Insurance firm Zurich has introduced a package of financial wellbeing support measures for its 5,000 UK-based members of staff, while also donating more than £2 million with a focus on poverty, mental health and homelessness.
The employer partnered with eco-experts Planet First, in order to provide staff with financial education, webinars and bespoke consultations about how to make their homes more energy efficient, with the aim of being both environmentally friendly and addressing rising fuel costs as a source of financial stress for staff.
Zurich also introduced interest and tax-free loans for staff, providing up to £10,000 in order to fund home improvements that help with these aims. This might include draft exclusion, insulation, solar panels, or double glazing.
To address the overall rising cost of living, Zurich made payments of up to £1,000 to 80% of its staff, as well as introducing emergency loans of up to £750 to help with unexpected expenses. Staff can also benefit from discount schemes, as well as guidance on financial wellbeing.
Steve Collinson, chief HR officer at Zurich UK and chair of Zurich Community Trust (ZCT), said: “We are listening to our own people and offering flexibility and targeting support where it will have the most impact. This includes providing flexibility around benefits as well as guidance on how to manage finances.”
As part of its wider approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), Zurich has also donated more than £2 million to 55 charity partners over the next two years, via its charitable arm ZCT. The charities were chosen by Zurich UK employees, with a focus on food poverty, homelessness, mental health, abuse and dementia in areas including Belfast, London, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. The partnerships will last for two years.
Collinson said: “Increases in the cost-of-living are affecting everyone, with inflation and high energy costs meaning budgets must now stretch further. Zurich Community Trust is proud that these donations will help to ease the burden for charities picked by our staff.”
All charity partners have also been given access to the firm’s personal development and wellbeing learning hub.
In order to embed charitable donation, and wider CSR values, as part of the everyday employee experience, Zurich has integrated donation platform MyImpact into its benefits proposition. This allows staff to make regular or one-off donations to partner charities, each of which will be 100% matched by the Z Zurich Foundation. In addition, for every 10 hours of volunteering recorded on the platform, employees will be granted £100 to donate to their favourite charity partner.
A spokesperson for Zurich UK told Benefits Expert: “Zurich’s support of communities through our charitable foundation ZCT runs through our DNA. Staff are passionate about ZCT and all play a part in choosing the partners we work with.
“Everybody is given three volunteering days a year, and these are often completed as team activities ranging from helping out at a soup kitchen through to organising Christmas parties.
“It’s a huge selling point for us in attracting top talent and features heavily in positive feedback from employees.”