The aim of this study was to find out which benefits UK employers offer their staff and how these are delivered. We wanted to find out the impact of the benefits strategies employers use and the issues that shape them, such as what employers have done to weather the recession and how they are preparing for the economic upturn. We also wanted to identify key decision makers within organisations when it comes to benefits, as well as the methods used to communicate perks and the effectiveness of these.
About the survey
The research was conducted in March 2010 among readers of Employee Benefits magazine and users of www.employeebenefits.co.uk.
The research received 771 responses.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) were from organisations with more than 500 employees, while 17% had over 5,000 staff.
Respondents were drawn from all types of organisation. More than three-quarters (79%) were privately owned (54%) or publicly quoted (25%). Just under one-fifth (17%) were from the public sector.
The key findings are:
- 62% of respondents provide core traditional benefits, 69% offer benefits on a voluntary basis, 23% through a flexible benefits scheme and 78% offer tax-efficient benefits via a salary sacrifice arrangement.
- In the past 12 months, 49% froze pay and 36% renegotiated insurance-based benefits to achieve savings in response to the recession.
- In preparation for the upturn, 44% plan to motivate employees to maintain morale, while 35% intend to review benefits providers in order to get a cheaper or better deal in the next 12 months.
- Life assurance/death-in-service, and training and development are the two core benefits most commonly offered to all employees – offered by 77% and 71%, respectively.
- Making benefits more cost-effective (68%) and a desire to improve employee engagement levels (60%) are the top issues shaping employers’ benefits strategies in 2010.
- 52% of respondents now evaluate the effectiveness of their benefits strategy.
- Benefits take-up levels and staff surveys of employee satisfaction levels are the two most popular ways of evaluating the effectiveness of an organisation’s benefits strategy – used by 78% and 67%, respectively.
- 55% of respondents’ organisations operate outside of the UK, with 53% of these saying that benefits are managed locally within each country.
Read more article from the Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes Benefits Research 2010