Friends Provident urges employers to hold steady for a brighter future

Robyn Hall

March 17, 2010

As economic pressures persist and businesses continue to review benefit packages as a means of reducing overheads, Friends Provident is calling on employers to think carefully before pulling benefits.

The insurer believes this could be counterintuitive and many employers could risk losing key staff in the event of a future upturn in the UK economy.

A recent study conducted as part of Friends Provident’s Visions of Britain 2020 campaign found health benefits are highly valued by employees so much so that in some cases they would even be willing to have their salary reduced in order to receive them.

Over one third (34%) of those surveyed said they would be prepared to take a pay cut to receive health insurance and a further 21% said they would accept a lower salary to receive income protection from their employer.

Friends Provident believes the figures suggest the need for employers to resist the temptation to tinker with those elements of an employee benefit package, especially as these can play a key role in retaining existing staff and attracting new employees when the recovery begins.

Declan White, group risk marketing manager, said:”Employers are increasingly facing the quandary of whether to ‘retain, revise or remove’ their employee benefit packages.

“It is important for employers to consider not only the cost, but the perceived value of the benefits held by their staff, as part of their decision making rationale.

“Even in today’s uncertain economic times, employees will still look at what benefits they have versus what benefits they could have elsewhere. And the grass may well be greener.”

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