The HR Dept and Excellect team up to offer flexible benefits platform for SMEs
Anna Pepler of The HR Dept and Simon Kelly of Excellect
Small businesses will have direct and affordable access to a full and flexible range of employee benefits, thanks to a unique new partnership by two Bristol companies.
National outsourced HR firm The HR Dept has joined forces with benefits provider Excellect to launch the HR Dept Benefits platform, which has been trialled in Bristol and is now set for roll-out across the company’s network of 77 territories in the UK.
Independent HR advisers at each of these businesses will offer a diverse and flexible spectrum of employee benefits to their small business clients.
Launched in Bristol, a city with a proud heritage for innovation, HR Dept Benefits is the first time such a service has been provided nationally but delivered locally.
The launch follows results of the HR Dept’s annual Customer Survey of 900 small businesses nationwide, which showed a 21.9 per cent year-on-year increase in demand for the company’s employee benefits services.
Subscribers to HR Dept Benefits will sign up to a minimum of five available benefits, from shopping discounts, childcare vouchers, cycle to work scheme, gym membership and health cash plans, to insurances including private medical, dental, death in service, income protection and critical illness.
Rather than being confined to the benefits determined by the employer, employees can then pick and choose, as well as monitor, their own benefits provision according to their lifestyles.
Employers will also be able to set different levels of benefit depending on the seniority of the staff, as well as offering the full range of benefits to all employees, even if some will have to be paid for.
Conscious of the prohibitive costs often associated with providing employee benefits, The HR Dept has priced the service to be universally affordable, with set-up costs starting at just £500 and monthly costs being just £65.
Anna Pepler, Director of the HR Dept, said: “We had a number of clients who were talking about providing a range of benefits and it occurred to us that we should expand our offering.
“We already offered health benefits with a partner but a few of our clients were asking for a wider provision, specifically a flexible system where they could have an online piece of software, where all their employees could login and see what benefits they had access to, pick and choose what they wanted and when, and view their online total reward statement.
“We have worked with Excellect to deliver our health benefits proposition for a while and it was an easy decision to start this project with them. The system has been specifically designed to fit the needs of our clients and we are delighted to now be offering a flexible benefits system at an affordable price.
“Companies are starting to realise that to retain talent they need to have an offering that’s relevant to them. Many small businesses may not be able to afford big wage increases for their staff, so this platform lets them give something back to their employees to show that they are valued.
“For staff, it’s easy to forget what their benefits cost the employer. By having a visible total rewards statement they can see the extra combination that the employer makes aside from their salary.”
Simon Kelly, Managing Director of Excellect, brings 15 years of experience in the industry to the new offering. He said: “The system is saleable as providing at least five benefits, with no additional cost for more. But each benefit, including whole-of-market insurance provision, is also purchasable off-platform. So apart from now being able to offer the full range of employee benefits, The HR Dept can also now act as brokers of a variety of insurances under this new deal.”
“This is an excellent offering and it’s exciting to be involved in a partnership with a company which supports so many growing businesses around the UK.”
Among some of the first businesses to work with HR Dept Benefits is Bristol-based company Clifton Asset Management Plc, which offers specialist financial services to business and individuals across the UK and employs 90 staff at its offices in Ham Green.
Vanessa Scaife, HR Manager of Clifton Asset Management said: “The HR Dept can provide all benefits for an extremely reasonable price and exceptional service.”
“We value our employees highly and are keen to retain their knowledge and experience, as well as to support them in whatever way we can. Benefits are a great way to do that and this service lets us reward them for staying with us. It’s great to see The HR Dept also offer an affordable flexible benefit platform as this is certainly something which will be of interest to SMEs.”