Whittard of Chelsea aims to retain with vouchers

Tea and coffee merchant Whittard of Chelsea has introduced a suite of new benefits aimed at retaining staff in the high-turnover retail industry.

The retailer is using benefits tailored to suit the employee demographic where four-in-five of the 900 staff are younger than 35.

Anna Nilsson, human resources coordinator for Whittard of Chelsea, said: "Retail is very competitive, and turnover is quite high so I would say this is basically a retention scheme to keep staff in the business and obviously attract the right ones as well."

New entitlements include maternity leave of 13 weeks at full pay and 13 weeks of half pay. New fathers with two years of service are entitled to two weeks paid leave. An extra three days holiday for workers with 10 years of service was introduced.

The company has also brought in a range of voluntary benefits provided by Bringme as well as a home computing scheme (HCI), a bike-to-work scheme and childcare vouchers.

The company had not yet measured initial take-up rates, although expected a take up of about 10% for the HCI. "People are very happy, there’s been a good response," Nilsson said.