A step in the right direction

Grant Sinclair, Operations Manager
Maskell Productions

Auckland-based Maskell Productions has forged an international reputation for its engineering and operational excellence. Recognising that its people are integral to this success, it offers them and their families subsidised Southern Cross health insurance - an initiative that supports both their health and wellbeing and is a key element of the company's recruitment, retention and reward strategy.

Established almost 50 years ago, Maskell specialises in designing, testing, manufacturing and installing industrial-scale fibreglass plant and equipment. Its products, which are commonly used in corrosion-prone environments, range from pipe and ducting systems, to tanks for chemicals and underground use.

Maskell employs about 50 staff, of whom most work at its Mt Wellington head office and factory. They're a close-knit, hardworking team and, in a competitive marketplace, highly valued for their experience and expertise.

Operations Manager Grant Sinclair says the offer of Southern Cross health insurance reflects the company's commitment to looking after its employees.

"We like to support them in any way we can," he says, "and helping them to be healthy is a big part of that. We're a small team and productivity is important to us - and we're aware that, for many, private health insurance would otherwise be unaffordable."

Support at work and at home

Maskell offers Southern Cross health insurance to all employees who've completed six months with the company, and their immediate family members can also qualify for a discounted subsidy on the work scheme. This provides them with access to a Southern Cross plan, through which Maskell contributes to the costs of surgical treatment, specialist consultations, imaging and diagnostic tests and day-to-day healthcare.

"It works really well," says Grant. "Staff and their added family members receive shared cover, up to set policy limits from our selected subsidised plan, and can pay extra to extend their insurance for other plan options and benefits."

"The main thing is that they get fast access to great healthcare for an affordable cost, and we're very happy to help with that."

An everyday benefit

"Having been with Maskell for the past 30 years, Mike Curtis is a big fan of his Southern Cross health insurance."

The in-demand fibreglass installer is constantly on the move, travelling nationwide and to countries such as Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji and Rarotonga. Among all the busyness of his life he loves the fact that the insurance is so easy, that there are no unexpected hefty bills to pay, and that his wife and children are covered too.

"It's a great scheme and a really good deal for me and my family," he comments. "We've made a number of claims over the years and there's just no drama; we pay our bit and the company picks up the tab for the rest. It's all good."

Promoting health and wellbeing

With almost all of the Maskell team now Southern Cross members, health insurance is a regular feature of the agenda at the company's weekly toolbox meetings. Their Southern Cross representative also meets with individuals to answer their questions, and discuss their insurance options, and conducts formal presentations on health, wellness and their plan.

The concept of health and wellness at work and at home is catching on; responding to a suggestion from one of its engineers, the company now supports healthy eating by subsidising fresh, tasty and nourishing food options are lunchtimes.

"Southern Cross' messages about the importance of nutrition, fitness and wellbeing are motivating for us all," says Grant. "They support and reinforce the direction we're taking, and how we want to be perceived as a company."

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