At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week

Your quick-read round up of the reward and benefits stories appearing in the press in the past seven days.

The headlines you might have missed between 14-21 May 2015.

Tiens Group funds staff holiday to France
Employee Benefits: Some 6,400 employees at Chinese pharmaceutical firm Tiens Group have been given a holiday to France for free. Read story

Legal & General HRD: Wellbeing doesn’t have to be expensive
HR magazine: Implementing wellbeing programmes doesn’t need to be expensive if HR is “smart”, according to Legal & General group HR director Elaine MacLean. Read story

Capital One named UK's best large employer
Employee Benefits: Capital One has been named the UK’s best large employer in the Great Place to Work Institute’s ‘Best Workplaces 2015’ awards. Read story

BT awards 1,000 staff under long-term incentive plan
Employee Benefits: The telecoms group paid out around 16.7 million worth of shares at £4.69 each, which took the payout across eligible staff to around £78 million. Read story

8% have bought an annuity since pensions flexibilities took effect
Employee Benefits: Less than one in 10 (8%) of staff have opted to purchase an annuity following the introduction of the pension freedoms that were introduced in April, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown. Read story

GSK, Reed Elsevier, Royal Mail and WPP lead FTSE100 on mental health
Workplace Savings & Benefits: According to research by Lockton, just 12% of FTSE100 organisations actively reported their 2014 mental health statistics and only 30% had programmes supporting mental health. Read story

Waitrose staff embrace volunteering projects
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Fifteen thousand employees across the UK will be taking part in volunteering activities today as part of Give and Gain day. Read story

What would an Aetna acquisition mean for brokers?
Employee Benefits News: Analysts predict Aetna is planning to acquire another carrier in the near future, likely Humana or Cigna, a move that promises to disrupt the industry. Read story

Judges take unprecedented legal action to block pension changes
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The reforms were proposed during the coalition government and will see younger judges taking a significant hit to their pension entitlements. Read story

Workplace Health week includes canoeing a mile
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Employers are being asked to get their staff active at lunchtimes by doing a mile of activity on their breaks. Read story

VSP staff first to test health-tracking technology for glasses
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The glasses have sensors housed within a pair of frames from maker Dragon Alliance and track steps, calories burned, activity time and distance travelled. Read story

How PPL is engaging its younger workers
Workplace Savings & Benefits: PPL has made it a primary objective to engage its predominantly young workforce. Owain Thomas asks Kate Reilly how it is succeeding. Read story

Oscar Mayer improves healthcare benefits for staff
Employee Benefits: The food production organisation took the decision to introduce five new options as part of its 15-year benefits anniversary and a review of its My Millie benefits scheme. Read story

Just 7% are financially prepared for retirement
Employee Benefits: Less than one in 10 (7%) UK adults are financially on track for their retirement, according to research from Aegon. Read story

And the winners (of the VIBs) are….
Reward Guide: The winners of Reward magazine’s inaugural Very Important Benefit Awards (VIBs) were crowned on today, with Capita scooping three awards - Best Employee Benefits Consultancy; Communications Company of the Year and the coveted Reward Provider of the Year.

Marks and Spencer takes a mixed approach to staff motivation
Employee Benefits: Retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) uses a range of methods to motivate its employees without spending too much of its benefits budget. Read story

Crown Estate becomes first property firm to be living wage accredited
Employee Benefits: The Crown Estate, which runs property and land owned by the Queen, is the first national property business to make a commitment to pay all its staff the living wage. Read story

Employers undecided on what to do when contracting out ends
Employee Benefits: Employers with defined benefit (DB) pension schemes facing a scramble to avoid higher national insurance (NI) bills when contracting out ends in 2016 have yet to decide how they will respond, according to research by Towers Watson. Read story

Tax loss deterring people from taking pensions as cash
Workplace Savings & Benefits:  Only 1% of people have chosen to cash in their pensions completely since the freedom and choice reforms took effect last month, according to the country’s biggest retirement adviser, My Pension Expert. Read story

Grafton sees immediate car scheme take-up
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Grafton Merchanting GB is launching a low emission salary sacrifice car scheme for its 4,500 staff. Read story

Bidvest Logistics' staff vote to strike over pay dispute
Workpalce Savings & Benefits: The 80 staff employed on the company's Hoddesdon site seek to be paid the same wages as staff at their sister site in Banbury. Read story

National Grid scheme to sell in-house asset manager
Professional Pensions: The £14.4bn National Grid UK Pension Scheme is to sell its captive asset management business Aerion Fund Management. Read story

Premier Foods pension deficit down £400m as hedging strategy pays off
Professional Pensions: Premier foods saw the deficit in its defined benefit pension schemes fall by almost two thirds in the 15 months to April, after its hedging strategy paid off handsomely. Read story

Queen pays Living Wage to servants
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Queen Elizabeth has promised to pay the National Living Wage to all staff serving in the Royal Household. The development follows the nationwide petition calling all companies to raise their minimum wage to £7.85 an hour, 21% higher than the compulsory £6.50, and £9.15 for those working in London. Read story

Willis Employee Benefits partners Benefex
Employee Benefits: The partnership will combine human capital, employee benefits brokerage and consultancy services with benefits technology and communications. Read story

Maternity provision dependent on employee grade
Employee Benefits: Just over half (59%) of new mums in junior positions only receive the legal minimum provision from their employer in the run up to and while taking maternity leave, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare. Read story

Golfing CEOs with top pay bad for company performance
HR Grapevine: CEOs that get paid more have worse stock returns over a three year period than their less well paid contemparies, a 2010 study from Cambridge University shows. Read story

Premier Foods pension deficit down £400m
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Premier foods saw the deficit in its defined benefit pension schemes fall by almost two thirds in the 15 months to April, after its hedging strategy paid off handsomely. Read story

‘Alarming’ disparity in pre-maternity leave support
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Employers are ignoring the needs of new mothers working in entry-level positions. Read story

Nexen wins buy-in for new flexible benefits technology
Employee Benefits: Oil and gas organisation Nexen had to get buy-in for new flexible benefits technology to help pool its benefits online for its 700 employees. Read story

L&G supports employees' housing woes
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Legal & General is considering introducing Shelter's Tenancy Deposit scheme to help support staff in the housing market. Read story

Royal Mail boosts pension contribution by 50% and installs plans for holiday pay ruling
Workplace Savings & Benefits: Royal Mail increased its defined contribution (DC) pension payments to £38m in the last year – an average of 5.4% per employee. Read story

Herbert Smith Freehills adds mental health mentors
Employee Benefits: Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a mental health mentoring programme for its 1,714 staff at its London and Belfast offices. Read story

Premier Foods’ DB pensions deficit falls £400 million
Employee Benefits: Premier Foods’ defined benefit (DB) pension schemes combined deficit has fallen by almost two-thirds in the 15 months to April 2015. Read story

Almost a third receive no workplace benefits
Employee Benefits: Nearly a third (31%) of employee respondents do not receive any workplace benefits, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance. Read story

Eric Cantona sues former club over unpaid wages
HR Grapevine: Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona is suing New York Cosmos for over £640,000 in unpaid wages following his dismissal last year for punching a photographer at a London pub. He was subsequently arrested and cautioned. Read story

No Comments

Be the first to comment!

Leave a comment