GRiD concerned about 37% of employers who plan to directly fund employee benefits

According to the latest research commissioned by Group Risk Development (GRiD), 43% of employers intend to increase employee benefits investment within the next twelve months.

Related topics:  GRiD,  New Research
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
19th March 2024
Stressed CEO
"We encourage employers to discuss their approach with experts, both providers and intermediaries, to keep abreast of developments in this fast-changing industry."
- Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for GRiD

Of those surveyed (500), 44% of employers said they’re looking to extend this support to more of their workforce since ill-health and injury doesn’t discriminate by role or seniority. However, 37% of employers concerningly revealed that they plan to directly fund these benefits rather than utilise an established employee benefits provider.

In response, Group Risk Development (GRiD) has suggested that employers should re-evaluate this decision to avoid inadvertent inequality. The industry body highlighted that when benefits are contracted, employees have access to equal support without preference, prejudice, or discrimination.

Providing comprehensive benefits is vital for reducing turnover and improving employee retention. GRiD emphasised that if staff are both happy and health, this will increase productivity throughout any organisation.

Since communication is a major driver of employee benefit utilisation, GRiD was pleased to find 43% of employers plan to encourage greater engagement, with 40% intending to make it easier to access support via apps/online portals and a further 40% deciding to increase communications on what support is available.

“Based on these findings, the landscape for employee support is looking positive,” said Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for GRiD. However, the industry body encourages employers to discuss their approach with experts, both providers and intermediaries, to keep abreast of developments in this fast-changing industry. “Increased investment is good, but any budget must be spent wisely to get value,” she concluded.

Responding to GRiD’s warning, Clare Lusted, Head of Product Proposition at Unum UK, has said “We welcome these new findings that more than two in five employers in the UK intend to increase their investment to provide support for their staff throughout the next twelve months.”

Clare highlighted recently research commissioned by Unum, which found 56% thought their wider employee benefits package had a positive impact. 57% stated that employer-provided health and wellbeing schemes would be a key factor in staying with their current employer.

“Although a sizeable minority of UK businesses investing more in employee benefits is good news, simply offering benefits in isolation isn’t enough. Engagement is essential to drive higher utilisation across all sections of their workforce, which requires employers to have targeted and meaningful communication and engagement strategies in place,” she explained.

If this new investment were to happen, Clare believes a broader definition of occupational health to widen access to these services could be hugely beneficial for employers, employees, and society alike.

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