Employee Benefits on the Rise in 2022

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Eight in 10 employees feel more motivated by a good company benefits package, but which ones hold the most value with top talent in 2022? 

Most common employee benefits in the UK

The five benefits most commonly offered in the UK include:

Benefit

% companies offering this benefit

Paid bereavement leave

82%

Christmas parties

79%

Training and career development

78%

Employee Assistance Programmes

76%

Free drinks in the office

73%

At least 15% more companies offer these benefits now than before the pandemic started. This strongly indicates a trend in how employers and employees perceive the importance of workplace benefits beyond salary.

Five most popular benefits being offered since the pandemic

Since the pandemic, 17% more companies have introduced flexible working, with 15% introducing training and career development benefits. The five most popular benefits being offered since the pandemic include:

Benefit

% increase of companies first offering this benefit since March 2020

Physical fitness programmes

22%

Discounted insurance (health, dental, travel)

20%

Company parties, meals, events

19%

Employee assistance programs

19%

Christmas parties

19%

Many of these are unsurprising: working from home brought home the importance of work’s social side and emphasised that mental wellbeing cannot be ignored in the workplace. Employers were attuned to those parts of working life that people felt the lack of in working from home and tried to compensate via reinforcing their benefits efforts.

A group of work colleagues walking down some stairs in an office space while smiling and laughing

Increasing health and wellbeing benefits

Since Covid, there has been a noticeable rise in wellness-related benefits, including:

Benefit

% companies offering this benefit

Free drinks in the office

79%

Employee assistance programmes

76%

Paid sick leave

74%

Free eye tests

72%

Financial support for those in isolation

48%

Most valued benefits, according to employees

These are the wellbeing benefits that are most valuable to employees:

Benefit

% employees that rated these benefits as highly valuable

Virtual mental health counselling

35%

Insurance to reduce cost of mental health treatment

34%

Tools to help build mindfulness and resilience

34%

Virtual support groups

34%

Tools for training on how to help others with mental health problems

32%

Professional in a green shirt and glasses smiling into a laptop during a video call.

The most popular financial benefits

Offering a workplace pension is now a legal requirement for all businesses in the UK. However, financial benefits cover a much broader range of perks which can boost employee engagement. The most commonly offered financial benefits are:

Benefit

% companies offering this benefit

Paying a voluntary living wage

69%

Employer pension scheme (6% contribution)

62%

Christmas bonus

59%

Debt counselling

57%

Financial scam education

47%

Large companies offer financial benefits more frequently than SMEs. For example, whereas just 44% of SMEs offer a pension scheme with a 6% contribution, 77% of larger organisations provide this benefit.

Financial support for childcare is also a key consideration for many job-seekers. Whether it’s offering vouchers (53%), emergency childcare (23%) or providing nurseries and day-care on-site (5%), childcare benefits can also help you to attract employees who are looking to start a family while working at your company. This is particularly important considering the number of parents who consider leaving work due to the costs of childcare.  

Employee benefits on the rise in 2022

With benefits becoming an increasingly common factor for job seekers, it’s unsurprising that many companies are looking to further invest in team member benefit schemes to attract top candidates.

Areas businesses are planning on investing in this year include:

Benefit

% businesses planning an increased spend on this benefit in 2022

Career development opportunities

44%

Financial benefits

30%

Health and wellbeing benefits

27%

Paid Leave Benefits

16%

Personal and family benefits

13%

Increasing employee engagement with benefits

A recent YouGov poll reveals that only 57% of employees have been told about the benefit schemes at their work. Even fewer (53%) have been given information on how to access their benefits, and only half know how their benefits could help them.

This points to a crucial way for employers to improve employee engagement and create productive benefits schemes. Beyond just investing in attractive benefits packages, employers need to shout about them and inform their teams of everything on offer in their workplace too.

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