Apart from the occasional switching of the benefits in first and second place, there has been little change in the top core benefits offered to all staff over the past seven years. This year, life assurance (also known as death in service) is the most commonly offered core benefit just as in 2004 and 2010.
This is followed for the second year running by training and development. Although this was viewed as a separate HR entity from compensation and benefits for many years, the development of total reward strategies means training and development is now included in the employment package in many organisations.
An employee assistance programme (EAP) or employee counselling is a mainstay of many employers’ core benefits, but its popularity has grown significantly over the years. In 2004, EAPs were offered by just 30% of respondents, but this year, 71% say they offer it as a core benefit to all employees, and a further 4% offer it to some staff. This growth may have been driven by a greater awareness of employee stress and its impact within the workplace, along with a desire to support staff suffering from such problems.
Other benefits that have consistently remained popular over the years include childcare vouchers, extra holidays for long service, payroll giving and additional voluntary contributions to pensions.
Read more articles on Employee Benefits/Alexander Forbes Benefits Research 2011