News update – Flex right on paper?

Guardian Newspapers is to carry out a feasibility study to assess whether its 1,500 employees would value a flexible benefits scheme.

This month, the organisation will carry out a staff survey and hold focus groups to collect employees’ views.

Sally Webster, HR director, said: "What we are trying to do is create the maximum value for each member of staff in the benefits they receive. Staff at the age of 55 won’t necessarily want the same things as a 22-year-old."

She added diversity issues had prompted its flex interest. National Express has doubled the number of exercise classes it funds for staff each month. Its "Health matters, life matters" scheme now holds classes such as salsa dancing and T’ai Chi twice a month, instead of monthly as previously. It has also introduced a bikes-for-work scheme, following employee requests, particularly from its coach drivers. Karen McGorrie, PA to the HR team, said: "Coach drivers are keen on the bike scheme because they are stuck driving all day, and they would appreciate an alternative."