Introducing a simple flexible benefits scheme can be a great way to improve employee retention and movation.

One of my clients allows their employees with five years service to purchase a week’s additional holiday.  This can be the starting point for employers in introducing flexible benefits.  The ability to buy and sell holiday can be a stand alone flexible benefits item or be part of a wider offering.

Many employees relish the ability to buy extra holiday with few taking up the opportunity to sell it.  However the latter can come in handy when times are tough and extra funds are required.

Initially the employer should decide what they want to achieve from introducing a simple flexible benefits scheme – how it will help the company as well as employees.

Other simple benefits that can be introduced are the ability to buy health and/or dental insurance and childcare vouchers (perhaps through salary sacrifice).  Surveying employees with regards to their requirements can throw up some possible good suggestions.  The cost of each benefit needs to be considered along with affordability.  Sourcing cost effective employee benefit providers is also important.  Making only a few additions adds to simplicity.

Communication to employees is essential and can be done on a 1:1 or group basis via presentation backed up with documentation.

The employer should ensure that the employment contract clearly reflects the arrangement and when the variation occurs either a new contract is drawn up or a variation letter provided to the employee.  The change should be deemed to be permanent to avoid the employee changing their mind half way through a year.