The winning ticket – raising the rewards and benefits bar

UK National Lottery operator Premier Lotteries UK Ltd has always recognised how much of a key role its employees play in making the organisation one of the world’s leading lottery operators.

So when it conducted a review of its rewards and benefits packages during 2009, the company was determined to not only maximise their value for the business, but to also improve the employee experience in their dealings with suppliers.

In January 2010, Premier Lotteries UK, with a 900-strong workforce, called upon the services of PMI Health Group to help it achieve these goals.

“I had a model in mind for the kind of operational structure that would work well for Premier Lotteries UK,” explains Melanie Morris, Interim Reward Consultant at Premier Lotteries UK Ltd.

“As well as offering the solution for achieving this, PMI Health Group, sitting between Premier Lotteries UK and its benefits suppliers, afforded something very different, something far more personal and of far greater value than a customary intermediary service.”

From the outset, a review of Premier Lotteries UK’s benefits provision and associated costs enabled PMI’s consultants to immediately realise some substantial savings. Group Risk spend was reduced by placing the company’s Group Life and Income Protection schemes with one single provider; and by taking advantage of its industry expertise and insurer relationships, premiums have remained the same despite medical inflation.

Moreover, while an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) remains in place for staff, its cost to Premier Lotteries UK has been removed as this is now offered as an additional free benefit from one of its primary insurance providers.

“Becoming more cost-effective and obtaining greater value for money were important but it was difficult to justify buying in consultancy expertise or recruiting an in-house professional with the required market knowledge,” says Melanie.

“I therefore thought it more appropriate for Premier Lotteries UK to have an intermediary to manage this effectively on our behalf; PMI Health Group is now doing this.”

Premier Lotteries UK’s Income Protection and PMI schemes are also being supported by PMI Health Group’s Managed Care service, a specialist nurse-led claims management team. By giving employees expert support during an absence, the Managed Care team is consistently successful in returning staff to work more quickly.

“From an HR and administrative perspective, Premier Lotteries UK now rarely has to liaise with an employee directly over prospective claims – thereby giving employees complete confidentiality over medical matters. PMI Health Group does advise accordingly on more serious cases or where employees are approaching their annual limits,” adds Melanie.

“When employees now make a claim, it is no longer simply about form-filling. They have a direct helpline and named contact so they can discuss confidential medical issues with a qualified medical professional.

“Premier Lotteries UK is metaphorically wrapping its arms around employees during periods when they may be experiencing a great deal of stress.

“It was very important to Premier Lotteries UK to partner with an organisation that offers genuine consultancy and that understands, and integrates seamlessly with, the values of Premier Lotteries UK – thereby fostering a strong and long-lasting working relationship.

“PMI Health Group is a paternalistic organisation, looking after its staff with an ethos and culture that complement the way in which Premier Lotteries UK operates.

“By partnering with PMI, Premier Lotteries UK has further improved the care of its staff, has enjoyed cost-saving efficiencies, has support in managing absence and has achieved greater value for its investment in rewards and benefits provision.”