Kantar moved from an annual flexible benefits enrolment window to monthly election windows to improve the flexibility of its scheme.
Its current scheme, which has been in place since January 2014, offers its approximately 4,000 employees the opportunity each month to make benefits choices.
Previously, the flex scheme coincided with the organisation’s financial year, which runs from January to December. The move to anytime enrolment was to help with take up of some benefits, as well as to address the amount of holiday employees were accruing and still had to use at the end of the year. They can now sell holiday up until October.
Kath Cleary, director, HR operations UK and Ireland at Kantar, says: “It may be that [employees] are not thinking in December about summer holidays, or a cycle scheme, so by having it monthly people can do things at different times of the year.”
The research, data and insight consultancy uses the monthly windows as an opportunity to promote different benefits throughout the year. “It means that each month when the window is opening, we send an email out highlighting something,” says Cleary. “For example, [in August], ‘do you have a child going off to university? Do you need to buy a laptop for them [through] our technology scheme?’”
In addition, the scheme is promoted through posters and market stall events, highlighting the benefits available.
Employees appear to appreciate being able to make choices throughout the year because there is never a quiet month in terms of take up, says Cleary.
Certain benefits, such as private medical insurance, income protection, and life assurance, need to have a fixed annual window due to the arrangement with the insurers. Communication around this window highlights to employees that this is the only time they can review or make changes to these benefits.