‘Everyone needs a different level of support’

20 May 2019

Find out how Rochdale-based tech firm Zen has been addressing the unique healthcare requirements of its staff

‘We believe putting our people first is the best way of doing business and our staff wellbeing is a fundamental part of this,’ says Rachel Whiteley, HR Business Partner at Zen, an internet service provider in Rochdale. ‘We know that everyone has varying needs of support, and we try our best to cater for that.’

Offering staff two of Benenden Health’s healthcare schemes has been central to Zen achieving this goal. Since 2017, employees have been making good use of the Healthcare for Business package, which gives them access to private consultations, treatment and surgery, physiotherapy sessions and 24/7 GP and mental health helplines.

Health Cash Plan for Business meanwhile rewards staff by giving money back towards the cost of everyday medical expenses, including dentist and optician fees.  

‘It’s been a massive success,’ Rachel says. ‘Staff really appreciate having access to healthcare that supports them in everyday situations, as well as in those more serious times greater help and advice is needed. During periods of worry, it’s good to know that you can access professionals who can give you answers quickly.’  

When first looking into healthcare options for staff, Zen knew they wanted a package that would be available for all 500 employees. ‘This level of healthcare can often be associated with hierarchy,’ Rachel explains, ‘so being able to offer wellbeing support across the board is very important to us at Zen.’
Private medical schemes often come with medical assessments, which Zen was keen to avoid. ‘There was a lot of emphasis on medical history,’ says Rachel, ‘but with Benenden Health it didn’t matter that people had previous history. We wanted to support employees regardless of their historic ailments.’

Likewise, privacy was a top priority. Zen had previously offered physiotherapy sessions to staff, but the process required employees to approach their managers, which some individuals were reluctant to do.

‘With the cash plan, people maintain their privacy and can get access to physio and counselling at a time that is convenient to them,’ Rachel says. ‘Even with everyday injuries such as strains, employees can now take control of seeking the help they need for themselves.’

Choosing Benenden Health has also allowed Zen to consider the specific needs of their staff, tailoring the cash plan accordingly. ‘We are very mindful that a number of our roles are highly dependent on desk-based work,’ Rachel explains. ‘That has a big impact on muscles and posture, and we had a significant uptake on treatments such as physio and reflexology. To reflect this we customised the cash plan, giving staff access to what they need most.’

It was also important to Zen that employees could access Benenden Health’s benefits quickly and easily. The cash plan offers an online portal where staff can instantaneously upload claims.

There is still, however, a strong human component to Zen’s relationship with Benenden Health. ‘Ross, our Account Manager at Benenden Health, has been great,’ Rachel says. ‘He comes in once a quarter and sets up meetings with the HR team to go through any feedback we have and look at ways to improve the service. He then speaks to the team, answering any questions they might have, and introduces new staff to the services they offer.’

Most importantly, Rachel explains, is that Benenden Health and Zen share many of the same principles. ‘The values Benenden Health hold are close to our own,’ she says. ‘We know that they are up front and very honest. They are passionate about what they do and are open to talking about Benenden Health as a company and not just about the products they offer.’

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YO26 4GG
York, North Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Healthcare for Business

Healthcare for Business

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Supporting your employees' health and wellbeing is vital to help you maintain a healthy, productive business. However, private medical insurance can be expensive and cost prohibitive for many businesses. Healthcare for Busin...

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