EXCLUSIVE: Just 3% view Brexit as a key benefits strategy issue

EXCLUSIVE: Just 3% of employer respondents cite the vote for Brexit as an issue shaping their benefits strategies in 2017, according to research by Employee Benefits and Staffcare.

Following the triggering of Article 50 on 29 March, however, it remains to be seen how far this could change as more detail emerges about the impact on business of the UK’s decision to exit from the European Union.

The Employee Benefits/Staffcare Benefits research 2017, which surveyed 271 employer respondents in February-March 2017, also found that 72% of employer respondents cite a desire to improve employee engagement as a key issue shaping their employee benefits strategy in 2017.

Employers’ desire to improve employee engagement is the top issue shaping organisations’ benefits strategies in 2017. This has changed little since 2011, when 71% of respondents said the same, remaining consistent in the intervening years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents’ desire to become an employer of choice remains the second biggest issue shaping benefits strategy, rising by four percentage points year on year. This is now a key objective for organisations competing to recruit and retain the top talent from an increasingly mobile workforce.

Advancements in technology are also continuing to drive employers’ benefits strategies. Just three years ago, 15% of respondents said this was a key issue shaping their organisation’s benefits strategy; this year, 41% said the same. This trend only looks set to continue as developments in artificial intelligence and augmented reality move these further into the workplace and people management sphere.

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Given the number of legislative changes impacting reward, which came into effect in April 2017, this might have been expected to appear higher up the list of issues shaping respondents’ benefits strategies. This could well change over the coming 12 months as new measures such as gender pay gap reporting and the limitations on salary sacrifice arrangements take effect.