During the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the employer recognised that the benefits package needed to adapt to meet the changing needs of employees. Phil Wade, head of reward, explains the philosophy behind Ageas’ reward strategy, and details some of the new benefits that were introduced to support employees through challenging times.
At a glance
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Ageas is a general insurer, providing insurance to almost five million customers in the UK. It offers car, home, pet, and small business insurance through brokers, affinity partners and its own brands.
It has two customer contact centres; the first supports customers with the purchase and renewal of insurance, the second handles claims. It has a number of technical insurance roles in its underwriting, pricing, claims and actuarial teams. Its support functions: finance, audit, change, compliance, facilities, and HR, underpin the business operation, and the IT team has been developing digital solutions to simplify its products.
It has around 2,600 employees. The average age of employee is 42, and the average length of service is 14 years.
Primary business objectives that impact employee benefits
- To be a focused leader in its chosen markets by being smarter, faster and more affordable; this involves continuing to develop digital solutions to grow the business, become more efficient and to simplify the purchase, claims and renewal process for customers.
- To ensure that Ageas offers competitive rewards and benefits to retain and attract people with digital and technical skills in order to deliver this strategy.
Phil Wade, head of reward, joined Ageas in September 2014. Prior to this, he was senior payroll lead at health care agency Beresford Blake Thomas. Following this, he was payroll manager for Bunzl Healthcare.
Wade has been instrumental in a number of projects at Ageas. The employer was recognised at the 2017 Employee Benefits Awards in the Best pensions communication category for its work in promoting its group personal pension (GPP) to employees ahead of its tri-annual re-enrolment. The organisation also made changes to its flexible benefits scheme in 2019, with a change in provider to Employee Benefits Collective. “The change of platform delivered enhanced functionality, and wider range of benefits,” Wade says. “The result of this was an increase in benefit take up, the introduction of anytime benefits, and simplification of administration.”