Finance directors do not always liase with HR on benefits

A fifth (20%) of finance directors do not liaise with the HR department on employee benefits, according to research by Unum.

The Employee benefits survey, which polled 850 finance directors and chief financial officers, found that a further 27% have limited interaction with the HR team.

When asked about income protection, 10% of respondents admitted they do not know what income protection is, while 40% wrongly believed that it pays out if employees are made redundant.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) do not provide income protection. A fifth of these said the reason was a lack of awareness among management and HR, and nearly half (48%) thought it was too expensive to set up or maintain.

Additional findings include:

  • 72% of respondents are either very or moderately involved in deciding their organisation’s benefits package.
  • 28% have final sign-off on the benefits package.
  • Three-quarters have not reviewed their organisation’s employee benefits in the last three years.
  • Half of respondents spend less than three days a year on employee benefits decisions.
  • 37% only change their benefits to keep up with competitors.
  • 68% will be freezing or cutting their benefits budget this year.

Peter O’Donnell, finance director at Unum, said: “I can empathise with hard-pressed finance directors and understand the challenges they face.

“But we can not forget that benefits can play an important role in saving money and making for more predictable annual costs.

“Income protection is one of the few employee benefits to provide a valuable saving for the employer.

“This is no small consideration when one in 10 people go on long-term sick leave during their working lives.”

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