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Is it time to modernise company benefits?


Nigel Saunders

Employee Benefits Consultant

 

 

A workplace with quiet zones, open collaboration spaces, a staff shop, hair salon, medical centre, and a yoga room.

That’s exactly what Unilever’s Singapore employees can expect after the business giant launched its first purpose built global campus to support hybrid working.

Closer to home, latest ONS data show, of working adults homeworking, 85% wanted to use a hybrid approach in the future.

This indicates a shift. A global shift, and a sizeable one at that.

Surely too, from an employee benefits perspective, this will result in a big change in your provision to reflect these circumstances?

Not necessarily.

Providers have been quick to evolve their products to meet changing requirements. As such, you might even find a lot of what you are looking for, including options tailored to hybrid working, is already covered under your existing policies.

The challenge can be to identify what you have already in place that works for your employees and business and identify what needs to be reviewed without compromising on the benefits already in place.

 

Case study

A potential new client recognised it needed a plan to help its’ employees. Ideally, it wanted something that comprised 24/7 mental health support, financial and legal advice, and other counselling services.

The employer had allocated budget to fund an employee assistance plan (EAP) to deliver the services. [circa £1000+].

However, the good news was for this company, we were able to discuss this matter prior to them committing to the proposed outlay and highlight that all these services and more, including support material was available to them at no additional to their existing Group Income Protection insurance policy.

In this instance the services were comprehensive, including —

  • Access to a virtual GP 24/7 for the employee and their household, whether they were at home or overseas. This was particularly valuable given insurance providers experienced an 58% increase in people turning to this GP service during lockdown [Life Insurance International Dec 20].
  • Medical second opinion
  • Mental health support counselling
  • Financial support to help stop smoking (something that many employees struggled with during the pandemic) [Canada life – ‘’we care’’ EAP]
  • Get fit guidance and diet support
  • Financial and legal guidance
  • Life counselling

Consequently, the employer reallocated the available budget to buy a retail discount portal, which offers substantial discounts on everyday shopping through regular retail outlets, saving employees money.

 

The reality

Many employee benefits of this kind are increasingly available under group life policies, group medical insurance and other core regular employee benefits.

So, if your company is moving towards a hybrid employment model and you believe your employees will benefit from additional support, please contact us for a no obligation discussion to help guide you in the right direction.

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