When Canary Enterprises decided to offer its team a comprehensive, fully subsidised health insurance package, it had only one provider in mind: Southern Cross.
"We were aware of Southern Cross' excellent reputation and strong brand in the marketplace," says General Manager Nic Wetere. "It also came highly recommended by a number of people, and once we started talking we knew we'd made the right decision."
Based in Hamilton, Canary Enterprises manufactures value-added dairy and selected non-dairy products for airline caterers, hotels, bakeries, restaurants and supermarkets in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and a number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries. 80 percent of its products are exported in forms such as butter medallions and sheets, and in a culinary range of quick-frozen sauces, fillings and garnishes..
In 2011 the company decided to offer its 20 staff a choice: a pay rise to match the annual inflation rate, or a fully subsidised Southern Cross health insurance package that included discounted premiums for family memberss.
"We offered the insurance because we understand the importance of having a healthy workforce - particularly given our ultra-hygienic working environment," says Nic. "We were also aware that some of our staff considered health insurance beyond their reach, so we saw this initiative as part of our responsibility as a good employer."
The company is delighted with the take-up rate, with 16 employees joining Southern Cross. "We were pleased to see them look beyond a one-off pay rise to their and their families' long-term health and wellbeing," says Nic. "Southern Cross also made it easy for them to sign up - and if they wanted to pay a little more, they could upgrade to more comprehensive cover."
The Southern Cross health insurance package is now an integral part of Canary Enterprises' employment offering. "For the business, it's a key tool for attracting and retaining good talent, while our staff have easy access to the healthcare they need, when they need it."