The hottest employee benefit of 2017 is…

The hottest employee benefit of 2017 is…

Companies stateside are missing a trick on their employee benefits: student loan repayment assistance.

Forbes reports that it is becoming increasingly common for US firms to use this initiative to improve the attraction and retention rates of Millennials.

76% of respondents to an American Student Assistance Survey last year said that a deciding or contributing factor to them accepting a job would be if a potential employer offered a student loan repayment.

However, just four per cent of companies currently provide such a benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Forbes adds that employees are typically responsible for income taxes on the assistance received, and to expect this percentage to increase in the coming year.

This news matches an increasing trend of HR departments noticing, and looking after, their employee’s wellbeing. Research by Balmoral Financial earlier this year found that money matters and money management was a benefit that is currently not up to scratch - followed by workplace flexibility (22%).

Yet only four per cent of those asked stated that their workforce was currently taking advantage of a product or service to help with their money matters; indicating that an issue between the benefits available and the communication of them is hindering the wellbeing of the workforce.

Karim Peer, CEO of Balmoral Financial, gave us his thoughts at the time: “It is encouraging to see that HR professionals specifically rate financial wellbeing as important. But businesses need to take the lead when it comes to erasing the stigma around financial struggles and this can only be achieved by encouraging employees to be transparent about their situation. 

“Employees are far more likely to seek help from their employer in respect of financial issues if an employer encourages an honest conversation without judgement and proactively provides support to help them manage their finances effectively.” 

How do you think this can be addressed? Let us know in the comments below...

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