Alexander Mann Solutions launched a flexible benefits plan for its 600 UK staff in March this year and has since rolled out a similar scheme in Germany and Australia.
The recruitment process outsourcing firm, which has 1,000 employees worldwide, implemented the schemes after carrying out an extensive global review to gauge which benefits would suit the countries concerned. It currently offers a range of flexible benefits including holiday trading, annual health screening, dental insurance, salary sacrifice pension contributions and tax-free charity donations.
David Heath, director of people capital and international business at Alexander Mann, says offering a better package than its competitors was a fundamental objective. “We want to provide employees with the same experience and package irrespective of whether they are based in the UK or the Philippines.”
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In Germany, for example, the concept of buying a few extra days’ holiday was anathema, so advisers spent several days with the payroll department explaining how the benefit worked.
Relaying the value and objectives of a flexible benefits programme on a global basis can also be difficult. “The biggest challenge is communicating why something which is called a salary sacrifice can benefit employees,” says Heath.
The company is now looking to extend its flexible benefits programme further to countries such as Singapore, Poland and the USA.