Benefits | Employees working in Europe? How to reduce the benefits burden

Employees working in Europe? How to reduce the benefits burden

By Damian Ross, Regional Manager – UK, Ireland & Nordics, Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) Network

With 4 in 10 employers reporting difficulty in filling vacancies over the last year and one third stating problems in retaining staff members1, the provision of quality benefits for your employees has never been greater.

You need to read on if you:

  • Are a small to mid-sized company with any number of employees working in any of the 28 EU countries.

  • Want to reduce the administrative burden of arranging insurances in different countries.

  • Are looking for a simplified, compliant yet competitive Group Risk solution for your employees across Europe.

Brexit takes a back seat to skills shortages when it comes to the biggest challenge facing business today. Talent acquisition and retention are central to the HR agenda for the next two years and highlight issues that are affecting the quality of work in organisations2. The latest CIPD/Adecco Labour Market Outlook1 found that 4 in 10 employers report it has become harder to fill vacancies over the last year, with a third stating it’s grown more difficult to retain staff members.

More companies are looking to recruit across borders to get the best people for the job. However, this can bring all sorts of administrative issues, not least of which is trying to ensure a competitive, locally compliant and future-proof benefits package.

With tight budgets and the ongoing need to do more with less, HR are having to get creative.

Organisational wellbeing foundations

As pay remains largely stagnant1, benefits have the potential to play a big part in recruitment and retention: especially Group Risk, which is inexpensive to offer yet covers your life and disability liabilities plus affords access to a vast array of free added-value wellbeing services for employees, giving you the foundation you need to establish organisational wellbeing.

Better communication of benefits

Many companies are looking to make changes to their benefits offering – if only to communicate what’s already available to employees: 6 in 10 multinational companies based in the UK and Ireland currently do not communicate Total Reward (the value of pay plus benefits) to employees. At the same time, two fifths say that if they continue doing what they are doing with regards to benefits, recruitment and retention will become more problematic3.

A supportive partner

Enter Networks: basically a partnership of local insurers affording access to different products around the world. Using a network for benefits such as life insurance and disability cover can bring advantages to employers in terms of reduced costs, improved underwriting and service and reporting on a global and local scale.

For mid-sized to larger companies, these arrangements can be tailored to suit and can bring savings to companies from those associated with economies of scale, to a payment of a potential annual dividend.

The local and global expertise of Networks can also be utilised in other, similar, ways – for example, off-the-shelf or bundled group risk solutions for much smaller companies that have employees across Europe, such as that offered by Utmost PanEurope, part of the GEB Network. This can include life, disability, accident and critical illness cover. It provides one point of contact for a Pan European Group Risk solution, lowering your administration burden as well as your costs in the process.

These contracts can be included in a flex benefits arrangement, allowing employees to top up their benefits to suit their personal circumstances. They can also form part of a multinational pooling programme if required.

Whilst the future post-Brexit might not be certain, the ongoing need to recruit and retain locally is a given. Fortunately, the headache of ensuring all your people are appropriately covered in home or host countries is avoidable.


1 Labour Market Outlook, Spring 2019, CIPD / The Adecco Group, 
2 HR Practices in Ireland survey 2019, CIPD, 
3 Total Reward & Wellbeing for Multinational Companies, HR Grapevine & Generali UK, 

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Generali UK provides Group Life Assurance, Group Income Protection - plus added-value wellbeing services - to the UK employees of multinational clients. Generali UK is also pioneering Wellbeing Investment Matching, helping clients fund discrete, tailored wellbeing initiatives where a need has been identified.

Access to a range of multinational pooling and captive solutions is available via: Generali Employee Benefits Network (GEB), and a range of non-life coverages is available via Generali Global Corporate & Commercial.