Babylon Health FAQ

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4 English questions out of 4

15 March 2020

What is health insurance like at Babylon Health?

Pros

Great mission and many smart, amazing people.

Cons

Toxic leadership at the very top rules the day at Babylon. Leaders are arrogant, manipulative and political. Anyone who stands up to leadership will be ignored, blacklisted and/or fired while incompetent people who stroke leadership's egos will be promoted. Leaders frequently said Babylon needed fewer people with healthcare backgrounds, which is very scary when trying to navigate the US healthcare system. It was a frequent occurrence for leadership without US healthcare experience to suggest doing things that anyone with US healthcare experience knows cannot be done under current healthcare regulations. It was difficult to sit through presentations comparing doctors to Uber drivers and patients to Uber riders. It would not be surprising if Babylon ends up featured in a Harvard business case or a Netflix documentary as an example of what not to do after raising $550 million. The founder wows new employees and investors with product demos that are mocked up and years away from becoming a reality. In the opinion of many Babylon product and engineering team members, the symptom checker is not really "AI". The symptom checker is a rules engine that is filled with bugs and providers have voiced their concern. After fundraising, they rushed to increase their UK office to over 1000 employees. This resulted in the creation of numerous siloed teams building different apps that created disjointed spaghetti code and products that were inferior copycat versions of apps already on the market such as wearable device activity trackers and menstrual cycle trackers. Finally, Babylon doesn't treat its employees very well. There is a reason that 15% of the US office has resigned since Jan 1 and many more are looking to leave. They promised employees stock options that were included in offer letters and over a year later, they haven't issued a single certificate to any US employees and claim they're still working on it. The health insurance is very expensive, especially if you have a family. They promised performance reviews with raises and bonuses, but almost 18 months in to the US office being open there has not been a single performance review or salary increase discussion. It is a software development company, yet leadership treats employees like school children. Software developers like working flexible hours and the US leader constantly accused people of not working hard enough if they weren't sitting at their desk from 9am-6pm even though many were working late into the evening and on the weekends. In summary, Babylon is not the place to be if you are a great employee.

Advice to Management

Employees want inspirational leaders they respect and can learn from, not bosses that undermine their efforts and make them dread coming into the office.

The health insurance is very expensive, especially if you have a family.

15 March 2020

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27 April 2020

Does Babylon Health pay for a gym membership?

Pros

1) Free breakfast (very limited options) 2) Cycle to work scheme, 3) Towels for showering after gym (if still there, not sure) 4) Pension scheme 5% topped up by employer 5) 1 day per week working from home (prior Covid-19) 6) Free friday drinks (very limited in quantity and variety). Used to have Babylon bar monthly, but that's gone now. 7) Great mission, great social impact. 8) Free yoga sessions 9) Free psychological, GP services for employees via Babylon app 10) Great office staff and smart, friendly peers I worked with. 11) Babylon was announced as 19th best paying company. 12) Interesting challenging projects to work on if you are lucky to work on greenfield projects.

Cons

1) My experience was that work hours were much longer than official 40 hours a week. Due to very limited resources had to work extra time and often weekends ot be able to deliver on time. However, no overtime is paid since it is stated in the contract. In the end, after investing all my free time for company to succeed over the years, now I know it is just a work, not a family as they say. 2) I felt like company didn't invest into my learning or professional gorwth. Either no budget, or too small to book a conference (some teams get higher budgets than others) or no time to attend due to tight deadlines 3) The office chairs are terrible, causing back pain and qiote crowded desk space. I was experiencing allergies from dusty fake plants. People used to work on tennis tables at some point due to lack of office space. 4) No career ladder. It still doesn't exist. 5) I felt a lot of politics on daily basis, changing requirements and prioritites going around in circles to the level that it was driving me mad. I felt that my opinnion and technical expertise wasn't valued at all. 6) Not many benefits, no shop/restaurant discounts. No extra holidays after years of service. 7) Performance review process is very broken. People can get away with doing bad job or pretending of delivering something and even get promotions. I was never able to review people that I worked with and wanted to review (so that my reviews doesn't show that these people are not performing), instead it was chosen whom I can review. 8) Furlough of 5% as reported in news with potential of redundancies. 9) A lot of staff including high position senior staff just disapears without a sign. 10) The gym in the office is a joke. It is really tiny and people have meetings in there instead due to the lack of meeting space. No gym membership compensations. 11) A lot of recent "bad" hires in management makes the environment toxic. I felt like have no say in decision making. 12) Social media and slack are cesnored. The admins will delete your comment on slack or you will be asked to delete it, if it sparks too much discussions and attracts attention. 13) Working remotely is not very acceptable in the company (only once a week). Finally during covid-19 outbreak everyone was forced to work remotely, but it took some time to get there.

Advice to Management

Listen to your staff and make sure all communications are transparent. Value your staff as human beings, not only as workers, so they can enjoy their personal life, so they can be the best at what they are doing at work. For company to succeed there should be conversations between product, engineering and senior management, not unilateral decisions from above.

No gym membership compensations.

27 April 2020

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27 April 2020

Does Babylon Health have a pension plan?

Pros

1) Free breakfast (very limited options) 2) Cycle to work scheme, 3) Towels for showering after gym (if still there, not sure) 4) Pension scheme 5% topped up by employer 5) 1 day per week working from home (prior Covid-19) 6) Free friday drinks (very limited in quantity and variety). Used to have Babylon bar monthly, but that's gone now. 7) Great mission, great social impact. 8) Free yoga sessions 9) Free psychological, GP services for employees via Babylon app 10) Great office staff and smart, friendly peers I worked with. 11) Babylon was announced as 19th best paying company. 12) Interesting challenging projects to work on if you are lucky to work on greenfield projects.

Cons

1) My experience was that work hours were much longer than official 40 hours a week. Due to very limited resources had to work extra time and often weekends ot be able to deliver on time. However, no overtime is paid since it is stated in the contract. In the end, after investing all my free time for company to succeed over the years, now I know it is just a work, not a family as they say. 2) I felt like company didn't invest into my learning or professional gorwth. Either no budget, or too small to book a conference (some teams get higher budgets than others) or no time to attend due to tight deadlines 3) The office chairs are terrible, causing back pain and qiote crowded desk space. I was experiencing allergies from dusty fake plants. People used to work on tennis tables at some point due to lack of office space. 4) No career ladder. It still doesn't exist. 5) I felt a lot of politics on daily basis, changing requirements and prioritites going around in circles to the level that it was driving me mad. I felt that my opinnion and technical expertise wasn't valued at all. 6) Not many benefits, no shop/restaurant discounts. No extra holidays after years of service. 7) Performance review process is very broken. People can get away with doing bad job or pretending of delivering something and even get promotions. I was never able to review people that I worked with and wanted to review (so that my reviews doesn't show that these people are not performing), instead it was chosen whom I can review. 8) Furlough of 5% as reported in news with potential of redundancies. 9) A lot of staff including high position senior staff just disapears without a sign. 10) The gym in the office is a joke. It is really tiny and people have meetings in there instead due to the lack of meeting space. No gym membership compensations. 11) A lot of recent "bad" hires in management makes the environment toxic. I felt like have no say in decision making. 12) Social media and slack are cesnored. The admins will delete your comment on slack or you will be asked to delete it, if it sparks too much discussions and attracts attention. 13) Working remotely is not very acceptable in the company (only once a week). Finally during covid-19 outbreak everyone was forced to work remotely, but it took some time to get there.

Advice to Management

Listen to your staff and make sure all communications are transparent. Value your staff as human beings, not only as workers, so they can enjoy their personal life, so they can be the best at what they are doing at work. For company to succeed there should be conversations between product, engineering and senior management, not unilateral decisions from above.

4) Pension scheme 5% topped up by employer

27 April 2020

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12 November 2020

Does Babylon Health offer employee discounts?

Pros

- The mission to bring affordable healthcare to people is, at the end of the day, one of the main benefits. - Opportunity to work with some great people, although the good ones are leaving in droves for a long time now which has become very demoralizing. - Opportunity to work on interesting projects in an interesting industry.

Cons

- Career progression is non-existent with both managers and HR to blame. HR constantly changes the framework every year and managers promote based on unfair criteria such as how friendly you are with them. Forget about salary increase, even for inflation, you will be served every fairy tale in the world to explain why that's not possible. - The business changes directions every month or so which is not atypical for a startup, however, due to heavy regulations in the industry this makes everything move extremely slowly at ground level and you're stuck in a limbo state not being able to focus on actual work towards a goal. - Benefits disappear suddenly such as the employee discount scheme, and engineers are provided with low specced laptops from three years ago to work on even though this is a unicorn. - Heavy regulation impedes a lot of the engineering progress and results in a mess of useless processes to make a few people feel safe. There is more and a great deal more has already been said in other reviews on the negative side, some bits exaggerated, some bits just not happening in my team, but at the moment the cons objectively outweigh the pros by a significant margin, otherwise there wouldn't be a big number of talented people jumping ship.

- Benefits disappear suddenly such as the employee discount scheme, and engineers are provided with low specced laptops from three years ago to work on even though this is a unicorn.

12 November 2020

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4 English questions out of 4