Employee Benefits Live 2016: Admiral has introduced a home-moving salary advance scheme for employees.
The scheme, which has been running for six weeks, enables staff to borrow a set amount of money and repay it over an 18-24 month period. It is designed to help employees with moving costs, and steer them away from payday loans by providing an alternative route to support.
Richard Thorne (pictured), group HR manager at Admiral, said: “[Such support] is particularly important when you have relatively young staff who rent and who, if they have to move, not only have to save for the [deposit] but also have to save their first month’s rent while waiting for their [deposit] from their previous property.”
Addressing delegates at Employee Benefits Live 2016, Thorne explained that the home moving salary advance scheme is just one of the initiatives that Admiral has put in place to support the financial wellbeing of its 6,000 employees.
In 2015, the organisation introduced an employee assistance programme (EAP) that offers 24/7 support for a range of issues, including help with managing debt through financial planning.
The organisation has also made private medical insurance available to staff on a voluntary basis. “We’ve introduced voluntary private medical for everyone because I think that good habits are not just about money in these sort of circumstances, they’re about making sure that you’re healthy,” said Thorne.
Employees also have access to telephone advice from financial advisers, access to on-site services such as a legal clinic, mortgage and financial advice, and they are given time during the working day to attend support sessions such as one-to-one pension presentations.
Admiral also offers financial education to provide information and support around pension saving, getting on the property ladder, increasing understanding of employee benefits, and access to financial advice for those approaching retirement. In the future, it hopes to offer further financial education support around financial awareness and planning, moving house, short and long-term saving, and debt management.
Thorne said: “We have a mantra: ‘people who like what they do, do it better’ and part of our role at Admiral as managers is to remove barriers to performance. Ultimately, it’s unrealistic to expect people to be able to perform at their best at work if they have significant money worries.
“In our industry, which is a service industry, the way you treat staff directly impacts the way that they treat customers. And I don’t think it’s realistic to expect people to be able to give customers their full attention and deliver excellent customer service if they’re distracted, and financial distractions is one of the things they can be distracted by.”
Admiral runs a Ministry of Money scheme, which provides clear branding around the financial wellbeing support and related benefits available to staff. To communicate the launch of the scheme, spending diaries were handed out to all employees.
Thorne said: “The idea is that [Ministry of Money] is a clearly branded message for our employees to be able to spot what’s coming through; so they can see it on our intranet, they can see it in emails.”