Don’t overlook the importance of employee benefits

By Nathan Munt, Lucas Fettes Financial Planning

Employee benefits are an essential part of modern remuneration packages, but the importance of these is often overlooked - by both employers and employees.
Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22
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Ensuring Business as Usual: Lucas Fettes

There are a multitude of options available to support attracting and retaining talent, whilst contributing towards employee wellbeing and performance. For employers, these solutions are fundamental to supporting and re-enforcing the company’s values, whilst boosting morale and invoking commitment within the workplace.

Ensuring value

There are a range of employee benefits that you can offer, some of which are mandatory under UK law.

  • Workplace pensions – Most people switch off when discussing pensions; however, as an employer you’re well placed to promote the importance of saving for retirement and increasing engagement, whether this is through internal communications, webinars, or 1 to 1 financial education.
  • Life Insurance – Few people have sufficient financial protection. Life cover offered by an employer is a valuable benefit and cover up to a certain level is usually available without medical underwriting. This can be helpful for those who can’t get personal cover themselves.
  • Income Protection – Employers who want to support their workforce beyond statutory sick pay can opt to provide employees with a group income protection scheme. This shows that you value your employees and want to support them.
  • Additional Services – The schemes can also provide virtual GPs, physiotherapy, and mental health support through employee assistance programmes.
  • Other Benefits – These could include holiday, flexible/remote working, volunteering days, eye tests, private medical insurance, financial wellbeing support, and training.

It’s vital that you select benefits your employees’ value and avoid seeing this as a ‘tick box’ exercise. You should also review your benefits rather than simply retain schemes you’ve always had. As employee expectations change, your benefit package will need to evolve; you should review your benefit package regularly and consult with your employees.

The engagement problem

Once you’ve selected appropriate benefits, it is important to regularly communicate the value of these to your workforce. Findings taken from an Aviva study in 2019 concluded that 19% of employees didn’t use benefits offered to them simply due to a lack of interest. A further 19% did not believe the benefits offered were relevant to them and 18% felt there was a lack of information available.

To make the most of your budget on employee benefits, you should ensure you have a communications plan that is supported by your professional partners where required. This should tell them about the benefits on offer.

Considerations

When it comes to sourcing benefits, undertaking an independent review of the market to identify a cost-efficient package, requires an investment of time and expertise.  Seeking professional advice is recommended, but your first considerations should be:

  • What are we trying to achieve from this?
  • Which benefits do our employees value?
  • Are our current arrangements suitable?
  • What is our budget?
  • How will we communicate and promote employee engagement?

Get in touch if you would like more information.

Lucas Fettes Financial Planning® is a registered trading name of Lucas Fettes & Partners (Financial Services) Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Nathan Munt is a chartered Financial Planner at Lucas Fettes Financial Planning, who are a multi award-winning firm of chartered independent financial planners.
T: 01603 706854
E: Nathan.munt@lffp.co.uk or visit lffinancialplanning.co.uk

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