What benefits do employees value the most? Read the results of our survey

Recent research from Epoq Legal indicates that employees look to employers to help them protect their interests should things go wrong

As a provider of online legal services, Epoq is used by organisations from a number of sectors to help them give more value to their customers, clients, members or employees.  Our services are most often provided as an addition to a core product such as an insurance policy, but we have seen more interest from employers who are keen to enhance their employee benefits and wellbeing programmes.

In order to find out what sort of services today’s employees value the most, we commissioned Opinium to conduct a survey on our behalf in May 2017. In all, 2,002 UK adults were questioned online and asked to rate the value of services from a list of twelve commonly offered benefits. They were also asked if they had made a Will.

Pensions (95%) and flexible working (91%) most valued benefits

The results show a clear winner with a pension being rated as valuable by 95% of respondents; a rate that was consistent across all age groups.

Flexible working followed a close second at 91%, with 25 to 34 (94%) and 35 to 44 (91%) year olds valuing it the most – perhaps unsurprisingly as these age groups are more likely to have young dependent children. However, the age group 18 to 24 also rated the benefit highly at 90%, suggesting that the younger generation of workers are looking for a less rigid approach to working hours. The age groups valuing flexible working the least were 55 to 64 (85%), 65+ group (87%) and 45 to 54 (89%).

Employees want help to protect their interests

Health insurance was most valued by the 65+ age group (93%), but also by 35 to 44 (92%) and 25 to 34 (91%), which again may be as a result of having young families. Overall, 89% of respondents valued health/medical insurance.

Employees’ desire for help with protecting their interests when things go wrong was further highlighted by the fourth most valued benefits, which were jointly life insurance and legal advice (87%), followed by critical illness insurance (86%) and income protection insurance (85%). Clearly, employees are increasingly aware and worried about the risks to their livelihoods of illness or dying unexpectedly and are keen ensure they and their families are protected.

59% of adults don’t have a Will

Help with preparing legal documents, such as Wills was valued by 83% of respondents, particularly the groups aged 25 to 34 (88%) and 35 to 44 (87%). This finding is correlates with the response to the question of who had made a Will, where shockingly 90% of 35 to 44 year olds and 91% of 25 to 34 year olds do not have a Will. This suggests if employers were to provide a Wills service as a benefit, more adults would make one and so protect the interests of their loved ones. Overall, only 41% of adults have a Will and most of those (45%) are aged 65+.

Younger generation looking for financial advice

Although financial advice was only valued by 76% of respondents overall, a high proportion (84%) of the 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 age groups said they would find it valuable. This could be because the introduction of the auto enrolment of pensions, has made younger employees more aware of financial matters and the need to plan ahead and save for the future.

The least valued benefit overall was child care vouchers (41%), but as to be expected was most highly valued by 25 to 24 age group (63%). Likewise, gym membership was valued overall at just 62%, but 92% of 18 to 24 year olds said they valued it as a benefit.

Finally, despite the current focus on employee wellbeing programmes, only 70% of respondents said they would value counselling service, with the younger age group of 18 to 34 rating it most highly at 79% and the 65+ group the least at 47%.

Conclusion

Our research suggests that employees are aware of the risks to their livelihoods and families of ill health, injury or dying unexpectedly and would like their employers to help them protect against them. The introduction of pension auto enrolment has perhaps made all employees more conscious of the need to plan if they are to safeguard their financial futures.

However, the low ownership of Wills suggests more work needs to be done to educate people about need for a more rounded protection solution; one which caters for a range of life events, from getting ill, losing one’s job or dying unexpectedly. Employers can play an active role in enabling people to take control and plan ahead.

Read the complete research findings here.

For information about our employee benefits products, please contact us on 020 8731 2424 or email emma@epoq.co.uk