EXCLUSIVE: Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), part of Yum! brands, has launched an online total reward platform for its 10,000 employees, a flexible benefits scheme for its 1,000 salaried employees, and will roll out a defined contribution (DC) pension scheme for its 9,000 weekly-paid staff to comply with its auto-enrolment obligations.
The fast food restaurant chain has postponed its staging date of 1 April 2013 to 1 May for its 1,000 salaried employees, who will be auto-enrolled into a group personal pension (GPP) plan with Scottish Widows, and to 1 June for its 9,000 weekly-paid employees, who will be auto-enrolled into The People’s Pension with B&CE.
Craig Truter, head of total reward at KFC, said: “[We deferred] because it was too much to cope with all at once. Launching a pension, the whole communication and rolling out [real-time information] RTI at the same time, doing that all at once was too much for us to deliver and too much change for people to take on board at once.”
The pensions scheme launches follow a review of KFC’s benefits package in mid-2012, which resulted in the re-broking of its GPP scheme, a change of providers and a reduction in the annual management charge (AMC) from 0.6% to 0.4%.
Off the back of the re-broking exercise, the organisation introduced an online reward platform, which includes a total reward statement and online shopping discounts for all staff, and a flexible benefits portal for its salaried employees.
The online platform is provided by Lorica Employee Benefits, which also conducted the re-broking exercise.
Truter adds: “We were a paper-based organisation, so if you signed up for any benefit you would be filling in a form and then someone from the HR team would contact the provider.
“It was the traditional, old-school approach to benefits, whereas what we have got now is a single platform that brings it all together, where enrolment happens online and where employees can customise their benefits selection.”
Core benefits for salaried employees included a GPP, a private medical insurance (PMI) scheme, a discounted dental plan, group income protection and group life insurance. Personal accident insurance and critical illness insurance have been introduced as part of the flexible benefits launch.
Flexibility has also been introduced to core benefits. For instance, employees can buy and sell holiday up to three days, can flex income protection up to 75% or down to 40%, and can flex life insurance up to 12-times and down to one or two-times, depending on whether they are in the pension scheme.
Voluntary benefits include a bikes-for-work scheme, payroll giving scheme, travel insurance and roadside assistance, which are available via a salary sacrifice arrangement.
Truter adds: “Not only is it all in one place, not only does it allow employees to customise and personalise their benefits, but they can also save money through the national insurance savings.”
KFC began to communicate the new benefits package for its salaried employees in January 2013, with one-to-one financial advice offered from independent financial advisers. The flexible benefits choices are effective from 1 April.
“We also did webinars and conference calls out to our field-based employees, presentations in our corporate head office, which everyone from the field could attend as well,” says Truter. “We also did a teaser campaign and sent packs out to individuals’ home addresses.”
The flexible benefits scheme is called Benefits Pick ‘n Mix, so candy was sent out along with booklets that explained all the benefits and pointed employees towards the online site.
Weekly-paid employees will have access to the same site, which will host their pension schemes and online discounts website.
The pension scheme for weekly-paid staff will be rolled out for the deferred 1 June staging date. Truter added: “The significance of the single platform for us is that Scottish Widows manages the relationship with The People’s Pension.”
Separately, KFC has also been chosen as Britain’s Top Employer for the second year in a row. “Many things were called out, but one of the things was our reward programmes and our incremental improvements of our reward programme,” says Truter.
“It is principally driven by the HR activity. It was a very significant validation for us that someone externally was looking internally at us and saying we were doing a fantastic job for employees.
“All of this activity is very useful for employees, but it is very much about engagement. Our mantra is people first, and customer satisfaction and profits will follow. Let’s get that people piece right. To get that right, you have to put the effort into engaging and communicating.”