When Farnborough Airport in Hampshire asked staff what else they wanted from their benefits, the answer came back very clearly – health insurance. People Director Siobhan Jenkins turned to trusted advisors Buck, who in their turn introduced Equipsme.
Siobhan says: “We used to offer cash plans, but the feedback from our employees during our annual engagement survey was that they’d like something more. They wanted private health insurance – and we wanted to make sure we got them the right cover, so we now offer Equipsme.
“What appealed to us about Equipsme was that it was a great range of provision, credibly backed by AXA Health and competitively priced - so we could offer it to everyone who had passed their probation period. It was also important to us that the pricing was so transparent and sustainable.
“Equipsme had exactly what we needed: an upgrade from our cash plan, without the price tag or complexity of traditional private medical insurance.”
Fitting the bill
Farnborough Airport is a 'UK Great Place to Work' and an Employer of Choice and Responsibility in its region. It employs 185 people with roles ranging from desk-based office positions like finance and marketing to physical operational jobs such as ground handling, customer service and fire service. Buck, an integrated HR, Pensions and employee benefits consulting, technology and administration services firm, knew the organisation and its needs well.
Zoe Ashley, Healthcare consultant at Buck, explains: “We’re seeing more and more businesses just like Farnborough Airport who are looking to invest more in employee health, and take their benefits to the next level.
“Great candidates and valuable employees are looking for the ideal benefits package to support their wellbeing.”
“We knew Equipsme was the perfect fit for the requirements of Farnborough Airport. It’s affordable, sustainable, easy to administer, covers staff at every level – and lets them choose to upgrade or add dependents independently.”
Farnborough Airport offer employees an Equipsme plan that means they get 24/7 GP access, physio appointments, a nurse advice line, Thriva health checks - and private diagnosis and treatment, private dental and optical benefits.
Siobhan says: “It’s a win-win scenario. If somebody needs a knee operation, for example, traditionally they would go onto an NHS waiting list and may remain unable to work while they wait. Instead with Equipsme, employees can fast track the booking process to access private specialist consultations and diagnostic tests and get a quicker diagnosis, feel better sooner and potentially return to work quicker.
“Providing the Equipsme benefit means we are lessening the pressure on the NHS, as well as lessening the pressure on our people.”
Retaining and attracting talent
In fact Equipsme has proven popular with Farnborough employees – and potential employees. “There’s no doubt that offering health insurance helps with both employee retention and recruitment,” says Siobhan. “To attract talent employers today really do need a competitive benefits package. Being able to tell a candidate during the recruitment process that private health insurance is available as part of that package is really helpful. It’s something not all companies offer, and certainly not to everyone.
“Our broader wellbeing strategy is very important to us, and Equipsme is key part of it. We’ve also added an extra day of annual leave, offer an Employee Assistance programme, have trained mental health first aiders and employ an occupational health specialist. In addition, we offer things like massages and access to an onsite gym.
“At the end of the day, healthy, happy people supports employee engagement and motivation. That’s well worth investing in.”