EXCLUSIVE: 54% of employers have made mental health a key focus

EXCLUSIVE: 54% have made mental health a key focus

In 2020, the importance of mental wellbeing is as prevalent as ever; although slightly down on 2019, 54% stated that it was a key focus for the coming year compared to 60%that said the same last year, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020, which surveyed 200 HR decision-makers, also found that 44% of respondents are likely to take action around mental wellbeing in the coming months.

Communication still seems to be consistently at the forefront of employers’ minds according to 52% of respondents, similar to 51% in 2019. Ensuring that employees are aware of, and engage with, the healthcare initiatives and products that are available to them, can be key to ensuring employers see a return on the investment in providing these benefits.

Increasing the number of healthcare benefits offered appears to be on the decline this year with 35% currently planning to do so, compared to 44% in 2019. However, this might be due to the Coronavirus pandemic and a switch in priority for a number of organisations, with 30% of businesses having introduced policies and/or benefits to support employees during the pandemic.

Furthermore, a quarter (25%) are prioritising this over the next 12 months during and post pandemic. It is interesting to see that financial support has decreased by five percentage points year on year from 29% in 2019 to 24% in 2020, however, in the next 12 months, 40% of respondents say they will be looking at investing in this area.

The percentage of respondents that have taken no action around health benefits was at an all time low in 2019 (12%) but this has crept up to 20% over the past 12 months and continues to look that way over the next 12 (20%); again quite possibly a knock-on effect of the pandemic.

Click here to download the Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020