Flexible working and relief for everyday costs on employee benefit wish-list

October 4, 2012
By

Harrogate, United Kingdom (28th May 2012) – Engage Mutual, one of the larger UK mutuals, providing simple value for money savings, protection and investment products, have revealed that British workers favour flexible working hours, employer pension contributions and help towards everyday costs over other perks, according to recent employee benefit research.

Engage Mutual’s Employee Benefit Study revealed that when it comes to perks beyond a salary, most British workers would like flexible working hours (55 per cent), followed by employer pension contributions (54 per cent) and the option of help with everyday healthcare costs (37 per cent).

According to the survey, workplace benefits are so sought-after that nine per cent of working Brits admit they would turn down a job if they were not offered any benefits in addition to salary. However 38 per cent reported that they don’t receive any benefits at all from their employer.

Customer-owned financial services organisation, Engage Mutual, polled 1,254 working adults across the UK to understand current attitudes around workplace benefits. The study indicates that employees are seeking perks that provide immediate return and help towards basic living costs, including healthcare (37 per cent) and travel (35 per cent). In contrast, perceived luxuries such as gym membership, provision of a bike (24 per cent) and money towards specialist treatments, critical illness and injuries (26 per cent) are less favourable.

The top five most sought-after benefits, from a given list, are:
1. Flexible working hours (55 per cent)
2. Company contributions towards a pension (54 per cent)
3. Money towards everyday healthcare costs (37 per cent)
4. Free parking and contribution towards travel costs (35 per cent)
5. Unlimited free meals and soft drinks during working hours (27 per cent)

However, the study reveals that many employers are failing to provide even the most cost-effective benefits. Nearly two fifths (38 per cent) of workers don’t receive any benefits at all and only two per cent of workers claim to have received support through schemes such as money for childcare in the last year.

Despite the well-documented pension crisis, just a third (34 per cent) of working Brits claim to have received company contributions towards a pension in the past year and almost a fifth of 18-24 year olds (19 per cent) admit they are eligible for a contribution towards a pension, but have not taken it up.

Helen Smith, Head of Engage Mutual Health said: “Our study highlighted the significant value that working Brits are placing on employee benefits. Some would even turn down a job if they were not offered any benefits and six per cent of employees would prefer to have more benefits than an increase in salary.

“With household budgets under pressure, it’s not surprising that so-called luxuries are falling out of favour. Instead, there appears to be an appetite for benefits that provide more immediate help, such as cash towards everyday healthcare costs, help towards travel and parking and even food. But it seems that many companies are not meeting this demand.

“The good news is, for employers, this need not necessarily impact the bottom line significantly and offering sought-after benefits can be crucial in retaining and attracting staff and in some cases manage absenteeism. Introducing some basic perks that provide instant value for employees is a good way to boost morale without a substantial investment.”

Engage Mutual’s Employee Benefits Study also found that:
– 42 per cent of UK employees would like to receive additional benefits
– Just two per cent of workers received money towards childcare costs in the past year
– Almost a fifth of working over 45s (19 per cent) would value sabbatical leave from their job
– Working women are less likely to receive employee benefits than men (40 per cent of female employees do not receive any benefits compared to 36 per cent of men)
– One in ten working women (10 per cent) fail to take advantage of company-contributed pension schemes
– 12 per cent of men would turn down a job if they were not offered benefits

Engage Mutual provides employers with an affordable and simple healthcare cash plan, One Fund which employees can tailor and use for their own needs. The plan is unique in the market as it provides a single pot of money for employees which can be used towards a range of everyday healthcare costs including dental and optical cover.

From just £10 per month, per employee, companies can provide their workforce with an annual pot of money, from £720, which can contribute towards a series of benefits or pay towards one single benefit, depending on the needs of the individual.

For further information, customers can contact Engage Mutual on 0800 169 4321 or visit www.engagemutual.com.

About Engage Mutual:
www.engagewithyou.com is an online community that signposts help and information for a responsibility laden generation in the hectic middle of life. Here they can share experiences, stories and tips, and find solutions to help them deal with a range of issues.

This new venture for customer owned financial services provider Engage Mutual, will see it provide an environment for people to connect, help, and support each other. Engage Mutual is one of the larger UK mutuals providing simple, value for money savings, protection and investment products to more than 500,000 customers.

Contact:
Kathryn McLaughlin, PR Manager
Engage Mutual Assurance
Tel: 01423 855245 / Mob: 07785 623539

Post: Engage Mutual Customer Service Department
Hornbeam Park Avenue, Harrogate
Zip: HG2 8XE
Tel: 0800 169 4321
International Tel: +44 1423 855 000
Email: mail@engagemutual.com

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