83% of employers have seen a rise in wellbeing benefit requests

wellbeing benefitsMore than eight in 10 (83%) UK employers have reported a rise in employees requesting more wellbeing benefits in the workplace, according to new research from Zest.

The employee benefits technology firm’s study, released to mark World Mental Health Day (10 October), found that 19% of respondents currently offer employees a wellbeing allowance as part of their benefits package.

More than seven in 10 (71%) have introduced a head of wellbeing role or equivalent in order to communicate with employees over their wellbeing needs, resulting in 89% of employers saying their employees are now more likely to engage with and discuss wellbeing at work.

However, despite 82% investing more in their wellbeing benefits offering, 57% admitted that employee wellbeing is at an all-time low.

The research also revealed that paid mental health leave is the most popular wellbeing benefit among UK employers, with 24% offering this. Other popular options include bikes-for-work schemes (23%), mindfulness programmes (21%) and menopause support (17%).

Matt Russell, chief executive officer at Zest, said: “Employers not investing in their benefits packages will struggle to keep pace as the wellbeing revolution continues to accelerate. They risk being left behind by competitors and could face a real struggle to attract and retain key talent if they don’t listen to the demands of their workforce.

“Many people struggled with their mental wellbeing during Covid and then the cost-of-living crisis took a toll on their financial wellbeing. Employers need to ensure that their employee benefits packages are offering the right tools to support both. It’s a hugely positive sign that so many employers are appointing heads of wellbeing or similar roles. These individuals will be able to liaise with the workforce directly, ultimately ensuring that employees have access to the support and renumeration that they need during this challenging time.”