Toshiba maintains flexible benefits momentum

Toshiba Information Systems UK, which makes PCs, flat screen TVs and mobile phones, introduced a flexible benefits scheme for its 350 sales staff in 2001, at a time when it was hard do recruit IT specialists.

Toshiba used an online flex platform from day one. Susan Stevens, head of HR at the organisation, explains: "As we’re a high-tech company, we had to go down that route."

The flexible benefits scheme launched with more than 12 benefits after a nine-month implementation process. Employees are unable to opt out of death-in-service benefits, private medical insurance and holiday entitlement, but can select additional benefits from a range including dental insurance, health screening and travel insurance. The most popular benefit – with 91% take-up – is the firm’s pension scheme.

Each year, the company reviews employees’ benefit selections and removes those that are unpopular with staff, such as the tax return service this year. "We try to bring something new into the scheme each year to keep it alive. It also helps when we are reminding people to renew their benefits," says Stevens. Benefits recently added include childcare vouchers, as well as discounted rates on Camp Beaumont holidays.