Employee Benefits & Wellbeing Consulting
Beyond broking: what does an employee benefits and wellbeing consultant do?
The best employee benefits strategies reflect, support, and can even inspire a healthy business culture.
As today’s diverse workforce have different motivations and lifestyles, there’s no one-size-fits-all option. A good benefits strategy begins by balancing the needs of the business, its people and budget. It’s about digging into the detail and creating a plan that suits your aspirations, then finding the most cost-effective ways to achieve them.
We’re also here to help you avoid missteps and mistakes, helping you understand the legislative and regulatory complexities, and your responsibilities.
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Bringing your benefits to life
You can have the best benefits package in the world, but if your employees don't understand what you provide, or it's hard to manage, the value is significantly reduced (for your employees and your business).
That’s why we also help with:
- Benefit communications and employee engagement
- Cutting-edge technology and data analysis solutions, for evidence-based decision-making
- Making things run smoothly: our team works with yours to take pressure off your HR people
Group Life Assurance or ‘Death in Service’ as it is often known, pays out a lump sum (usually tax free) to your employees’ dependents should they die, for any reason.
The lump sum is usually calculated as a multiple of the employee’s salary at the time of death.
Only around 20% of adults in the UK have any form of life insurance1, so providing this benefit can offer employees’ dependents a valuable cushion against immediate money worries following the death of a loved one.
Income protection insurance provides employees with a replacement income when they cannot work for an extended period of time because of illness or injury. This sum is worked out as a percentage of their salary (often 75% of salary) and payments will continue until either the employee is well enough to return to work or they reach the end of the payment period insured under the policy. This may be a fixed number of years or until the employee reaches State Pension Age.
Simple to administer and cost-effective, it’s regarded as a core component of any successful benefits package and highly valued by employees.
Critical illness insurance provides a tax-free lump sum to any employee diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness.
The exact list of illnesses covered varies from provider to provider, but most are set up to cover the potentially life-changing conditions such as heart attacks, cancer, strokes, or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Most policies will look to pay out within a month of the diagnosis for most conditions.
Private Medical helps employees avoid NHS waiting lists and be fast-tracked to diagnosis and treatment from experienced doctors and medical professionals – all in the comfortable surroundings of a private hospital.
You pay a monthly premium and the policy pays out, up to specified cover limits, for private treatment for your employees.
A business benefits because staff can get back to prime health and work as quickly as possible. The workforce in general benefits because healthy employees don’t have to cover for co-workers who would otherwise be off sick for longer.
Health Cash Plans differ from medical insurance because they are designed purely to reduce your employees’ everyday health expenses on a huge variety of things, from prescription lenses and health screenings to dental treatments, physiotherapy and some hospital expenses.
Your employees, and their family members if you so wish, can typically get back between 50%-100% of the cost of routine healthcare treatment, up to a predefined limit. Workers simply pay the bill on the day and claim the money back.
It’s a popular benefit with organisations large and small (for smaller organisations, it can be a cost-effective way to show you care without the larger outlay of Private Medical Insurance).
Virtual GP services allow your employees and their family to talk to real doctors about their health worries, either on the phone or using Skype-style webcam services.
Virtual GPs are fully qualified, experienced general practitioners who can diagnose, refer and prescribe, just the same as the family GP.
Virtual GPs are popular with employees as they can get the medical advice they need, when they need it, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
And they’re popular with employers because doctors’ appointments can be taken from the office or after work, minimising employee absence.
Dental pain can put employees out of action overnight. And prolonged discomfort and anxiety around dental care can have a serious negative impact on individual performance.
Dental insurance typically covers routine check-ups, as well as the costs of a wide variety of dental work, including dental accidents and emergencies. Treatments are usually carried out at either an NHS practice or at a private clinic.
It’s a popular benefit amongst employees and can support your talent recruitment and retention efforts.
There's a lot to consider when it comes to workplace pensions. Not least that you are operating a compliant and well-governed scheme. And importantly your employees are educated and aware of their pension benefits so they can plan for their retirement.
We’re on hand to help with:
- Pension scheme design and implementation
- Scheme governance
- Member guidance and communications
Wellbeing is now firmly on the agenda in the UK workplace. But without a strategic approach, company wellbeing initiatives can be ad hoc and hard to measure.
Building data analytics into your wellbeing strategy lets you make evidence-based decisions, to ensure your strategy addresses the key health and wellbeing challenges that matter, to employees and the organisation.
We can help you:
- Find reliable, accurate data sources
- Track meaningful measurements
- Interpret data into useful, actionable insights
- Monitor and optimise plans as they evolve
- Communicate your offering in the right way at the right time
We take the guesswork out of wellbeing, helping you create something your people value – and help your business realise a return on the investment, with a happier and healthier workforce.
Money worries are one of the main causes of stress amongst employees. A financial education programme can help your workforce to:
- Take control of their finances
- Give them the tools to manage financial unpredictability and unexpected expenses
- Manage debt and plan for their financial future
Our financial education programmes are aimed at creating confidence for your employees to make well-informed financial decisions and eliminate stress.
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) provide confidential access to services that help your people manage troubling times in their life.
Employees can call 24 hours a day to get advice, information and counselling for anything from mental health, relationship problems and stress issues, to childcare, debt and legal worries.
They’re becoming more and more popular as employers recognise the widespread prevalence of stress and mental health issues in modern life.
EAPs are very affordable and extremely easy to set up. They can help to combat absence rates and boost engagement levels. Line managers can use the service to answer concerns they might have about employment issues or employee health. They are a valuable component in meeting your duty of care responsibilities.
Safeguarding employee’s mental health is socially responsible and demonstrates a commitment to their wellbeing. It also means you’re safeguarding your business; according to research by mental health charity Mind and Deloitte, poor mental health costs UK employers more than £45 billion a year and accounts for 17.5 million lost working days.2
Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing can offer you the only NHS-approved mental health app currently on the market3, bringing your employees a tool that they can use proactively to benefit their own mental health.
Beyond the usual, into the impressive
All this and much more can be set up as a combination of the following:
- A tailored employee benefits and wellbeing plan
- Flexible benefits
- Optional benefits
- Total reward statements
- A communicable benefits strategy you can have confidence in
Employee benefits say a lot about your company and the emphasis you give to looking after your staff. The rise of employer reviews sites means job seekers and employees can now easily compare perks from one company to another.
And of course, the best talent will always have options.
If you’re serious about attracting talent and keeping the best people, our consultants can help you get the very best from your benefits budget, and really help you stand out in a crowd.
(Benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions)
3 Correct as of March 2020