Gym memberships and health insurance are popular work perks but companies are now offering comprehensive will packages to benefit the families of workers who die.

Last year 109 people died at work. The grim statistics reveal men are more likely to die at work than women - with forestry one of the biggest workplace killers.

In 2018 and 2017 both saw 63 people die because of a workplace incident.

More than 1500 New Zealanders die each year without a will in place.


Sudima Hotels introduced a will package after discovering a large number of its employees did not have a will to protect their assets.

Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala of Sudima Hotels said the will package the company uses was designed by local provider Footprint.

"A lot of our staff didn't have a will because they didn't think they had any assets so Footprint arranged sessions to teach them about that," Jhunjhnuwala said.

"What you do have, even if it's just your Kiwisaver or car, could be lost if you don't have a will so it's better it goes to family who needs it."

If you don't have a will it's estimated to cost fifty percent more and take fifty percent longer to process your estate.

This means it could be at least 12-18 months before family members at access to much-needed funds.

"We like to do things that help our workers and are known for doing things a little differently," Jhunjhnuwala said.

"When we were approached by Footprint about the will package we saw the benefit and jumped in."

Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala of Sudima Hotels and Footprint CEO Angela Vale. Photo / Supplied
Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala of Sudima Hotels and Footprint CEO Angela Vale. Photo / Supplied

Footprint charge a Netflix-style annual subscription fee for people using its service, which Sudima would be paying for its employees as long as they remained working for the hotel group.


The hotel group was recently in the news for putting sanitary items in staff and guest bathrooms to combat period poverty.

Jhunjhnuwala said the Sudima Hotels didn't want any barriers for its staff or guests.

"We provide shaving kits so why not sanitary items. Period poverty should not be a thing so it's a small thing we can do that has a big impact," he said.

"We like to do things that make our staff feel like family and having a will so their family is looked after is a big part of that."

Footprint CEO Angela Vale said Footprint Connect was designed to help employers understand what a will meant and the importance for the family left behind.

It taught financial literacy and gave support when families needed it.


Traditionally wills have been written by family lawyers, but people with simple plans for their money can write their wills online through Footprint, which will store it in its "digital vault."

The quickest wills could be written in just 16 minutes online.

The subscription also included free estate administration, which was a professional service to manage and distribute a deceased person's estate.

People with more complex family circumstances, or more complicated financial affairs, would be referred to Footprint's sister company Perpetual Guardian for personal help.

The standard package including an online will and Estate Administration in New Zealand through Footprint is worth an estimated $10,000.

"What we know through our engagement with Kiwi corporates and market research, is that the education and the protection piece is often missing when it comes to Wills and Estate Administration," Vale said.


"A lot of employees have preconceived ideas that it's too expensive, hard and time-consuming to do themselves.

"When their employer comes in, puts the power in their hands and takes care of the rest, it's hugely valuable."

Vale said the package started great conversations with co-workers and families.

"This improves financial literacy across the board with a positive impact on our communities."

What you get:

• An online Will;


• An annual online Will update;

• An Estate Administration package valued at $10,000;

• Access to a digital vault for storage;

• Unlimited access to Learning Lab videos;

• Will notification functionality;

• Physical storage of the original Will;


• Service support;

• All Wills completed by a professional Will drafter;

Rates for small businesses and corporates range from $3 to $6.50 per employee per month.

· Individuals who buy the service privately can access different packages through the company website ranging from $85 to $120 annually.