Interested in finding out more about employee benefits? Talk to us
Talk to us about our employee benefits

Creating a caring and motivated culture

Successful business cultures are supported with carefully put together employee benefit packages. We work closely with you from planning to implementation to ensure that what you have in place is valued, communicated and fully understood by your people.

Perfect balance and detail, practical advice and excitement around benefits. You really sold in the package and everyone is excited and happy.

Jackie McGuinness FINANCE MANAGER – GRAND VISUAL THEORY LIMITED

Not only have you supported us on contract renewals and securing the best renewal options available to us, but you’ve also been instrumental in supporting longer term issues that we haven’t had the in-house capacity or knowledge to see through, from implementation through to execution.

Annie Reading Head of people – Audio Network Limited

Our global head of HR and I feel like we have a real partner in Parallel Employee Benefits, and that partnership has played a big role in enabling our rapid growth in London.

Jude Gorman General Councel & Chief Administrative Officer – Reorg Research Inc

Our workforce is relatively young – probably not naturally engaged with saving for retirement – but the feedback on the sessions was very positive and the take-up of those making significant additional personal contributions to their new pension schemes is much higher than I expected which is great. And it has all been painless from our end. Good work!.

Joe MacCarthy Big Sofa Technology

Our partnership with Parallel Employees Benefits has proved a thoroughly worthwhile exercise and Victoria Miro Gallery are grateful to have them as a proactive and ongoing business partner.

Tim Clements Commercial Director – Victoria Miro Gallery

Caroline Masterton, Malcolm Lyons and their team were tremendously helpful at every stage – from offering advice on compensation issues to providing us with a clear and comprehensive benefits overview to the London staff. The team particularly valued the one-to-one advice given to staff members, which allowed us to tailor the package to each individual. We could not recommend them more highly.

Tracy Nolder Managing Director – David Zwirner

From its launch to follow up, our employees have erated very positively. Through a clear and jargon free education and communication package, our people value what we do for them via employee benefits and in turn, we get an excellent return on investment – all within our budget.

Managing Director Lisson Gallery

The planning was delivered in an understandable format with benchmarks and the implementation process was simple and effective and valued by our people. Parallel Employee Benefits maintain our benefits well and are on call to make sure we get the most out of it.

Managing Director Marian Goodman Gallery – London

Our company continues to grow apace within the industry, and we feel confident that Parallel’s expertise will scale our benefits package with our organisation, keeping us on top of regulatory changes and common industry practice, whilst maintaining the individual feel that we want for everyone on our team.

Harvey Elliott CEO– Marmalade Technologies Ltd

Together we have developed an excellent programme of health and wellbeing as well as financial benefits that are valued and understood by our people. Importantly, Parallel Benefits also offered a procedural infrastructure that integrated with our financial controls, HR and management – ensuring we never miss a beat.

COO Karla Otto

Our approach

Happier people increases productivity

We help our clients look after the physical, financial and health and wellbeing of their people. We take the time to understand your culture, your business, your goals, your budget – so we can carefully align benefit solutions that work.

We specialise in partnering with creative, media, art, film, TV and tech companies. We share a common way of thinking with our clients – it’s a complimentary combination.

How we work

Four simple steps

  • Pensions
    • Pensions solutions

      Pensions solutions

      We consult and advise on the best solutions to use

      We will work closely with you to understand your business and to implement a pension arrangement that suits your current position and future growth plans.

      At the heart of everything we do, we look to ensure that your pension scheme offers value for money, is low maintenance from an administration perspective and will be delivered to your employees in a language that they will understand.

    • Workplace Pension Reforms

      Workplace Pension Reforms

      Workplace Pension Reforms & Auto Enrolment.

      Over the next few years, small to medium employers will be affected by the new laws.

      They will have to ensure that they comply with their new duties and hefty fines can be imposed for any employers that don’t.

      The rules are complex; operating a pension scheme is just one small part of these reforms and months of careful planning are necessary to ensure a smooth and timely delivery.

      We can provide you with our detailed employer guide that sets out everything you need to do in order to comply. Speak to one of our Head of Corporate Pensions, Contact Malcolm Lyons, to find out how we can assist you on your journey to auto enrolment compliance.

    • Existing Pension Scheme Audits

      Existing Pension Scheme Audits

      Is your scheme still fit for purpose?

      Many employers already operate a pension scheme in the workplace. However, it is likely that these schemes were set up many years ago and have never been formerly reviewed. It is an ideal opportunity given the changes in law, that your existing arrangement is assessed, as it could be the case that it is no longer suitable and cannot meet your future requirements.

      Our scheme audit and review service will lift the lid on what you already have and will compare this to the latest pension solutions available to you. Speak to Malcolm Lyons for an initial chat about your situation.

    • Salary Exchange

      Salary Exchange

      Is your pension scheme running as efficiently as it could be?

      Whether an existing pension scheme or a new arrangement that is being implemented now, salary exchange offers an efficient method for employers to run their pension scheme.

      Commonly referred to as ‘salary sacrifice’, our salary exchange package can be added to an existing arrangement or built in to the implementation planning of a new workplace pension scheme.

      This method of making contributions has benefits for both employee and employer and can potentially generate some significant cost savings for the company. These savings can be used to offset employer costs, passed back to the employee as a ‘top up’ contribution or used to help fund additional employee benefits.

      Speak to us to understand the potential costs savings you could make.

  • Risk
    • Flex and other benefits

      Flex and other benefits

      In this section we highlight other areas we can advise on and about services our strategic partners can provide:

      • Flex benefits – allowing employees to choose the range of benefits that would appeal most to them.

      • Childcare Vouchers – how to help employees lower their childcare costs, often at no cost to the employer.

      • Executive and Employee Share Schemes – methods and benefit of tax-efficient equity reward arrangements.

      • Business Travel Insurance – ensuring employees on overseas trips are adequately protected and employer liabilities met.

      The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate these services and products.

    • Flexible benefit solutions

      Flexible benefit solutions

      Flexible benefit schemes enable employers to allow staff to select the benefits that suit them. With greater workplace diversity, this choice of perks is highly popular among employees.

      Flex is seen as a popular way to integrate benefits packages during mergers and acquisitions and at other times of company change.

      Flexible benefit schemes can include a wide range of options for staff to select from, including tax-efficient benefits such as childcare vouchers and mobile phones or salary sacrifice pension contributions. Flex schemes initially came to the market in seemingly expensive bespoke packages before the development of the off-the-shelf format. However, the growth of technology means more providers in the market have reduced costs and bespoke flexible benefits plans have become increasingly popular as a means of offering more tailored employee choice.

      You generally need 100+ employees to run a flex based scheme.

    • Childcare vouchers

      Childcare vouchers

      Child Care vouchers are a flexible and tax-efficient way to cover child care costs for the employee.

      Employees can agree to sacrifice [exchange] a proportion of their pre-tax salary for vouchers redeemable at any approved childcare provider. The employee makes tax and national insurance (NI) savings and employers can save on NI too.

      The vouchers can be used in full or part payment for a wide range of child care options including a workplace nursery, external nursery, crèche, nanny, au pair and child minder, but for the employee to benefit from the tax and national insurance exemption, the chosen child care provider must be registered or approved.

      Child care vouchers are often offered by employers as a standalone salary sacrifice benefit or as part of a wider benefits scheme. The childcare vouchers scheme must be offered to all employees for the tax savings to apply.

      If you would like to consider offering this to your employees, please get in touch to find out more.

    • Executive & Employee share schemes

      Executive & Employee share schemes

      Employers can design their own employee share schemes, but most prefer to make use of favourable tax treatment available through the four HMRC approved schemes: sharesave (SAYE), share incentive plan (Sip), company share option plan (Csop) and enterprise management incentive (EMI).

      The most popular staff option scheme in the UK is the sharesave scheme, also known as save as you earn (SAYE). Executive share option plans (including long term incentives aka LTIPS) are used for very senior employees. It is very common for unapproved share option plans, such as LTIPS, to be used for executives or directors. They are called unapproved because they do not attract the tax breaks available to approved plans.

    • Business Travel Insurance

      Business Travel Insurance

      All employees traveling for work need to be covered by business travel insurance.

      Often business travel is excluded from standard travel insurance so it’s important that you have sufficient cover in place, to protect both you and your employees.

      Contact us for help with arranging Business Travel Insurance for your travelling employees.

    • Cycle to work schemes

      Cycle to work schemes

      Cycle to work schemes offer the opportunity for employees to purchase new bicycles and equipment in a tax efficient way. They are approved by HMRC.

      They operate as a salary sacrifice [or salary exchange] arrangement, meaning that payment for the bicycle and/or equipment is taken from the employees gross pay. This allows them to save Income Tax and National Insurance which can total several hundreds of pounds.

      Aside from the obvious benefits to the employees, a cycle to work scheme will also offer benefits to employers. The scheme can:

      • Improve the health and fitness of employees, helping to increase moral and reduce sickness

      • Reduce parking and congestion problems

      • Improve the organisations environmental profile

      • Improve the employee benefits offering to help make you an employer of choice

      • Generate employer National Insurance savings to help offset other benefit cost

    • Risk benefits

      Risk benefits

      Group risk benefits such as life assurance (a type of death-in-service benefit), group accident insurance, income protection (also known as permanent health insurance or PHI), and group critical illness are the backbone of the staff benefits package.

      These company perks protect and insure employees in the event of long-term illness or death. They can also be used to rehabilitate staff who are off work on long term sickness absence due to stress, an accident or other illness. Group risk benefits, especially critical illness and life insurance, can also be extended to employee family members as well as the employee. This makes the benefit even more attractive and even more valuable to both the employer and employee. Income protection or permanent health insurance (PHI) is one of the most commonly offered group insurances offered by UK employers.

    • Long term Disability / Income replacement

      Long term Disability / Income replacement

      What is group income replacement?

      Group income replacement (also known as Group PHI) provides a replacement income, via the company pay-roll if an employee is unable to work as a result of a long-term illness or injury.
      This benefit is paid after they have been absent for a predetermined time, known as the deferred period, which can be anything from 3 months to 2 years.

      The insurer will continue to pay perks until the employee returns to work or until their normal retirement age, although it is also possible to get a limited payment term policy, which will pay out for up to five years.

      Use our market knowledge to make sure that the right terms are used – and the right premium paid – to reinsure your company payroll to reflect your business objectives.

    • Group Life insurance / Death in service

      Group Life insurance / Death in service

      Death in service benefits generally refers to one or more of the following:

      • life assurance
      • a spouses pension
      • dependants / children’s pensions
      • a return of pension contributions

      Employers need to discharge a moral and financial responsibility in front of other employees if an employee death occurs.

      Death In Service is a very low cost benefit and commonly used to build an employee benefits package.

    • Critical illness insurance

      Critical illness insurance

      Critical illness cover pays a tax-free lump sum to an employee if they should suffer a critical or terminal illness, or have one of the surgical procedures (collectively known as the critical illnesses), covered by the scheme.

      Different schemes cover different critical illnesses, however, all cover cancer, heart attack and stroke.
      Many employers now wish to be seen to discharge a moral and financial duty to employees who suffer life changing events.

      Allow us to help you understand if critical illness benefits suits your business needs and if so, who the best insurer is to fit your business shape.

    • Key person insurance

      Key person insurance

      If you run a business then you know that the success of your business can be largely influenced by the exceptional contributions of a small number of KEY men or women within your company.

      These key people may include people like your fellow directors or business partners.

      The premature death or long-term disability of these people could ultimately threaten your company profit or, even worse, could threaten the future existence of your business.

      We are very experienced at working out what level of key person cover is necessary to secure a business and what types of cover are best used in different circumstances.

    • Shareholder protection

      Shareholder protection

      The strength of most private limited companies is the work and effort put in by the Directors of the company who are usually the key shareholders. As well as financing the company, they have also contributed their time and skills and the value of the company has risen due to their collective efforts.

      On death of a shareholder (unless sole) a company will continue and the shares of the deceased Director will pass to their estate. Often the bereaved beneficiary will not want to be involved with the running of the business and will wish to sell the shares. However this can be difficult if they are only minority shareholders and are trying to sell outside of the company.

      The existing Directors may not want the shares going outside of the company and this may even include a wish to prevent an ex-directors family being involved with the company. The solution is for all the Directors to come to an agreement where they will buy out a Director’s share if he or she dies.
      Share purchase assurance allows Directors to make provision for such a possibility and ensures:

      • The business stays in the hands of the current Directors
      • A fair value is paid for the shares
      • Costly loans are avoided
      • Quick payment for the relatives of the deceased Director
      • Company does not fall into outside hands
      A trust can be set-up to ensure that any payment paid out is not subject to inheritance tax or probate.

  • Health & Wellbeing
    • Health & Wellbeing Services

      Health & Wellbeing Services

      With over 20 years experience in providing solutions which help to improve the overall physical and mental wellbeing of your most important asset – your staff, we can enhance the productivity of your workforce.

      As the popularity and demand for employer-provided healthcare increases, how can you provide the best value benefits for your employees?

      With new providers entering the market and new products and services being launched, it can be a challenge.

      That is where we can help.

      Whether you are looking to set up a new healthcare benefit programme or review your existing one, we can provide the expertise you need.

      Our specialist teams can arrange or re-broke healthcare benefits, including:

      • Group private medical insurance
      • Group international medical
      • Group travel insurance
      • Group dental insurance
      • Employee assistance programmes
      • Health screening and occupational health
      • Healthcare cash plans

      We will also undertake a complete review of your current arrangements.

    • Private Medical Insurance

      Private Medical Insurance

      Private medical insurance provides employees with fast, efficient treatment when they need it and assists employers with getting staff back to work quickly.

      We provide our clients with high quality advice and expertise to guide them through the complexities of Private Medical Insurance and ensure that they choose the right plan tailored to their own requirements.

      Whether you are a small business or large organisation, we can deliver the best solutions tailored specifically for you.

      Private medical insurance can be a contentious area. Through our education and communication programme delivered to our client’s employees, we will ensure that they know exactly what is covered.

    • International health insurance

      International health insurance

      For those organisations who operate overseas, it is crucial that your expatriates have access to comprehensive international medical insurance to avoid gaps in cover which can be costly to your business.

      UK employers posted abroad may need some form of health insurance. The type of cover will depend on which country (or countries) the employee is based in, how much they will be travelling for work, the level of risk, whether their family is accompanying them, and where they are likely to receive treatment in case of an incident (back in the UK, in the country they are posted in, or in a third country).

    • Lifestyle and Health Screening

      Lifestyle and Health Screening

      Health screening is an important tool in highlighting potentially serious medical conditions at an early stage and then providing the information to help an employee to take evasive action and even combat the possible outcome.

      There are many different levels of health screening available from pre-employment to full executive health screens.

      We will advise you on what best suits your employee base or your recruitment objectives.

    • Dental Insurance

      Dental Insurance

      With access to an NHS dentist becoming increasingly difficult, it means that in many cases private dental treatment is the only option.

      This leads to an increasing number of people postponing trips to the dentist making the inevitable treatment more costly to the individual and to the organisation, more days lost to the business through dental problems.

      Dental insurance can provide your employees with a low cost and flexible solution.

      There is a broad range of plans to suit all types of budgets – from preventative care to major restorative treatment.

    • Healthcare plans

      Healthcare plans

      Healthcare Cash plans are a low-cost, high impact healthcare benefit.

      Offering your employees reimbursement for costs such as dental check-ups or contact lens prescriptions, among others, it puts cash back in your employee’s pockets.

      The amount of benefit far outweighs the premium meaning your employees won’t off treatment they need.

      Some plans offer 24 hour telephone counselling services or even discounts for health screening or gym membership.

    • Sickness Absence Management

      Sickness Absence Management

      Child Care vouchers are a flexible and tax-efficient way to cover child care costs for the employee.

      Employees can agree to sacrifice [exchange] a proportion of their pre-tax salary for vouchers redeemable at any approved childcare provider. The employee makes tax and national insurance (NI) savings and employers can save on NI too.

      The vouchers can be used in full or part payment for a wide range of child care options including a workplace nursery, external nursery, crèche, nanny, au pair and child minder, but for the employee to benefit from the tax and national insurance exemption, the chosen child care provider must be registered or approved.

      Child care vouchers are often offered by employers as a standalone salary sacrifice benefit or as part of a wider benefits scheme. The childcare vouchers scheme must be offered to all employees for the tax savings to apply.

      If you would like to consider offering this to your employees, please get in touch to find out more.

    • Stress Counselling

      Stress Counselling

      Stress is one of the leading causes of work illness, affecting one in five people today. It is an issue which cannot be ignored.

      Many employee benefit providers now offer integrated solutions and products which have an element of stress counselling to add value to their proposition and deliver a fundamental level of support for stress in the workplace.

      Others providers offer online stress tests, where employees can measure the effect stress has on them, learn some useful facts about stress in the workplace and gain some expert tips on how to reduce stress levels.

      Increased levels of support can be provided by telephone or face to face counselling sessions through an Employee Assistance Programme.

    • Employee Assistance Progammes

      Employee Assistance Progammes

      Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are designed to provide information and access to counselling services on a range of issues, including stress.

      An EAP might offer a 24-hour helpline employees can call for confidential advice and some packages also include face-to-face counselling.

      EAPs are often used as part of a whole stress and wellbeing management strategy to improve employee health and wellbeing.

      Where employers do use EAPs they may be interested in their potential to limit exposure to the long-term costs associated with stress, such as increased premiums for the use of private medical insurance (PMI), income replacement and critical illness insurance.

      EAPs may be limited by confidentiality issues. Only when there is a significant level of work-related stress can providers notify the employer, and then they can only do so in general terms.

      The price and degree of service for EAPs can vary widely.

      As a low cost HR management tool an EAP is an essential part of your employee benefits package.

    • Existing Benefit Audits

      Existing Benefit Audits

      Many clients engage us to work for them to review their existing benefits schemes.

      If you are less than 100% certain that your healthcare and wellbeing benefits are not achieving the maximum objective or you are just concerned to know you are paying the right premium for the right benefits – contact us and we will be pleased to discuss your situation.

  • Education & Comms
    • Education and Communication

      Education and Communication

      Benefits and reward communication is the biggest issue facing most employers who frequently tell us that staff do not understand or appreciate the value of the benefits on offer.

      Ensuring that communication is effective is therefore a huge challenge for employers when communicating employee reward – we have developed a wide range of ways to help our clients achieve an effective communications strategy.

    • Communication strategies

      Communication strategies

      Effective and regular communication of benefits to employees is one of the best ways to improve your return on investment – but it only works if you do it in a language and style that works for your people.

      We have in-depth experience of how to tailor a simple, but effective communication programme for creative and media clients.

      Working with you, we will agree what works best for your type of workforce and practices. We use solutions such as:

      • f2f presentations
      • one to one meetings
      • email circulars
      • dedicated phone lines
      • in house Q&A sessions
      • existing pensions advice
      • intranet / extranet content
      • letters
      • branded employee announcements
      • fun ideas that capture attention

      A variety of methods are all combined to get the corporate message across – all done in way that suits your company culture.

  • Administration
    • Employee Benefits

      Employee Benefits

      No matter how great the benefits package, if the administration that HR/management has to deal with is causing problems or costing too much in terms of people and time, then the benefits are not working properly and return on investment drops.

      We make admin work by allowing you to outsource as much of it as you like, to us. We will put together a fixed cost administration plan that suits management and HR and allows you to get on with more important things – like your people and your business.

      Talk to us if your benefits are great but your admin. is causing you pain.

Pensions solutions

We consult and advise on the best solutions to use

We will work closely with you to understand your business and to implement a pension arrangement that suits your current position and future growth plans.

At the heart of everything we do, we look to ensure that your pension scheme offers value for money, is low maintenance from an administration perspective and will be delivered to your employees in a language that they will understand.

Workplace Pension Reforms

Workplace Pension Reforms & Auto Enrolment.

Over the next few years, small to medium employers will be affected by the new laws.

They will have to ensure that they comply with their new duties and hefty fines can be imposed for any employers that don’t.

The rules are complex; operating a pension scheme is just one small part of these reforms and months of careful planning are necessary to ensure a smooth and timely delivery.

We can provide you with our detailed employer guide that sets out everything you need to do in order to comply. Speak to one of our Head of Corporate Pensions, Contact Malcolm Lyons, to find out how we can assist you on your journey to auto enrolment compliance.

Existing Pension Scheme Audits

Is your scheme still fit for purpose?

Many employers already operate a pension scheme in the workplace. However, it is likely that these schemes were set up many years ago and have never been formerly reviewed. It is an ideal opportunity given the changes in law, that your existing arrangement is assessed, as it could be the case that it is no longer suitable and cannot meet your future requirements.

Our scheme audit and review service will lift the lid on what you already have and will compare this to the latest pension solutions available to you. Speak to Malcolm Lyons for an initial chat about your situation.

Salary Exchange

Is your pension scheme running as efficiently as it could be?

Whether an existing pension scheme or a new arrangement that is being implemented now, salary exchange offers an efficient method for employers to run their pension scheme.

Commonly referred to as ‘salary sacrifice’, our salary exchange package can be added to an existing arrangement or built in to the implementation planning of a new workplace pension scheme.

This method of making contributions has benefits for both employee and employer and can potentially generate some significant cost savings for the company. These savings can be used to offset employer costs, passed back to the employee as a ‘top up’ contribution or used to help fund additional employee benefits.

Speak to us to understand the potential costs savings you could make.

Flex and other benefits

In this section we highlight other areas we can advise on and about services our strategic partners can provide:

• Flex benefits – allowing employees to choose the range of benefits that would appeal most to them.

• Childcare Vouchers – how to help employees lower their childcare costs, often at no cost to the employer.

• Executive and Employee Share Schemes – methods and benefit of tax-efficient equity reward arrangements.

• Business Travel Insurance – ensuring employees on overseas trips are adequately protected and employer liabilities met.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate these services and products.

Flexible benefit solutions

Flexible benefit schemes enable employers to allow staff to select the benefits that suit them. With greater workplace diversity, this choice of perks is highly popular among employees.

Flex is seen as a popular way to integrate benefits packages during mergers and acquisitions and at other times of company change.

Flexible benefit schemes can include a wide range of options for staff to select from, including tax-efficient benefits such as childcare vouchers and mobile phones or salary sacrifice pension contributions. Flex schemes initially came to the market in seemingly expensive bespoke packages before the development of the off-the-shelf format. However, the growth of technology means more providers in the market have reduced costs and bespoke flexible benefits plans have become increasingly popular as a means of offering more tailored employee choice.

You generally need 100+ employees to run a flex based scheme.

Childcare vouchers

Child Care vouchers are a flexible and tax-efficient way to cover child care costs for the employee.

Employees can agree to sacrifice [exchange] a proportion of their pre-tax salary for vouchers redeemable at any approved childcare provider. The employee makes tax and national insurance (NI) savings and employers can save on NI too.

The vouchers can be used in full or part payment for a wide range of child care options including a workplace nursery, external nursery, crèche, nanny, au pair and child minder, but for the employee to benefit from the tax and national insurance exemption, the chosen child care provider must be registered or approved.

Child care vouchers are often offered by employers as a standalone salary sacrifice benefit or as part of a wider benefits scheme. The childcare vouchers scheme must be offered to all employees for the tax savings to apply.

If you would like to consider offering this to your employees, please get in touch to find out more.

Executive & Employee share schemes

Employers can design their own employee share schemes, but most prefer to make use of favourable tax treatment available through the four HMRC approved schemes: sharesave (SAYE), share incentive plan (Sip), company share option plan (Csop) and enterprise management incentive (EMI).

The most popular staff option scheme in the UK is the sharesave scheme, also known as save as you earn (SAYE). Executive share option plans (including long term incentives aka LTIPS) are used for very senior employees. It is very common for unapproved share option plans, such as LTIPS, to be used for executives or directors. They are called unapproved because they do not attract the tax breaks available to approved plans.

Business Travel Insurance

All employees traveling for work need to be covered by business travel insurance.

Often business travel is excluded from standard travel insurance so it’s important that you have sufficient cover in place, to protect both you and your employees.

Contact us for help with arranging Business Travel Insurance for your travelling employees.

Cycle to work schemes

Cycle to work schemes offer the opportunity for employees to purchase new bicycles and equipment in a tax efficient way. They are approved by HMRC.

They operate as a salary sacrifice [or salary exchange] arrangement, meaning that payment for the bicycle and/or equipment is taken from the employees gross pay. This allows them to save Income Tax and National Insurance which can total several hundreds of pounds.

Aside from the obvious benefits to the employees, a cycle to work scheme will also offer benefits to employers. The scheme can:

• Improve the health and fitness of employees, helping to increase moral and reduce sickness

• Reduce parking and congestion problems

• Improve the organisations environmental profile

• Improve the employee benefits offering to help make you an employer of choice

• Generate employer National Insurance savings to help offset other benefit cost

Risk benefits

Group risk benefits such as life assurance (a type of death-in-service benefit), group accident insurance, income protection (also known as permanent health insurance or PHI), and group critical illness are the backbone of the staff benefits package.

These company perks protect and insure employees in the event of long-term illness or death. They can also be used to rehabilitate staff who are off work on long term sickness absence due to stress, an accident or other illness. Group risk benefits, especially critical illness and life insurance, can also be extended to employee family members as well as the employee. This makes the benefit even more attractive and even more valuable to both the employer and employee. Income protection or permanent health insurance (PHI) is one of the most commonly offered group insurances offered by UK employers.

Long term Disability / Income replacement

What is group income replacement?

Group income replacement (also known as Group PHI) provides a replacement income, via the company pay-roll if an employee is unable to work as a result of a long-term illness or injury.
This benefit is paid after they have been absent for a predetermined time, known as the deferred period, which can be anything from 3 months to 2 years.

The insurer will continue to pay perks until the employee returns to work or until their normal retirement age, although it is also possible to get a limited payment term policy, which will pay out for up to five years.

Use our market knowledge to make sure that the right terms are used – and the right premium paid – to reinsure your company payroll to reflect your business objectives.

Group Life insurance / Death in service

Death in service benefits generally refers to one or more of the following:

• life assurance
• a spouses pension
• dependants / children’s pensions
• a return of pension contributions

Employers need to discharge a moral and financial responsibility in front of other employees if an employee death occurs.

Death In Service is a very low cost benefit and commonly used to build an employee benefits package.

Critical illness insurance

Critical illness cover pays a tax-free lump sum to an employee if they should suffer a critical or terminal illness, or have one of the surgical procedures (collectively known as the critical illnesses), covered by the scheme.

Different schemes cover different critical illnesses, however, all cover cancer, heart attack and stroke.
Many employers now wish to be seen to discharge a moral and financial duty to employees who suffer life changing events.

Allow us to help you understand if critical illness benefits suits your business needs and if so, who the best insurer is to fit your business shape.

Key person insurance

If you run a business then you know that the success of your business can be largely influenced by the exceptional contributions of a small number of KEY men or women within your company.

These key people may include people like your fellow directors or business partners.

The premature death or long-term disability of these people could ultimately threaten your company profit or, even worse, could threaten the future existence of your business.

We are very experienced at working out what level of key person cover is necessary to secure a business and what types of cover are best used in different circumstances.

Shareholder protection

The strength of most private limited companies is the work and effort put in by the Directors of the company who are usually the key shareholders. As well as financing the company, they have also contributed their time and skills and the value of the company has risen due to their collective efforts.

On death of a shareholder (unless sole) a company will continue and the shares of the deceased Director will pass to their estate. Often the bereaved beneficiary will not want to be involved with the running of the business and will wish to sell the shares. However this can be difficult if they are only minority shareholders and are trying to sell outside of the company.

The existing Directors may not want the shares going outside of the company and this may even include a wish to prevent an ex-directors family being involved with the company. The solution is for all the Directors to come to an agreement where they will buy out a Director’s share if he or she dies.
Share purchase assurance allows Directors to make provision for such a possibility and ensures:

• The business stays in the hands of the current Directors
• A fair value is paid for the shares
• Costly loans are avoided
• Quick payment for the relatives of the deceased Director
• Company does not fall into outside hands
A trust can be set-up to ensure that any payment paid out is not subject to inheritance tax or probate.

Health & Wellbeing Services

With over 20 years experience in providing solutions which help to improve the overall physical and mental wellbeing of your most important asset – your staff, we can enhance the productivity of your workforce.

As the popularity and demand for employer-provided healthcare increases, how can you provide the best value benefits for your employees?

With new providers entering the market and new products and services being launched, it can be a challenge.

That is where we can help.

Whether you are looking to set up a new healthcare benefit programme or review your existing one, we can provide the expertise you need.

Our specialist teams can arrange or re-broke healthcare benefits, including:

• Group private medical insurance
• Group international medical
• Group travel insurance
• Group dental insurance
• Employee assistance programmes
• Health screening and occupational health
• Healthcare cash plans

We will also undertake a complete review of your current arrangements.

Private Medical Insurance

Private medical insurance provides employees with fast, efficient treatment when they need it and assists employers with getting staff back to work quickly.

We provide our clients with high quality advice and expertise to guide them through the complexities of Private Medical Insurance and ensure that they choose the right plan tailored to their own requirements.

Whether you are a small business or large organisation, we can deliver the best solutions tailored specifically for you.

Private medical insurance can be a contentious area. Through our education and communication programme delivered to our client’s employees, we will ensure that they know exactly what is covered.

International health insurance

For those organisations who operate overseas, it is crucial that your expatriates have access to comprehensive international medical insurance to avoid gaps in cover which can be costly to your business.

UK employers posted abroad may need some form of health insurance. The type of cover will depend on which country (or countries) the employee is based in, how much they will be travelling for work, the level of risk, whether their family is accompanying them, and where they are likely to receive treatment in case of an incident (back in the UK, in the country they are posted in, or in a third country).

Lifestyle and Health Screening

Health screening is an important tool in highlighting potentially serious medical conditions at an early stage and then providing the information to help an employee to take evasive action and even combat the possible outcome.

There are many different levels of health screening available from pre-employment to full executive health screens.

We will advise you on what best suits your employee base or your recruitment objectives.

Dental Insurance

With access to an NHS dentist becoming increasingly difficult, it means that in many cases private dental treatment is the only option.

This leads to an increasing number of people postponing trips to the dentist making the inevitable treatment more costly to the individual and to the organisation, more days lost to the business through dental problems.

Dental insurance can provide your employees with a low cost and flexible solution.

There is a broad range of plans to suit all types of budgets – from preventative care to major restorative treatment.

Healthcare plans

Healthcare Cash plans are a low-cost, high impact healthcare benefit.

Offering your employees reimbursement for costs such as dental check-ups or contact lens prescriptions, among others, it puts cash back in your employee’s pockets.

The amount of benefit far outweighs the premium meaning your employees won’t off treatment they need.

Some plans offer 24 hour telephone counselling services or even discounts for health screening or gym membership.

Sickness Absence Management

Child Care vouchers are a flexible and tax-efficient way to cover child care costs for the employee.

Employees can agree to sacrifice [exchange] a proportion of their pre-tax salary for vouchers redeemable at any approved childcare provider. The employee makes tax and national insurance (NI) savings and employers can save on NI too.

The vouchers can be used in full or part payment for a wide range of child care options including a workplace nursery, external nursery, crèche, nanny, au pair and child minder, but for the employee to benefit from the tax and national insurance exemption, the chosen child care provider must be registered or approved.

Child care vouchers are often offered by employers as a standalone salary sacrifice benefit or as part of a wider benefits scheme. The childcare vouchers scheme must be offered to all employees for the tax savings to apply.

If you would like to consider offering this to your employees, please get in touch to find out more.

Stress Counselling

Stress is one of the leading causes of work illness, affecting one in five people today. It is an issue which cannot be ignored.

Many employee benefit providers now offer integrated solutions and products which have an element of stress counselling to add value to their proposition and deliver a fundamental level of support for stress in the workplace.

Others providers offer online stress tests, where employees can measure the effect stress has on them, learn some useful facts about stress in the workplace and gain some expert tips on how to reduce stress levels.

Increased levels of support can be provided by telephone or face to face counselling sessions through an Employee Assistance Programme.

Employee Assistance Progammes

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are designed to provide information and access to counselling services on a range of issues, including stress.

An EAP might offer a 24-hour helpline employees can call for confidential advice and some packages also include face-to-face counselling.

EAPs are often used as part of a whole stress and wellbeing management strategy to improve employee health and wellbeing.

Where employers do use EAPs they may be interested in their potential to limit exposure to the long-term costs associated with stress, such as increased premiums for the use of private medical insurance (PMI), income replacement and critical illness insurance.

EAPs may be limited by confidentiality issues. Only when there is a significant level of work-related stress can providers notify the employer, and then they can only do so in general terms.

The price and degree of service for EAPs can vary widely.

As a low cost HR management tool an EAP is an essential part of your employee benefits package.

Existing Benefit Audits

Many clients engage us to work for them to review their existing benefits schemes.

If you are less than 100% certain that your healthcare and wellbeing benefits are not achieving the maximum objective or you are just concerned to know you are paying the right premium for the right benefits – contact us and we will be pleased to discuss your situation.

Education and Communication

Benefits and reward communication is the biggest issue facing most employers who frequently tell us that staff do not understand or appreciate the value of the benefits on offer.

Ensuring that communication is effective is therefore a huge challenge for employers when communicating employee reward – we have developed a wide range of ways to help our clients achieve an effective communications strategy.

Communication strategies

Effective and regular communication of benefits to employees is one of the best ways to improve your return on investment – but it only works if you do it in a language and style that works for your people.

We have in-depth experience of how to tailor a simple, but effective communication programme for creative and media clients.

Working with you, we will agree what works best for your type of workforce and practices. We use solutions such as:

• f2f presentations
• one to one meetings
• email circulars
• dedicated phone lines
• in house Q&A sessions
• existing pensions advice
• intranet / extranet content
• letters
• branded employee announcements
• fun ideas that capture attention

A variety of methods are all combined to get the corporate message across – all done in way that suits your company culture.

Employee Benefits

No matter how great the benefits package, if the administration that HR/management has to deal with is causing problems or costing too much in terms of people and time, then the benefits are not working properly and return on investment drops.

We make admin work by allowing you to outsource as much of it as you like, to us. We will put together a fixed cost administration plan that suits management and HR and allows you to get on with more important things – like your people and your business.

Talk to us if your benefits are great but your admin. is causing you pain.

Who’s who

Meet the team

We are a highly skilled employee benefits team advising the most forward thinking creative, media and tech companies. London based and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we bring our experienced and personalised approach to all benefits areas.

Image of Malcolm Lyons

Malcolm Lyons

Director

I formed Parallel (and in its previous form, Music Media) more than 25 years ago and feel incredibly lucky…

every day to work with such great people, both clients and colleagues, who make this a fantastic place to be.

In addition to various high-level technical qualifications from The Chartered Institute of Insurance, I hold Certified Financial Planner status and qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments to supplement my more than 30 years’ experience in financial planning.

Outside the office, my main interest is post war and contemporary art along with plenty of time for family, friends and travel and can often be found polishing my old classic car.

Read more malcolm.lyons@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Caroline Masterton

Caroline Masterton

Director, Employee Benefit Services

I have worked at the company and with Malcolm for over 15 years and really enjoy what I do.

The part I find the most rewarding is helping employees understand what they have and how best to use it; it’s really rewarding helping a young employee realise why they should pay in to a pension, knowing what a difference you are making to their future.

But outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, visiting new places and countries. I love films (especially all things Superhero, it’s the geek in me!) and get to the cinema as often as I can.

Read more caroline.masterton@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Anees Amin

Anees Amin

Employee Benefits Manager

I joined Parallel in April 2004 having worked at Standard Life which provided me with an excellent…

understanding of the financial advisory, insurance and pensions market.

I have a degree in Human Resources & Finance from Buckinghamshire University. I hold my Certificate in Life and Pensions having completed my studies from The Chartered Institute of Insurance. In my spare time, I am a proud Mum and love to socialise and have fun (when its possible!).

Read more anees.amin@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Bijal Sidhpura

Bijal Sidhpura

Benefits Administrator

I work on the Employee Benefits team as a corporate client services administrator.

I joined the financial services sector without any experience on pensions or insurance providers. However, this new challenge of working within this role has helped me develop my skills and new knowledge which I didn’t know I had!

I intend to continue to build my skills and gain qualifications by completing pension exams.

Outside work I enjoy spending time with my family, and friends and planning trips abroad

Read more bijal.sidhpura@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Benefits Administrator

I joined Parallel and moved to London in September 2018 from Bristol.

I hold a degree from University of Kent and gained experience in Pensions working for a large pension provider.

I enjoy spending time with friends/family socialising, watching sports and box sets and when possible, love to jet off for a city break.

Read more michael.smith@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Sophie Gaffney

Sophie Gaffney

Benefits Administrator

I joined the team in September 2018 having moved from my homeland of Liverpool.

I have a degree in Psychology from Glasgow University and have previous experience working in pensions.

I enjoy working with the variety of clients we have – not one is the same so work is always interesting. Also, I am the in-house Vitality Health & Wellbeing Champion, to get the guys active!

In my spare time I go to the gym (when socialising doesn’t get in the way..) and am always seeking out new veggie recipes!

Read more sophie.gaffney@parallelfinancial.co.uk
Image of Nisha Azhar

Nisha Azhar

Business Operations Manager

I joined Parallel in July 2013 having previously worked at a large retail bank. I have a degree in…

Business Management from my time at university.

I enjoy working in a small team as it means I get to understand the many things that go into looking after all the different types of clients we have. Outside of work, coffee, shopping and chocolate form an important part of my social life and even the occasional 10k run!

Read more nisha.azhar@parallelfinancial.co.uk