Majority of creative sector employers offer benefits above basic salary

Almost all (98%) employers in the creative sector offer benefits to employees over and above basic salary and holiday entitlement compared to 90% in 2009.

The figures, from the Kingston Smith W1 Employee Benefits Survey, also indicate that the majority of respondents intend to increase the level of benefits they provide as part of their employee remuneration package.

Respondents agreed or strongly agreed that having a varied employee benefits package was valuable in terms of helping to recruit, retain and motivate employees. The top factors in staff retention were: enjoying the work (95%), recognition of a job well done (90%), and rewards and bonuses (88%). The benefits package is also a key component at 46%.

When it comes to the most popular benefits, holiday entitlement (79%), bonuses (74%) and flexible working (46%) were cited as the top three.

Focusing on the non-insured elements of the benefits package offered, with holiday entitlement (76%), performance-related bonuses (74%) and the cycle-to-work scheme (69%) coming out on top, there is little change to the most popular benefits offered by organisations when compared to the 2009 results.

In terms of the insured elements, stakeholder pension arrangements (69%), private medical insurance (69%) and life cover (69%) all feature strongly, as does the provision of healthcare benefits (67%).

Mandy Merron, a partner at Kingston Smith W1, said: “The economic downturn meant that pay freezes and, in some cases, pay cuts were the norm in 2009. So some companies may have already broadened their employee benefits offering to help boost staff morale, while others may look do so over the coming year to hold onto their brightest and best.

“The challenge is to balance steps to improve the working environment with offering a competitive salary and a more varied and flexible set of benefits. Organisations that achieve this balance are likely to be able to attract and retain talented individuals who can contribute to the company’s success.”

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