Employers sustain benefits despite economic climate

Despite difficult economic conditions, 84% of employers believe the value of their benefits package has been maintained over the past 12 months, according to research conducted by industry body Group Risk Development (Grid).

The survey of 500 employers also showed 37% are considering increasing their investment in benefits this year, but almost one third of respondents with fewer than 20 employees said offering benefits such as life assurance, income protection and critical illness cover is too expensive.

The proportion of employers that currently provide life cover, income protection or critical illness cover to their workforce was 41% in 2010, compared with 37% in 2009.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said: “I find it extremely encouraging to see most businesses increasingly recognise the value of maintaining a healthy benefits package for staff. Often, when difficult trading conditions mean salary increases are put on hold, the attractiveness of an employer’s benefit package can make all the difference when seeking to attract and retain the very best candidates for an organisation.

“I would encourage businesses to take positive steps to create a healthy, modern and supportive working culture, especially at this difficult time. By including group risk benefits in the core package, employers can mitigate the risks and associated costs of long term employee absence and provide a highly valued benefit for employees.”

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