EXCLUSIVE: 54% of employers offer funded access to wellbeing apps

54% of employers offer funded access to wellbeing apps

More than half (54%) of respondents offer funded access to wellbeing apps, a 17 percentage point increase from the 37% of businesses that offered this benefit in 2019, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research, which surveyed 200 readers of www.employeebenefits.co.uk, also found that this benefit has been steadily increasing in popularity, as only three in 10 (30%) of businesses offered this benefit in 2018 and 31% offered similar benefits in 2017.

Flu vaccinations remain a popular benefit, offered by 51% of respondents, a slight increase from the 43% that offered this benefit in 2019. In 2017, regular workstation health audits were a popular benefit for employers, offered by just under half (49%). This has remained a commonly offered benefit and 50% offer regular health audits this year.

Giving employees access to wellbeing advice and workshops has always been a popular benefit; in 2017 40% of respondents offered this, and this year 48% do so. Additionally, 48% also offer free fruit or healthy drinks, such as green or fruit teas, a similar percentage to those in 2019 (50%) and an increase from the 43% in 2018, and 40% in 2017 that did so.

Among group risk benefits, life assurance or death in service has remained a popular benefit since 2017, when 95% of employers offered it as a core benefit. This year, 79% offer this benefit on that basis, a slight decrease from 80% in 2019.

Following this benefit in terms of popularity is income protection, which is offered as a core benefit by 55% of respondents. In 2019, this was offered by 58% of employers, a sharp decrease from the 73% that offered it in 2018.

Private medical insurance (PMI) has always been a popular employer-funded benefit, as offered by more than half (60%) of this year’s respondents. This is similar to previous years’ results, but the numbers have been decreasing: 58% offered it in 2019, 64% in 2018 and 77% in 2017, perhaps signifying that the cost of providing the benefit is putting pressure on employers’ benefits budgets.

A higher proportion of respondents extend PMI to employees’ dependants as a flexible benefit (27%) or as a voluntary benefit (26%), as opposed to a core benefit (18%). In 2016, 40% of respondents offered dental insurance as a core benefit, however, this has seen The number of employers that offer critical illness insurance for employees as a core benefit has increased to 20% in 2020, compared to 17% of organisations which offered this in 2019. However in 2018, this was offered by 25%.

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Click here to download the Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020