Two-fifths (80%) employees said the most important benefit to them is sick pay above the statutory rate, according to nresearch by Edays.
The absence and leave management software provider asked UK employees which benefits matter most to them when considering a job offer. It found that 65% of respondents favour a four-day working week the most, making it the second most desirable benefit.
Nearly half (45%) would like bereavement leave that goes beyond the statutory entitlement and is extended to include wider family and pets.
Charity or volunteering days was the fifth most common benefit offered by employers, but less than 20% of employees cited this as being important to them.
Other sought-after benefits included birthday leave (favoured by 45%), unlimited annual leave (34%) and wellbeing days (34%).
On the other end of the scale, less than 10% of employees said they would like menstrual leave and religious holiday leave. According to the research findings, more employers offer religious holiday leave as a benefit than employees want it, whereas more employees would like menstrual leave than employers offer it.
Katrina Bennett, people director at Edays, said: “Since the pandemic, many employers have focused more on what employees want and need during different life stages. It’s important to consider what professional development can empower people in their roles and how to offer the appropriate support for various circumstances.
“By continuing to review benefits packages yearly, organisations can assess whether employees value and utilise all benefits. Employee engagement and pulse surveys are great for employers to gather data to help inform their decisions. Ensuring that you can remain adaptable and flexible around benefits can also give employers with a limited budget an edge in a competitive recruitment space.”