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Product matters

The launch of Scottish Life&#39s Works4You is forward-thinking and revolutionary.

ScotLife is offering a full HR Intranet site free to all new group money-purchase schemes, including GPP and stakeholder.

Staff can access all their benefits, including insured benefits with providers other than ScotLife, and noninsured benefits such as holidays and childcare, at the press of a button. One of the difficulties for employers is putting across the amount of benefits and this will help significantly.

The package is aimed at SMEs and offers the same facilities (and more) as employee benefit consultants have been offering big companies with final-salary schemes for years. The difference is that this will not cost the employer anything.

If the company went direct to Vebnet, the IT provider, there would be an installation cost of £10,000 plus a small ongoing fee. ScotLife is providing the full service free – including installation and training.

IFAs can add real value in terms of services for corporate clients. It will also be a valuable long-term business tool, as the IFA can be automatically notified when an employee gets married or has a baby, for example – life changing events where financial advice may be needed. The IFA can issue bulletins to members through the intranet.

For the employer, it does not just provide a benefits&#39 package, it will cover the whole HR functionality including payroll. As many small employers still operate a manual system, or outsource at a cost, this will provide a direct financial benefit.

Viv Belcher is a director of Hornbuckle Mitchell Group

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