The rising benefits cost and the challenge of appealing to a diverse staff – these are among the troubles faced by UK employers, according to the 2019 Benefits Strategy and Benchmarking Survey released by global broking and risk management giant Gallagher.
Conducted among 243 organisations across the UK, the poll found that 71% of businesses struggle with the increasing costs of benefits while 67% find it hard to appeal to a workforce with varying preferences. It was also found that a mere 22% of companies offer some form of flexible benefits, amid implementation challenges including negotiating with providers and choosing a delivery method.
Meanwhile the survey showed that 15% of respondents are planning to make changes to their criteria for eligibility to extend the same treatment to all employees in a range of areas. Also, 42% are currently offering shared parental leave on the same basis as maternity leave.
It’s worth noting that less than half (43%) poll their employees about benefits and wellbeing while only 27% have a pre-defined communications budget. In addition, 37% consider it challenging to communicate about benefits but 43% intend to make changes to their benefits in 2020.
“Benefits are by no means a silver bullet towards achieving a happy workforce, but employers must adopt a holistic view if they are going to improve retention and engagement of top talent,” stated Nick Burns, chief executive of the UK employee benefits consulting division at Gallagher.
“It is clear from this report that most organisations know this as the majority of employers who are planning changes to their offering say they are going to enhance benefits in order to build a better workplace. With the needs and priorities of employees changing, this report highlights how employers address their employees’ concerns and balance rising costs in order to face the future with confidence.”