"The right intermediary will be able to support the employer in building their knowledge of the most appropriate employee benefits for their business, which will help to get the best possible outcome. "
- Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD
Of those surveyed (503), GRiD was concerned to find that the majority (43%) of employers know about some of the employee benefits available. This lack of market knowledge among employers could lead to them potentially missing out on new and emerging services to support their staff.
When asked about how employee benefits are put in place or reviewed, 44% of employers said that they source their employee benefits directly, by contracting a provider or supplier themselves, while 34% follow up on opportunities that are sent to them from providers or suppliers. Only 26% of employers said they source benefits via an intermediary and 23% via a trade body or federation where a third-party organisation had already vetted the provider.
Although GRiD found that large-scale businesses have a greater propensity than SMEs to speak with an adviser (40% vs 22%), the industry body believes there is still a huge opportunity for all employers to seek the support of an intermediary to source appropriate employee benefits. This is particularly true of employee benefits such as group life assurance, group income protection, and group critical illness as the market continually enhances added-value support to meet the needs of businesses and employees alike.
Notably, those who did source benefits via an intermediary saw value in doing so, with 35% of employers saying the intermediary has more expertise in employee benefits, 33% said the intermediary ensures the employee benefits they offer will help them to be a competitive employer in their industry, 33% said the intermediary helps them communicate their benefits to their workforce, 30% said the intermediary keeps them informed of trends in the employee benefits space, and 28% said the intermediary helps them spend wisely.
Commenting on these findings, Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, has said:
“Providers in our industry frequently add additional support to their services that really benefit the business, employees and their families. While some employers may be aware of such developments, it is the intermediary's responsibility to know what is available and how it may best suit an employer and their staff, and they can point employers in the right direction.
“As insurers strive to provide unique and more compelling products and services with greater flexibility and options, advisers are well placed to keep track of these developments and support employers in deciphering which ones are most appropriate for them.”