MetLife: Competitive salaries are important but not as much as employee benefits

According to the latest research commissioned by MetLife UK, two in five (40%) of employees in the UK would opt for lower salary employment if generous employee benefits were offered. This could include Group Income Protection (GIP), Death in Service, or flexible working.

Related topics:  MetLife,  Employee Benefits
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
27th March 2024
Employee Benefits
"Employers need to look beyond pay cheques and assess options for wider support and protection to attract and retain the best people."
- Adrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK

Of those surveyed (2,009), 37% said financial bonuses were the most important benefit, followed by a generous pension contribution (35%), Group Income Protection (GIP) (33%), and Private Healthcare & Dental Care (26%). Meanwhile, nearly half (47%) said hybrid or flexible working was important, and 42% were actively looking at annual leave allowances before signing a contract. 34% would like to see mental health support and wellbeing packages.

In response to these findings, MetLife UK has launched a limited term option to its GIP offering, to assist businesses with keeping their employees happy and healthy. This service will provide monthly payments for long-term absence as well as access to various supporting services such as GP24, early intervention, rehabilitation, and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).

This limited term option offers employers an affordable choice for providing cover and reducing employee absenteeism. MetLife highlighted that businesses pay, on average, £1.75mn (for an organisation with 1,000 employees) for staff absences.

“Benefits are becoming increasingly more important to employees, and rightly so. Competitive salaries are important, but businesses need to realise that it’s not the only thing candidates think about when assessing job opportunities,” explained Adrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK.

He believes the introduction of MetLife’s limited term option may provide a “more fit-for-purpose solution in the changing landscape of employment – where people move around from job to job more frequently […] Having the choice of a shorter duration of cover can reduce costs by over 50%, protecting employees for ‘the now’, whilst also protecting overheads.”

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