19% plan to increase benefits spend in 2016

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Around a fifth (19%) of employer respondents plan to increase spend on employee benefits over the next 12 months, according to research by Aviva.

Its Working lives report, which surveyed more than 1,000 employers and 4,000 employees in the private sector during the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2016, also found that 25% of organisations with more than 250 employees intend to increase their benefits spend.

The research also found:

  • Around a third (62%) of employer respondents intend to maintain the amount they spend on workplace benefits over the next year.
  • 18% of employer respondents are concerned about keeping up with employees’ pay and benefits package expectations, compared to 13%
  • More than half (56%) of employer respondents offer employee benefits to support staff attraction and retention, compared to 44% in 2013.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) include employee benefits as a key element of their annual strategic planning.
  • 67% of private sector employee respondents are happy with the impact of work on time spent with their family, up from 53% in 2013.
  • More than half (56%) of employee respondents in the private sector are happy with the impact of work on their health. This compares to 45% in 2013.
  • 25% of employer respondents that have gone through auto-enrolment cite the modernisation of their pension scheme as the biggest effect of the process, while 20% say the biggest impact is the ability to provide better pensions for staff.
  • Almost a third (61%) of employer respondents agree with making the workplace the focus for automatic pension savings, compared to 58% in 2013.

Andy Curran, managing director of corporate and business solutions at Aviva, said: “This report paints a very positive picture of the workplace in Britain on the whole, and it is pleasing to see that, with confidence improved since 2013, businesses are again looking to invest in their workplace benefit packages.

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“Additional benefits are a great way to attract and retain skilled employees and increased investment gives a clear indication that employers are again looking to expand, rather than just survive.

“Auto-enrolment has played a major role in that and it’s good to see that those which have been through it are reporting positive experiences. For employers, the journey may not have been as smooth, especially for those smaller businesses with limited resources. But auto-enrolment is encouraging millions of people to save for their futures and the work businesses of all sizes are doing to support it is very encouraging.”