More employers would offer PMI if tax was removed

More than half of employers would extend the number of staff covered by private medical insurance (PMI) if the benefit-in-kind tax the perk currently incurs was removed.

Just 16% of employers offer PMI cover to all employees in their workforce, according to The UK workplace: Engaging employees and employers in benefits, pensions, financial capability and health published by Axa. However, more than 60% would extend the number of staff covered by such a scheme if the benefit-in-kind tax was removed.

This was most pronounced among organisations with a benefits spend of £101,000-£249,000 per year. Some 90% of these employers said that they would do so, compared with 75% of organisations that spend less than £100,000 on benefits annually. The survey also found that the majority of employer respondents fail to make a connection between employee wellbeing and performance.

Just 11% said they would be spurred on to take a more active role in ensuring their staff were healthy by a better understanding of the financial costs of unhealthy employees on the business. More than a quarter (26%), however, would be prompted to take action if they experienced rising sickness absence levels.

Yet employees who were surveyed for the same report placed a high value on healthcare perks. Just under half of these said they would like to receive PMI from their employer, while 40% wanted their organisation to provide sickness or disability pay and dental insurance.

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