Until 2008, fair trade organisation Traidcraft operated health-related employee benefits separate from each other, including access to a helpline, health checks and reimbursement for eye tests.
Staff had to go through the HR department to arrange these, which meant that a lot of time was being spent on administration. There was also a privacy issue because employees who wanted to have their health checked had to involve the organisation in the process.
Traidcraft, which employs around 160 people, had linked up with a local hospital to provide health checks, but many employees who lived further away found it hard to get there. The organisation wanted to find a new supplier that would benefit all of its employees. At the time, it couldn’t afford to award big pay rises, so needed its benefits to be seen as a valuable part of the overall employment package.
A Simplyhealth representative contacted Traidcraft to talk through the benefits of the Simply Cash Plan. It enabled the organisation to combine its existing health benefits into one solution, saving money and the time it spent on administration. It could also enhance the total employee package by offering new benefits such as complementary therapies. This meant that the employer could show staff that they were valued.
Traidcraft decided to introduce the plan for all permanent, fixed-term and temporary staff, and it was rolled out within eight months. It also added an employee assistance programme, which includes up to six face-to-face counselling sessions and access to a 24-hour legal helpline.
Every employee was sent a booklet explaining the available benefits, claims process and important contact numbers. A Simplyhealth representative also visited the company to talk through the plan with staff.
New employees are made aware of the plan, along with Traidcraft’s other staff benefits, when they apply to work at the organisation. The plan is explained in detail during their induction.
The Simply Cash Plan was implemented in May 2008. Joanne Wilkinson, recruitment and selection coordinator at Traidcraft says: “The total package was fantastic and at the time we couldn’t afford to give massive pay rises, but this was seen as an additional benefit that was just as good as a pay rise. The cash plan has been well received and it helps to attract new people to the organisation and retain staff.”
Traidcraft is constantly examining the Simply Cash Plan to ensure it remains financially viable, but says it is extremely happy with its provision. Simplyhealth sends quarterly statistics to Traidcraft that show how the plan is being used. Wilkinson adds: “We look at how many people have used the service and how many have upgraded to include partners, because I think that’s a big benefit as well for staff.”