Wellbeing | How to ensure your benefits are fit for changing employee needs

How to ensure your benefits are fit for changing employee needs

By Sarah Lloyd, Strategic Development Director and Roger Fairhead, Group Reward Director at Legal & General

The pandemic has fast-tracked many challenges and opportunities. And, never more so than where employee wellbeing is concerned.

The need for peace of mind protection hasn’t changed – in fact it’s arguably more pronounced in the minds of employees now – but the need to ensure it’s accessible, engaging and personalised is now becoming a hygiene factor. In amongst the everyday challenges of people management and the broad agenda you’re facing in the new world of work, you needn’t feel alone in tackling these issues. Your insurance providers and intermediary consultants are who you should be turning to for help.

It feels like we’re in a state of unfreeze at the moment. A societal shift. The pandemic has forced us all to adapt in ways we never previously imagined. It has helped shift leadership focus squarely onto employee wellbeing. Also, consider Black Lives Matter, climate change. And, now, following the landmark Supreme Court ruling that Uber’s claimant drivers can be classed as ‘workers’ instead of self-employed. We’re a massive step further towards much improved job and salary protections for millions of other ‘gig’ or contract workers.

While challenging, it’s in these states of flux that opportunities are born. As an insurer, we are just one part of a company that is leading the way in responding to the societal, economic and environmental challenges that cannot be ignored. We bring that vision and desire to make a difference to our insurance business, and are innovating to enable our customers to adapt to these changing market forces too, by shifting from one-size-fits-all solutions that sit apart from wellbeing programmes, to something altogether more integrated and engaging. And recognising cost pressures, this can be done in a way that is cost-neutral.

This innovation is called Protect. It’s a next generation group insurance solution for Life, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection that’s designed to revolutionise employee engagement with protection benefits. It brings to employees the kind of digital experience they’re used to in their everyday lives. Via Protect, employees can dial up or dial down cover whenever they like, ensuring that individual needs are met. And if something changes, they aren’t locked into a decision they made in a two-week annual flex window. This may seem like a nuance, but at a time of flux, change and uncertainty, this behavioural-insight-led feature is invaluable, in helping your multi-cultural, multi-generational workforce protect their most important asset – their ability to work and earn a living.



Available on either an employer-paid basis, voluntary (where employees pay) or a mix of both, it brings efficiencies of scale. Offering retail market beating rates, think of it like a supermarket getting vegetables and other supplies cheaper than a local market stall!

Roger Fairhead, Group Reward Director at Legal & General, has first-hand experience of the need to deliver more for less with regards to employee benefit provision.

“Employees’ needs have been changing for decades, and we - as employers - never caught up. Senior people decree what benefits employees should receive and it gets stuck there,” he said.

“2020 has proven that’s not a model for the future. Employees are much more aware of their own wants and needs, with regard to workplace benefits. They want to know what circumstances are covered. And we need to respond to that, if we’re going to continue to engage employees.

“At Legal & General, like most employers, we tend to set benefits in a prescriptive way and probably over-insure. For example, we used to pride ourselves on giving 8 x Life cover, but is this really needed by employees? Is it giving good value?

“With Protect, which is available to our own employees now, we can reallocate some of that spend, ensuring a core level of life cover, and providing access to more Income Protection and Critical Illness cover with the ability to top up or reduce cover levels to suit each employees needs. This has introduced more choice, flexibility and personalisation for all employees. It’s a classic win-win.”

Find out more about how Protect can help your business.

Find out more about our how we can support the wellbeing of your employees.

Find out more about Protect

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