Employers more likely to review health benefits than any other

Organisations reviewing their benefits packages are most likely to be scrutinising their health benefits provision, according to research from XpertHR.

Based on a survey of 356 organisations’ benefits packages, the research revealed that health benefits feature among the most popular benefits on offer. Private medical insurance is offered by almost three-quarters of organisations, second only to childcare vouchers, which are offered by almost nine employers in 10.

When questioned on recent and planned changes to benefits, health benefits were mentioned significantly more than any other benefit.

XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: “Whether deciding to offer the best package to current and future employees, or to make cost and efficiency savings, many organisations are reviewing their benefits packages this year. The focus of these reviews is on improving what is there through increasing the value of current benefits or introducing new ones.”

The benefits most likely to be have been introduced over the past year are employee assistance programmes and healthcare cash plans. Overall, around four employers in 10 have made changes to their benefits packages over the past year, with a similar proportion planning further changes over the next year.

The most commonly offered benefits available to UK employees are:

  • childcare vouchers – available in 88% of organisations;
  • private medical insurance – 74%;
  • free car parking – 73%;
  • counselling service or employee assistance programme – 71%; and
  • long-service awards – 67%.

An indication that employers are looking for the most cost-efficient method of providing benefits is the finding that salary-sacrifice benefits (offering savings to both the employer and employees) are now offered in around seven organisations in 10. The most common benefits available under these arrangements are childcare vouchers, pension contributions and cycle loans.

The full research is available to XpertHR subscribers.

Personnel Today, in association with Unum, is publishing a series of articles on overhauling your benefits package, which examines numerous aspects of how organisations’ employee benefits offerings have become outdated.

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