EXCLUSIVE: Around four in 10 (42%) UK employers struggle to offer competitive employee benefits to their staff, according to research by insurance organisation Aviva.
Its survey of 502 UK managers and 2,011 UK-based employees also found that, of those employers that found it difficult to offer competitive workplace benefits, 64% cited the cost of implementation as the biggest barrier. Others identified a lack of staff or resources (34%), limited information on how to remain competitive (28%) and not having the time required to introduce these benefits successfully (27%).
Three in 10 (30%) organisations with fewer than 10 employees said that it was hard to provide competitive employee benefits, versus 48% of employers with 10 to 500 staff and 39% of those with workforces of 500 people or more.
Around two-thirds (67%) of employer respondents plan to improve their current workplace benefits package; 29% continually monitor and improve what they offer staff, 20% are looking to make improvements in this area within the next year and 18% want to make changes to their benefits, but not in the upcoming 12 months.
Less than a third (30%) of businesses are opting to keep their employee benefits package the same, and only 3% plan to decrease what they offer.
Dominic Fryer (pictured), head of workplace strategy at Aviva, said: “It’s understandable that many businesses find it difficult to offer a competitive workplace benefits package. Finances are often stretched and sometimes there are other priorities.
“But there are some cost-effective ways of improving employees’ wellbeing. Businesses could consider introducing running or other sports clubs, create a team of wellbeing champions or find ways to help staff improve their work-life balance.
“The power of the pension shouldn’t be overlooked either. Our research showed that it’s in the top three benefits that employees are interested in. Every business with employees now has to offer a workplace pension, but finding a way to increase the employer contribution could improve employee satisfaction and help when recruiting new talent.”