Two-fifths want health insurance as an employee benefit


Two-fifths (40%) of staff want health insurance added to their benefits package, according to research by employee services business Personal Group.

Its survey of 1,007 UK employees also found that 34% of respondents would like access to discounted gym memberships, while 28% would appreciate rewards linked to physical activity. A quarter (24%) want their employer to introduce physical health-related incentives, such as interdepartmental step challenges or competitions.

Approximately seven in 10 (70%) respondents who sit down to work stand up every hour, while 38% move away from their desk every two hours or more. In addition, 32% of UK employees surveyed regularly eat at their desk and 60% opt to drive to work rather than walk (15%) or cycle (4%).

Rebecca Tapping (pictured), group HR director at Personal Group, said: “Being active at work can be difficult. We can see from this research just how much of the UK’s workforce is neglecting physical wellbeing during the working day, and that many are in fact looking to their employers to support them in the area. Whether that’s through greater access to health benefits, such as discounted gym membership or health insurance, [or] interdepartmental challenges to get people moving and increase their workplace steps.”

Of the respondents aged between 45 and 54, 45% do not think employers should be allowed to access their health data. This compares to 40% of male respondents and 24% of female respondents who think that their employer should be able to access their health statistics if they are offering physical health-related incentives.

Male respondents are more likely to prefer access to cycle-to-work schemes (15%) than female respondents (8%), and would also be more enthusiastic about using a video doctor service (13% versus 9%). Female staff, on the other hand, place higher value on incentives such as step challenges, with 28% of women wanting access to these compared to 19% of men.

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More than half (55%) of those aged between 18 and 24 rate discounted gym membership as the benefit they most want to see implemented, while 42% of those aged 35 and over cite health insurance as their preferred benefit.

Tapping added: “[There is] a clear opportunity here for employers to help increase the wellbeing of their workforce, increase productivity and create an environment where people want to work.”