Today marks two weeks since I returned to Employee Benefits following 13 months’ maternity leave. While my time away once again seemed to fly past, the industry I’ve returned to appears quite different to the one that I left in many ways.
When I went on leave in January 2021, the UK was still very much in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic with a national lockdown in place and a great deal of uncertainty about the year ahead. At the time, the focus for many employers was on how to mitigate the uncertainty this created around the future of their business, and the people-related challenges this involved. From all accounts, 2021 certainly seems to have been a tumultuous and challenging year.
Just over a year on, however, the UK is in a very different place. Looking through the news that we have covered on employeebenefits.co.uk recently and catching up on what seem to be the latest areas of focus for reward and benefits managers, it seems that pay increases and bonuses have returned in many organisations, along with a much greater focus on areas such as work-life balance.
What is interesting is the focus there now appears to be on issues such as fertility, pregnancy and menopause. Employer recognition of the physical, mental and emotional significance these events can have for an individual is a huge step forwards in opening up conversations and enabling employees to access avenues of support that may not previously have been available.
I’d love to hear more about what organisations are doing in these areas, so please do get in touch if you have a story you’d like to share. I look forward to catching up with you.