A quick look at two work perks that came into play between 1979 and 1990.
In a week when everyone is reflecting on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, I have decided to take a quick look at which employee benefits were launched into the workplace during her time as prime minister.
Those in the world of pensions and benefits may have already been reminded that group personal pensions (GPPs) were brought in under her government. GPPs were introduced on the back of individual personal pensions, which were launched in July 1988 to replace retirement annuity contracts. This occurred not long after the scrapping of compulsory workplace pension scheme membership in April 1988.
But years before that, while Thatcher was still a relatively new prime minister, the United Kingdon saw the introduction of the sharesave scheme (also known as the save as you earn (SAYE) or savings-related share option scheme) under the 1980 Finance Act. It formed part of the Thatcher government’s policy to create a ‘shareholding democracy’.
Both benefits are still popular today. GPPs are the more commonly offered of the two but also the more criticised because it turns out that when it comes to pensions, employees are not that keen on individualism (as the ideology of Thatcherism demanded). Current trends show that most would prefer to leave pensions decisions to someone else.
The sharesave plan (along with its relatives such as share incentive plans introduced under the Tony Blair government) continue to be small success stories with much cross-party support.
So, which benefit would you have expected to have been introduced under the Thatcher government?
I couldn’t help having a quick look at private medical insurance (given her push to privatisation), but it turns out this dates back to 1907.
Have I missed any employee benefits?