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08 Sep 2021

Three high priority employee benefits issues global employers need to focus on

Employers with global footprints need to be thinking about how the pandemic has impacted their people around the world. Here we outline three high priority areas that employers should focus on.




Mental health

First, the mental health impact of Covid has been felt severely across the globe, but in some countries the problems are getting worse, and health services are not sufficient to cope. In Brazil and India for instance, employers may want to ensure their staff have access to mental health support, perhaps via an Employee Assistance Programme(EAP).

EAPs are available globally, and some major providers are offering special expedited implementations to help you get support to your employees sooner.

Group risk insurance

Second, Covid is having a profound effect on insurance markets around the world. Employers that insure long-term disability risks may find unhelpful cost increases at renewal, due to insurers worrying about the long-term impact of Covid on physical and mental health. Conversely, long-term disability insurance has never been more important!

Life insurance and health insurance in some key markets have also been impacted in similar ways. We think it will be prudent for employers to pay particular attention at forthcoming renewals, and to work with their brokers to support a global approach to protecting employees. This may be as simple as having a consistent global philosophy for protecting employees, or it may be using your global footprint to secure better terms and conditions for your insurance through mechanisms like multinational pooling or global underwriting.

Benefits delivery 

Lastly, we are observing a big trend from our global clients who are needing to re-assess how they deliver benefits and perks in the workplace.

For many companies it is the office culture and environment that keeps employees happy and motivated, combined with perks like food and drinks, or wellbeing benefits like on-site gyms and massages. With the dramatic shift to homeworking, and a prediction of significantly reduced time in offices, companies are re-thinking this model.

We have identified three main approaches:

  1. A focus on building online communities.
  2. An emphasis on alluring people back to the office.
  3. Building a programme of perks and benefits that can be managed and communicated to employees everywhere.

Whichever the approach, we think a winning strategy will be one that identifies and respects the uniqueness of each location, aligns closely with company strategy and is communicated effectively.

This article is provided by Smith & Williamson.

In partnership with Smith & Williamson

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