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MetLife research reveals UK SMEs are a top target

MetLife research reveals UK SMEs are a top target | Insurance Business

MetLife research reveals UK SMEs are a top target
International insurer MetLife believes that the employee benefits consultancy (EBC) industry has a primary target – and that target is UK SMEs.

Its independent study has revealed that six in 10 consultants believe better take-up and penetration of benefits among SMEs is “the greatest priority for the employee benefits industry in the next two years.”

With small businesses now accounting for 99.3% of private sector enterprise and employing around 15.7 million people, EBCs believe they need bespoke programmes that are specifically tailored for their requirements. These can include flexible benefits provisions, while some EBCs also highlighted that voluntary benefits are likely to be a category with increased SME demand.

“Smaller employers are increasingly aware of the need to attract and retain a skilled, motivated workforce, especially where they may not be able to compete with larger businesses on pay or business profile,” said Adrian Matthews, employee benefits director at MetLife UK.

“Well-tailored benefits that are well-communicated can make a significant difference to SME staff retention and employees will welcome support in improving physical health and wellness as well as financial wellness in the workplace.”

The EBCs highlighted that better benefits communication is at the core of future SME needs with 39% of brokers pointing to better benefits communication as an SME demand focus. Matthews added that the brokers themselves will play a crucial role in raising awareness.

“Fast growth businesses, often in the technology sector are growing from two to 200 employees in months rather than years, going from a ‘no benefits’ environment to needing to provide benefits in a short period,” he added.

“One of the issues preventing SMEs from adopting workplace benefits may be the absence of a dedicated HR function or one individual completing multiple HR tasks. The role of the broker or EBC is vital in helping SMEs select the right benefits packages for their growing and diverse workforces.”

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