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27 Mar 2024
by Steve Walsh

Benefits take-off for multi-generational workforce at Gatwick Airport

As part of REBA’s Longer Working Lives: the future of people strategies research, Steve Walsh reward manager at Gatwick Airport, outlines how it is offering greater flexibility in its benefits programme

Benefits take-off for a multi-generational workforce at Gatwick Airport.jpg


Our workforce ranges in age from 17 to over 70. We employ older workers across the business, in technical, operational and management roles. We make clear to our more mature workers that they can take advantage of our flexible working options, including working fewer hours each week.

But what has been critical in our approach to reward over the past 18 months has been the consideration of our multi-generational workforce in our benefits offering. I remember being 27 and having a huge life insurance policy and family private medical insurance (PMI) when I really didn’t need it – I was single and living in a one-bedroom flat.

It’s not just about demographics, though; it’s about lifestyle. Our society has always been made up of people with varying lifestyles and relationships. Today, when we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, people are more open about their relationships, whether they have children, pets and so on.

Our flexible benefits platform has been designed to ensure that people can choose the benefits that are appropriate to them. We used to give managers family PMI; now, if they want PMI just for themselves, they can flex and take the cash. We’re working towards flexing other core benefits in the future, including life assurance.

I’m very clear that high take-up of a benefit isn’t necessarily a sign of success. I want the benefits to be worth providing, of course, but the point is that people can choose what they want, rather than the business spending money on benefits that our colleagues don’t want or need.