As time goes by and there are attempts to get life back to "normal", many workplaces will find themselves with a real mix of employee work situations. For many, the return to an office or normal place of work can’t come quick enough and for others a sense of anxiety means they are likely to choose working from home for as long as possible.
For employers this is clearly adding additional strain to employee benefit programmes and it may be the case that in recent months, new support methods have been put in place.
Clearly the top priorities for employers will be job retention and seeing the business through what will undoubtedly be a challenging period, regardless of the industry they operate in. Beyond that, most employers will want to ensure they maintain the bond and culture they have worked hard to create in order to ensure their workforce has strong physical and mental wellbeing.
Employee benefit budgets are unlikely to be increased at this time, so it is essential employers understand what they are already paying for and seek as much value from benefit policies as possible.
Simple examples to consider are if you are paying for Group Life Assurance (GLA) to help protect employees’ families financially on death.
This policy can sometimes provide an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as part of its features. This means employees can benefit from confidential counselling; having access to someone to talk through problems or get support over mental health, family, law or financial matters.
Other benefits such as Private Medical may not only provide access to an EAP, but might also help employees save money with everyday purchases. Some polices will provide access to discount saving sites and I can speak from personal experience that I make use of the 25% or 33% savings that can be made on certain brands of football boots for my son. Many parents will relate to buying new trainers or football boots, only to find they are worn just a few times before the children’s feet have grown again and a new pair is required. Every saving is important!
Typically, savings can be made on everything from groceries to clothes to holidays. So, the opportunity is there, it just sometimes needs communicated and brought to the employees attention.
Many employers also provide Cash Plan policies which provide the opportunity to receive cash back on anything from new glasses to the cost of physio sessions. These policies operate on the basis that many employees will have the benefit but only a small percentage will remember to claim.
It is important for employers to understand and maximise everything they are paying for within their employee benefits package. Opportunities like the ones above, where real everyday benefits are provided to employees, can create a great link between employers and their employees as well as demonstrating an understanding of what help their workforce may value at this time.
Should you be interested in further assistance on any of the benefits mentioned above or simply want a review of the benefits you are providing, please get in touch with Richard Petrie (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask your usual AAB contact.
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