Health-related benefits are becoming more popular

Access to health-related benefits and insurance is becoming more highlyvalued by staff concerned about job security and the impact of a long-term illness on their career.

A survey of 1,200 staff by Aon Consulting found that paid long-term sick leave was the most desirable health-related employee benefit.

Financial benefits or insurance directly related to health issues were far more popular than benefits such as gym membership, weight loss support, flu vaccination or counselling.

Preferences varied with age, with healthcare and insurance having a greater appeal to older staff.

Eight in 10 of those aged over 55 rated critical illness insurance as highly desirable or desirable. Seven in 10 said the same of private medical insurance, while more than three-quarters valued health screening, and more than two-thirds valued healthcare cash plans. Access to and provision of occupational health services was important for 62% of the older staff. Younger staff aged under 35 generally preferred subsidised gym membership and access to counselling.

Alex Bennett, head of healthcare consulting at the firm, said: “At a time when workers are worried about their financial futures, it is no surprise that rather than concentrate on staying healthy, they focus on how they are going to manage in the event that they do become sick.”

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