What health and protection benefits should you be putting in place?
With ever increasing focus on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) for independent schools, we at Punter Southall Aspire wanted to share some thoughts on ensuring you provide valuable security to your teaching staff.
Whether you’ve already left TPS or its Scottish equivalents or are considering leaving, you need to bear in mind the other benefits that may be required to replace those bundled into the teachers’ pension schemes.
In this set of two blogs, our Health & Protection Principal David Taylor looks at what benefits you may want to put in place alongside your new pension scheme, and what they can do for you and your employees– even beyond what the teachers’ pension arrangements may provide. You can read part one here.
Part 2: Employee Assistance Programmes and Digital Benefits Platforms Employee Assistance Programme
An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a telephone helpline giving employees person-to person access to specialist adviseors who provide confidential advice on any issue causing them concern – it doesn’t have to be work-related. Some can also provide advice face to face if required.
Using an EAP, an employee can discuss topics such as wellbeing, stress, legal and consumer rights, manager support, critical incident support, financial concerns, debt advice, elderly care advice, bereavement and trauma support and many more.
The EAP provider will not disclose specific details to the school, although high-level reporting/ is usually available such as the number of calls about stress, financial worries, etc. The school would usually pay on a ‘per employee’ basis which isn’t dependeant on level of usage. Costs vary depending on policy, but for telephone only could be around £5 per employee per year and for a face to face option around £10 per employee per year.
An EAP provides confidential access to professionally accredited counsellors that an individual would have to wait months to access or pay to see privately. It can also help with discussions around topics such as stress etc., for example in rebutting, at least partially, any claims that staff members were not supported. It is also cost-effective as it tackles the effects of issues that could result in short-or-long-term absences.
Digital Benefits Platform
You may also wish to consider adigital benefits platform. This is a technology solution that provides one hub for all benefits and wellbeing information. It can also hold company information and details of procedures etc. Via a‘single sign on’ capability, employees can also gain access through to other sites such as the EAP or wellbeing provider.
It can be tailored and given a bespoke look and feel so that it acts asyour school’s benefits site. This gives a sense of identity and cohesion to the benefits offered. The platform provides all benefits information in one place and each employee has a personalised view of their individual benefits, benefit level, costs, and benefits info, which increases their engagement with their benefits portfolio.Employees can self-serve by doing things such as adding dependants and life eventsor, amending policy levels (within limits set by the school).
From the school’s point of view it generates process efficiencies by automating elements of benefits administration, such as:
- Providing monthly reports for payroll and providers
- Removing the need for excel records of benefits
- Keeping an audit record trail of any benefit changes
A retail discount scheme can be added at no cost, and the platform can also include and manage additional optional employee-paid benefits.
If you’d like to discuss your school’s benefit requirements, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
Please note schemes are subject to terms and conditions and provision of the required data, and there will be underwriting required for some schemes.
David has been involved in financial services all his career, focussing on the corporate sector since 1995, covering the full range of employee benefits including DB, DC, risk, healthcare, platforms, and wellbeing. He has worked for a number of businesses in roles including Managing Director and COO, and has always maintained active client involvement. He has twice won the Corporate Adviser Firm of the Year award, including the inaugural award in 2008. He is a regular contributor to industry media and awards judge. He has a degree in Classics.