The aim of this study was to find out which benefits UK employers are offering to their staff and how these are delivered. We wanted to find out the impact of the benefits strategies employers use and the issues that shape them. We also wanted to identify the key decision-makers within an organisation when it comes to benefits. The research also looks at what methods are used to communicate benefits to staff and their effectiveness.
About the survey
The research was conducted during January and February 2007. Questionnaires were sent to the readers of Employee Benefits magazine to complete.
Users of www.employee benefits.co.uk were also invited to fill in the questionnaire online. This research is based on 378 complete responses.
The respondents were drawn from all types of organisations, half of which were privately owned (55%) and 17% were from the public sector.
Three-quarters of the respondents were from organisations with 5,000 employees or fewer.
The key findings are:
- 62% of employers say their benefits strategy helps improve staff motivation and productivity. The same proportion believes it engages staff in the organisation.
- 57% of employers believe their benefits strategies are an effective recruitment tool, and 55% an effective retention tool.
- 73% of employers say the biggest issue facing them is improving the perceived value of the benefits package, while 65% say that they battle to make benefits more cost effective.
- 63% of employers say they struggle to communicate the benefits package, while 58% want to improve engagement levels.
- 76% of employers believe that their own benefits package provides value for money, but only 41% of employers evaluate the effectiveness of their benefits strategy.
- 54% of employers believe that workers do not appreciate their benefits package and 41% believe it is outdated.
- 65% of employers say managing directors, chief executives or equivalent have primary responsibility for benefits decisions.
- 62% of employers offer life assurance to all employees, making it is the most widely offered benefit.
- 51% of employers offer counselling or employee assistance programmes to all staff, which is the second most widely offered benefit.
- 19% of employers offer a flexible benefits scheme to all staff and 8% to some.
- 52% of employers offer a voluntary benefits scheme to all staff, while 6% do offer them to some.
- 60% of employers offer benefits through salary sacrifice to all staff, while 12% offer this to some employees. Where they do offer benefits through salary sacrifice, 42% of this group pass the tax and national insurance savings back to employees, while 18% split the savings with them.