Flexible benefits now on offer to two-thirds of UK employees

Nearly two-thirds of organisations are now offering their employees flexible benefits, according to research.


The results of the 12th Annual Flexible Benefits Survey, by consultancy Hewitt Associates, show a clear increase in the popularity of flexible benefits and salary sacrifice schemes, with the number of organisations offering flexible schemes increasing from half in last year’s survey.


Salary sacrifice schemes, where employers offer a small number of tax-efficient benefits, such as pensions, bicycles and childcare vouchers, account for almost half of the new flexible reward schemes.


Martha How, reward consulting team leader at Hewitt Associates, said: “Flexible benefits schemes remain one of the best ways for employers to attract and retain talent. They provide employees with the freedom to choose how they receive their benefits – enabling them to tailor a package to suit their lifestyle.


“Many organisations are finding that salary sacrifice schemes offer a smooth and relatively quick route into flexible benefits, while offering short-term cost savings for both the employer and employees.”


The survey results also highlight the need for employers to view flexible benefits as part of their wider HR strategy. Only 28% of the 150 firms surveyed communicate flexible benefits as part of their overall reward package, and eight out of 10 still rely on basic tools, such as generic leaflets, to communicate their flexible benefits schemes to staff.


Companies that communicate the content and value of their package in the best way will stand out, as employees will have an enhanced perception of the value of the offer, the study said.

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