` Top 10 stories from this week: Reward vs. benefits, which will win? | Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA)
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25 Feb 2022
by Elizabeth Howlett

Top 10 stories from this week: Reward vs. benefits, which will win?

Inflation and retention issues are hitting UK organisations as they see talent slip through their fingers because of pay concerns.


Top 10 stories from this week: Reward vs. benefits, which will win?


There is growing evidence that reward and benefits are now pitted against each other, as businesses may need to grapple between improving  the benefits offering or increasing pay. This week a survey published by recruiter Michael Page found the pandemic-era’s most valued benefit, flexible working, has been hauled off the top spot for employees who now see salary as their top priority.

Four in ten (40%) cited salary as the primary reason for seeking out a new role, compared to three in ten (30%) for flexible working. Additionally, of those who said they are not currently looking for a new role, just under half (49%) said that a significant pay rise would persuade them to leave. However, a global poll by Targus found that employers that have flexible working policies have seen a 20% improvement in recruitment and retention compared to two years ago. 

Against the backdrop of the war for talent, the great resignation and skills shortages, the argument for improving the benefits offering to make your organisation attractive to new and current employees is compelling. It is clear that although money is currently a key motivator for those seeking new roles, benefits are still a fundamental part of the employee value proposition.  

With pressures on pay increasing, REBA members will have some tough choices ahead of them to keep employees happy, healthy and productive. 

For more reward and employee benefits news you might have missed this week, read our top 10 snippets below.

Flexible working takes a back seat to salary as inflation bites

Workplace Insight: Salary is now the most important factor (40%) for those looking to make a move as cost-of-living crisis squeezes budgets, claims a new survey from Michael Page. In a week in which UK wage growth was shown to still lag behind the cost of living, the poll suggests that salary is now the number one priority for workers, with flexible working seen as less important. Read more

UK employees see no reward for working harder

HR Magazine: The vast majority of (78%) UK employees are taking on more work without a pay rise or promotion. In the past six months, UK workers have been working harder and longer without receiving official recognition as they take up missing colleagues’ tasks, according to HR software provider Achievers. Read more

Employers offering flexible working reap recruitment and retention benefits

Workplace Insight: Employers who have embraced flexible working policies have seen a 20 percent improvement in employee recruitment and retention compared to two years ago, according to new global research from Targus. Read more

Women twice as likely to worry about the impact of parenthood on their careers

HR News: A new report from specialist talent acquisition software provider, Tribepad, has found that an increasing number of job hunters are concerned about the impact of parenthood on their career prospects. Read more 

Over a third of millennials say financial worry is affecting job performance – research

Corporate Advisor: Over a third of millennials say financial anxiety is negatively affecting their job performance, according to research from financial platform Mintago. A total of 436 people from the UK were polled, all of whom were employed full-time and were between the ages of 18 and 34. The survey found that over a third of 18-34-year-olds believe their job performance is being harmed by financial concerns. Only 9% of employees aged 55 and up share this sentiment. Read more

What does the UK really want from their work benefits?

HR News: Moneypenny has analysed 1000 job advertisements on Indeed.com, and surveyed 1,000 UK office workers, to reveal employers’ most commonly offered benefits, and how they line up with the workforce’s expectations. Read more

Number of women in boardrooms up but there is still ‘shocking lack of diversity’

The Drum: Data released by the Fawcett Society reveals the number of women in FTSE 100 boardrooms in the UK has jumped from 12.5% to 39% in a decade. However, the organization says the figures do not capture the “shocking lack of diversity,” with “women of colour, disabled women and LGBTQ+ people missing from positions of power.” Read more

Bank of England chief backtracks on pay restraint comments

Personnel Today: The governor of the Bank of England has appeared to backtrack on his comments that employees should not ask for pay rises in order to curb inflation. Earlier this month Andrew Bailey said there needed to be a “moderation of pay rises” after inflation hit a 30-year high of 5.4% in January. The CPI rate of inflation is expected to peak at 7.25% in April 2022. Read more

Future of location pay remains uncertain, says XpertHR

Personnel Today: Almost half of UK employers are unsure about whether to offer location-based pay in the future, according to XpertHR. Although location pay is offered by more than half (55%) of the organisations XpertHR surveyed, 44% are uncertain whether this will continue thanks to the shifts in working practices brought about by the pandemic. Read more

80% rise in worker Covid death pay outs

Employee Benefits: The amount of money paid to dependents of employees who died with Covid-19 (Coronavirus) soared in 2021, research has revealed. Data collected by reinsurer Gen Re showed an 80% increase last year in the value of group life assurance pay-outs involving Covid-19 on a death certificate or claim form. Read more

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