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09 Nov 2022
by Dawn Lewis

How global benefits design is continuing to evolve

Reward and benefits strategies are changing to better support global consistency and flexibility

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The UK has one of the most developed employee benefits markets in world. Coupled with legislation that supports workers rights and provides employees with statutory minimums, the benefits on offer to UK employees is often more favourable than those awarded to their international colleagues. Yet there are changes afoot.

The move towards aligning reward and benefits globally is not new. However, the drivers behind this shift are changing and becoming more prominent. 

Ahead of REBA’s Future Forum, taking place on 24 November in London, we spoke to some of our roundtable hosts about the shifts they are seeing in global benefits design, and why these are happening now. 

1. Diversity, equity & inclusion

DEI was seen as top driver for change within global benefits by our roundtable hosts. With several citing DEI as the focus in their organisation, covering anything from equal parental leave, through to wellbeing provisions. 

As Alison Hanlan, director of reward at Brambles comments, there is “a move towards a global benefit framework with key benefits which are available to all employees. Driven by the focus on DEI as well as the rise of globally distributed teams”.

2. The need for flexibility

Hanlan’s latter point, focusing on flexibility, highlights how a more global and flexible workforce – often working from different locations – is also adding to the need to level benefits offerings.

Ketan Patel, head of APAC and EMEA benefits at Haleon, says that there will be “more flexibility. Most countries do not have the same benefits flexibilities as we have in the UK, there are signs that this is changing and will mean a broader range of benefits will be available to employees globally over the coming years”.

3. Benefits harmonisation

Harmonisation is still a key factor within the global benefits market and is continuing to drive change. However, what is different, is the elements that are guiding this change. Previously harmonisation was very much focused on the practical side of managing benefits and helping to make efficiencies. Now employee wellbeing is coming to the fore in terms of levelling benefits provisions.

As Tereza Odunoye, head of international benefits at Nuveen, notes it’s about the “harmonisation of benefits where possible – [with] broader wellbeing provisions to support with this”.

During REBA’s Future Forum our roundtables will discuss a range of topics, including ‘Evolutions in global benefits design’, while there are also a range of speaker sessions to attend such as: How four megatrends are shaping the way organisations recognise and reward their employees globally. View the full agenda.