launch the scheme.

Novartis has just finished aligning its HR policy and procedures across its divisions after going live with a new HR information system last year. Now it is looking into flex, a decision brought to the top of the agenda after acquiring vaccines and diagnostics company Chiron last year, where employees already had flexible benefits.

Jeanette Piorkowska, head of reward, said: “Our main reasons for this project are to move forward with the harmonisation of benefits and HR systems, to consider the possibility of having one flex programme, to remain competitive and to maximise employee and employer cost savings through salary sacrifice.”