A company is being sought by Nottingham City Council at a cost of more than £700,000 to deliver its employee benefits scheme in a bid to help retain staff.
The contract will be given to a chosen firm, which will then work to provide employees at the authority with ‘work perks’ such as travel discounts, shopping discounts and a salary sacrifice scheme to boost pensions.
Council delegated decision documents say up to £733,000 will be needed to deliver the scheme over four years.
In the documents the council says:
“The current contract expires in October 2023 and a replacement provider is needed to ensure that the council continues to offer a comprehensive voluntary employee benefits package for employees, which includes a number of salary sacrifice schemes, and a range of lifestyle discount offerings which complement the council’s internal offering, that includes a holiday purchase scheme and season tickets for home to work travel.”
The current contract sits with French management company Sodexo.
It began in October 2017 and ran for three years before being extended twice.
Sodexo’s contract will expire in October 2023 and the council must put it back out to market to meet financial regulations.
The authority cannot bring the contract in-house because it has “inadequate resources to provide this service”.
It is hoped the scheme will help attract new staff members as well as retain current employees, amid problems in hiring and retaining people at the council.
The council has previously reported a “mass exodus” of staff in most departments due to employment challenges in the public sector.
This is largely down to better pay in the private sector, the council’s reputation and difficult market conditions.
Council documents add: “The employee benefits scheme is also needed to attract potential candidates to apply for posts with the authority and also acts as a retention tool as part of the ‘total reward’ package.
“This helps to offset the limited pay awards and lack of progression that some colleagues experience due to the challenging economic climate within the public sector, in addition to the cost of living crisis, which is having a detrimental impact on household income of both potential recruits and current employees alike.”
As part of the current ‘Works Perks’ scheme at the council, employees can get discounts with national organisations and a number of local Nottingham companies that offer money off products.
“The added benefit is that when colleagues use a local offer, they put some money back into the local Nottingham economy,” council documents add.