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01 Feb 2023

The top 5 employee benefits, as voted for by your workforce

Survey by Claro reveals what employees really value when it comes to benefits – and what they don’t

The top 5 employee benefits, as voted for by your workforce.jpg 1


A good employee benefits package can play a big part in what makes a business successful – but how many companies know the top five employee benefits in the UK?

Not every staff member has the same wants or needs. The key is creating a diverse package that meets the needs of your workforce at whatever age or stage of life they are at.

Get it right and you’ll reap the rewards. Research shows that 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of a strong benefits programme.

Claro Wellbeing asked more than 1,300 people to pick their number one employee benefit and here is what they chose …

1 & 2. Gym membership and mental health support

Employee wellbeing has become a significant focus for HR teams across the country in recent years with physical and mental health rightfully prioritised.

Almost two in three workers (60%) would like discounted or gym membership included in their benefits package, while 51% list mental health support.

Businesses appear to be offering mental health benefits that staff value – 74% of workers say their employer supports their mental health exceptionally well (22%) or averagely well (52%). When employees are happy and healthy they are their most productive at work.

However physical and mental health support, such as counselling, online therapy or helplines, are just two of the three pillars of employee wellbeing. The third pillar is financial wellbeing – which affects both physical and mental health.

Stacey Lowman, head of employee wellbeing at Claro Wellbeing, says: “HR professionals should consider going beyond mental and physical health support and offer solutions that get to the root of the problem.”

3. Health insurance

Perhaps unsurprisingly, health insurance is a particularly popular employee perk, with 55% putting it above others.

Given the current pressure on the NHS and the expense of private medical care for individuals, health insurance is bound to be popular. It’s also one of the most common company benefits with almost one in four (24%) of staff having access to it.

Employers like this benefit too, as it offers staff swift treatment for illness or injury and so minimises the amount of time they need to take off.

Teams can also speak to doctors outside working hours. However, health cover can be expensive to provide at between £250 and £1,000 a year per employee and may not be viable for small businesses.

4. Financial education and wellbeing

Almost one in two (50%) employees opted for some form of financial education and wellbeing benefits when asked. This could include one-to-one financial coaching, webinars or workshops, on-demand educational resources and digital tools.

Over a quarter (27%) of working adults feel happy and in control about their finances, according to Claro Wellbeing research.

The rest say they are concerned, unhappy, stressed or overwhelmed – and this is having a significant impact on our health, relationships and work performance.

More than two in three (69%) of employees say their organisation should do more to support their personal finances and almost three quarters (73%) would welcome guidance that helps them save money every month.

Read how to put together a successful strategy to support employees here.

5. Childcare support

Some 50% of workers also picked childcare vouchers as their top employee benefit.

The UK is one of the most expensive places worldwide for childcare, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

The UK Government’s Childcare vouchers, which allow parents to pay for nurseries and childminders from their pre-tax salary, can cut the cost by hundreds of pounds a year.

However the scheme closed to new applicants in October 2018 and only employers that signed up before the cut-off date can offer them.

Considering this is a valuable benefit to offer working parents, introducing other types of childcare support such as a nursery at work or contracting a childcare provider would prove a boon to your employees.

If that's not doable, try offering flexible working hours or letting staff work from home to improve their work-life balance.

And the worst …

We also asked UK workers if their employers offered any benefits they saw as a ‘waste of time’.

The top answer was a beer tap (28%), followed by ping pong and football tables (26%). While these perks are fun, it shows that different employees value different benefits at work and when looking for a new job.

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In partnership with Claro Wellbeing

A financial wellbeing benefit to support your team where it matters most

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