In the heart of one of the world’s largest mining operations, Rio Tinto, a company with a storied history, has discovered a modern-day treasure – an employee discount program that has added a golden layer to their employee value proposition.


With roots dating back to 1873, Rio Tinto has extensive operations in the exploration, extraction, and processing of a wide range of raw materials like copper, aluminum, diamonds, and iron ore. Headquartered in the UK, Rio Tinto has a significant global presence, and spreads from coast to coast in the United States.

With roughly 4,200 employees in the US, Rio Tinto provides a comprehensive suite of benefits that enriches lives both inside and outside the workplace. These benefits include generous healthcare and retirement benefits, along with up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave.

The Objective:

Seeking to boost employee retention and engagement, Rio Tinto recognized the value of adding an employee discount program for their US operations. According to HR Benefits Administrator Katie Mercer, “Rio Tinto is always looking for ways to add to our Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which is something that even to this day is extremely important to us.”

With a diverse workforce spanning multiple regions, they sought a partner that could deliver appealing consumer discounts to employees, no matter where they lived, worked, or traveled. Access Perks emerged as the ideal choice, known for the overall value it delivered, and its ability to integrate Rio Tinto’s own negotiated local discounts. 

Rio Tinto implemented the discount platform in 2020, then launched the Access promotional program in February 2022, using pre-approved toolkits and other assets to help educate employees and unveil the value of this new lifestyle benefit.

The Results:

The impact on EVP was both remarkable and demonstrable. These results include:

  • High Utilization Among a Diverse Workforce: After implementing Access’ promotional assets,  the percentage of active employees signing up to use Access Perks has increased to 54%. Access Perks has emerged as a unifying thread, bridging age gaps, job roles, and varying levels of technological familiarity. Whether their employees are steering haul trucks or managing offices, every employee can take advantage of Access Perks. In a work environment where diversity and inclusion are paramount, this program has proven to be a vital tool for Rio Tinto, creating a sense of shared value among its workers and strengthening the bonds that hold this multi-generational, multi-union workforce together.
  • Cost Savings and Financial Well-Being: Rio Tinto’s partnership with Access Perks not only enhances the company’s reputation as an employer of choice but also contributes to the financial well-being of its workforce. The numbers speak for themselves, with employees in FY 2023 collectively saving nearly$250,000 with the program, saving an average of $33 per transaction on things like casual dining, fast food, pizza, apparel, gym memberships, cell phone plans, theme parks, hotels, and airfare. These savings are not just numbers; they translate into real-life benefits that bolster employees’ financial wellbeing.
  • Simplicity and Ease of Management: Access Perks’ user-friendly approach has proven to be simple for employees to use. And for program administrators, it has also streamlined benefits operations, helping to lighten the load of HR professionals tasked with administering the program. In the complex landscape of benefits administration, Katie Mercer notes, “I really appreciate how easy the program is for me to manage. It’s very easy.”
  • Customizable Toolkits to Educate and Raise Awareness: Access Perks promotional assets include an array of toolkits to help raise awareness of the program, including limited time offers and seasonal discounts. These toolkits have emerged as a valuable asset, allowing HR administrators the flexibility to tailor communications to their diverse workforce. “I like that I’m able to tweak some of the toolkit’s language specific to our employees. Because our employees are such a varied group of individuals, we need to be very clear in our communications. These engagement toolkits have been an asset.” Mercer states.


For Katie Mercer, Rio Tinto USA locations have found great value in offering Access Perks to their employees. “For the amount that we pay for it each month, we get an amazing bang for our buck! It’s a great benefit for all employees, no matter their role.”

With over half of Rio Tinto’s US employees registering for the program so far, Access Perks proved to 

be a unifying force that transcended age, job roles, and technological comfort levels. Access Perks offers enticing discounts on everything from fast food to hotels, delivering substantial savings.

HR professionals found managing the program delightfully straightforward, and the customizable toolkits make program communications a breeze.

The success of this partnership underscores the profound impact an employee discount program can have, making it a compelling option for companies seeking to enhance employee engagement, inclusivity, and employee savings.

To learn more about how Access Perks can elevate your Employee Value Proposition, visit Access Perks here.