EXCLUSIVE: 68% offer counselling as a wellbeing benefit


More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents offer access to counselling services or an employee assistance programme (EAP), according to research by Employee Benefits and Xerox HR Services.

The Benefits research 2016, which surveyed a total of 338 respondents in May 2016, found that the majority (93%) of those who offer counselling services, do so as a core benefits provision for all staff.

Private medical insurance (PMI) is also a staple among many employers’ benefits packages, with 71% providing this for employees and 62% also providing it to employees’ partners and dependants. More than a third (35%) give employees access to a health cash plan, 42% of which offer it as a core benefits to all staff. Meanwhile, 28% of respondents offer this to employees’ partners and dependants, although the main means of doing so are as a voluntary (44%) or flexible benefit (35%).

Fitness schemes also feature in respondents’ benefits programmes, with 41% offering gym membership to staff and 26% running on-site fitness classes. While wearable technology continues to rise in popularity on an individual basis, it is yet to become a prominent fixture in employee health and wellbeing programmes, with just 8% of respondents offering it as a benefit.

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As we become ever-more digitally linked and increasingly accustomed to searching for information at the touch of the button, whether through mobile devices while on the go or via laptops and PCs, it is perhaps not unexpected that employers are turning to digital means to provide wellbeing education and support for staff.

Almost half (49%) of respondents offer digital content on mental wellbeing, 42% on physical wellbeing, and 41% on financial wellness. In addition, around a third offer digital content support on community and social wellbeing (35%), and 31% offer job satisfaction or career wellbeing support in this way.

In comparison, more than a third (34%) use printed materials to offer education and support on mental wellbeing.

However, face-to-face communication remains a popular method for delivering wellbeing education and support, particularly around physical (42%) and mental wellbeing (42%).

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