Ben Celebrates 20 Years’ Service

Ben Celebrates 20 Years’ Service

Jun 06, 2023

Ensuring Crest Plus is a great place to work has always been a priority to us. As a result, we’re proud to have several long-servers within the business.

The experience and expertise of people who have been with us for many years makes a huge difference to the quality of our service. Recently it was a privilege to recognise another long-server, Ben Peel, who has now been with Crest Plus for 20 years.

Ben (right) with MD Paul McDonnell receiving a cheque for £1,500 in recognition of his long service.

Here, Ben explains in his own words what it’s been like to work at Crest Plus and why he’s stayed with us for so long.

When did you join Crest Plus and what was your first role?

I joined in 2003 to assist with processing the payroll on one of our largest accounts. I came in as employee number 11 of Crest. The company was about 4 years old but was starting to gather pace in the construction sector and needed more personnel to keep up with the growing level of administration.

What roles have you held since and what do you do now?

I have enjoyed roles as an Operations Team Leader, Client Relationship Manager in our Payments Team, Finance Assistant supporting the Finance Director in preparing the data for management accounts for Crest, Accounts Payable and Credit Control and full circle back to a Team Leader in our Payments Team.

You’ve been with the company for 20 years, what is it that you enjoy about working here?

Crest has always looked after its employees well. The working atmosphere is relaxed in open plan offices, but the workforce know when to buckle down and push through if we have a project on or obstacle to overcome. The company have always rewarded us well though, whether it be in providing pastry breakfasts or pizza lunches to fuel us for those pushes. The rewards are not just in work time though. When I started with Crest in 2003, my first Christmas “do” with the company was a weekend trip to Dublin. Since then, the Christmas party, although not a trip overseas any more due to the growth of the workforce, has been a highlight of the year for everyone, supplemented by our annual trip to Chester Races and a quarterly meal out a various eateries around Chester. These things are always well appreciated, however, the main thing that makes working at Crest is the comradery. You are working with friends rather than colleagues and that goes from top to bottom.

When you started at Crest Plus did think you would be with the company for this long?

I think most people who start a job hopeto make it as long lasting as possible. When I take a step back and look at what I have, I realise that this is where I belong. I had a manager a few years ago who used to say that if they cut me in half, I would have “Crest” running through the centre of me. I always took that as a compliment and ignored the fact that he was suggesting physical harm to me!

What’s your biggest achievement?

I’ve had a few highlights working at Crest. In my first year with the company, I was able to help steer our primary account past the 1000 workers paid point. Similarly, the same achievements were enjoyed at 5000 and 10000. Personally, I have also been able to share the happy occasions of getting married and welcoming my son to our family with my friends at Crest.

How would you describe the culture in Crest Plus?

The culture of Crest is to try and be the best and do everything in the correct way. We encourage people to have fun whilst achieving those aims.

What does Crest Plus do to support employees?

Other than the treats and nights/days out already mentioned, there is a profit-related scheme in place. Crest also supports the staff in personal development, whether that be internally in the office, role progression where available or with external study and courses to assist with that career progression.

What are your future career plans?

Currently, I don’t have any other than continuing with Crest and pushing the company, either personally or through my team, to achieve bigger and better things. I wonder what Crest will look like at my 30-year mark?!

What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

The biggest changes are usually driven by HMRC legislation to which we have to react to accordingly and where, due to our compliant operation, we have won new business. I have seen the transition from workers being share-holders in Limited companies, to the advent of Supervision, Direction and Control legislation almost wiping out the CIS market within temporary recruitment. The era of Personal Service Companies and the move to Umbrella PAYE and over-arching contracts. All of these changes have meant that we have seen new and old competitors come and go, but due to the leadership in our business, the sound advice (financial and legal) we have sought and the ever-willing staff at Crest, coupled with the faith from our agency partners that Crest are the safest bet to maintain a steady ship through change, we have survived and thrived and are now part of the largest contracting group within the industry.

You received £1,500 in honour of your long-service, what are you going to spend it on?

If my wife and son haven’t already spent it…we were thinking of potentially having another week away somewhere in the sun.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

The first animal that came to mind was a lion, as it has very few problems. Not very inventive, I know, and Freud would have a field day explaining the mentality of me going straight there.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to visit Australia and/or New Zealand as I have cousins in both countries and would like to see the sights and experience the culture first hand. However, my wife and I have spoken about going over to the US and doing a road trip at some point.

Morning person or night owl?

I used to be a night owl, as most younger people are, but now, stereotypically, I like to try and get a good night’s sleep although that rarely happens as usually end up sleeping on the edge of the bed being pushed out by my wife and the cats.

A good night out would entail…

During my late teens and early twenties, pubs followed by clubs were always enjoyed. These days, a good meal, a few drinks (alcohol is not a requisite I have learnt) in good company and then home to chill.

Favourite book

I used to be an avid reader but rarely get time these days. When I was younger I enjoyed the likes of “The Secret Seven”, “Famous Five” and “Biggles” series and then, in my teens and twenties, I always had a Stephen King novel on the go. In recent times, I have started reading autobiographies and particularly enjoyed Johnny Vegas’ book as the emotions conveyed in it were very similar to his personality, up and down at every turn.

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