We recently attended the Employee Benefits Live conference and exhibition in London, and as always it was a great way to see what the latest trends are. Read our summary of what we found...
Leading edge benefits packages need to be designed with relevance to the employee population, the organisation’s culture and values – and its budget. You should ideally provide an holistic set of benefits from which staff can choose and we recommend that a benefits package should typically look to cover five areas:
Research shows that financial security, as well as health and wellbeing are the most significant workplace concerns for employees. It was therefore no surprise that wellbeing was still the trending theme.
The market for digital benefits platforms has matured and providers are now providing sophisticated systems that make use of smart phone and tablet access to provide to a wide range of benefits to more employees.
In 2018, we found that the emphasis was on physical and mental wellness, with plenty of products to promote healthy living and to provide practical support, such as on-line GP services.
We also noticed a shift towards financial products this year.
Responsible lending products were the most promoted benefits, where loans are provided to staff with payments taken directly from salary. These appeal most to employees aged from 25 to 35, and providers have identified that people predominantly use the funds to consolidate existing debts, improve their homes or fund a car purchase.
We heard several case studies which demonstrated how these products are attractive to employers as they cost nothing, but make a big difference to staff by breaking the cycle of debt and removing associated stress – boosting their engagement and productivity in the process.
Lending is carefully regulated, but, as a consequence, initial rejection rates tend to be higher. This is largely because a high proportion of early applications are judged to be unaffordable or because of poor credit history.
Companies that have introduced these schemes have highlighted the need for careful launch communication, ideally with face to face input, and good loan providers will offer support to rejected applicants as part of their service.
If you are considering strengthening your financial wellbeing benefits provision, then it is worth looking at bringing in a responsible lending scheme – possibly alongside an ISA or other savings product.
News and views from the EBRS team
Updates and opinions on the world of employee pay and reward from the team at EBRS. We've archived articles from before 2016.