employee health & benefits

Why do you need employee health & benefits?

Your employees are your most important asset. An unhealthy and disengaged workforce can have a significant impact on productivity and presents a real risk to your business. If people are happy at work, they’ll work harder and be more productive: by up to 12%1. There are three key ways you can support your employees through employee benefit and reward programmes:

  • Planning for the future
    Providing your employees with financial planning support and the opportunity to plan and prepare through their employee benefits gives them confidence in their future.
  • Creating rewards packages
    Give your employees access to a range of benefits and discounts that support their physical, emotional and financial wellbeing.
  • Keeping your employees healthy
    By investing in your employees, you can mitigate risks, reduce costs and help to ensure a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

How our consultants can help

Designing and engaging your staff in an employee health and benefits strategy that works for both your company and your employees needs to be a priority.

We can help you to deliver a wellness strategy for your business that finds the right balance of benefits to maximise the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of your employees.

1. University of Warwick 'Happiness and Productivity', 2018 

Benefits Management

Making sure that your staff understand and value the benefits you offer them can be difficult. Having all of your benefits on one platform that manages communications makes things simpler and more efficient, for both you and your employees.

Employee healthcare

The working population is getting older, creating more diverse populations of staff – all with differing needs. One thing remains the same: absenteeism is still a big problem for employers. Our specialist employee benefits team will provide advice on the most appropriate range of products and services that best fit your objectives.

Employee protection

Change your approach from the security of protection, to prevention, and you can better mitigate risk whilst reducing your direct and indirect costs. Employee protection cover can not only be cost-effective, but can also deliver valued benefits to your staff and their families at a time when they need it most.

Financial education

Employees who are worried about money problems are likely to be distracted at work or looking for new opportunities. Money worries can also lead to sickness absence which costs your business. Our financial education programmes provide a range of workplace solutions to help your staff understand and make the most of their employee benefits so that they can improve their financial wellbeing. These include initial consultancy, workshops, individual clinics, and a range of online digital solutions.

International benefits

Once upon a time, it was only the major corporates that ventured into global markets. Today, many smaller organisations are operating internationally. In fact, the PWC study 'Talent Mobility 2020' predicts that there will be a further 50% growth in international assignments by 2020. Living and working overseas can bring many benefits to both your company and your employees. It can also pose challenges – and that’s where we can help.

Retirement planning

Employees don’t reach an exact age and leave your company. They need to consider all of the options available and prepare themselves for the transition into life after work. Providing your employees with retirement planning support and giving them the opportunity to plan and prepare puts them in control and gives them the confidence to come to you and start the conversation about retirement.

Workplace pensions

Are you complying with current legislation? How can you be sure that the workplace savings you offer are the most suitable for your employees? Do you have the most appropriate provider to facilitate and encourage your staff to save for retirement? Effective management of your workplace savings can help you to stay on top of your pension scheme, keep your employees engaged, and maximise your investment in employee benefits.

Frequently asked questions

What are employee benefits?

Employee health & benefits in the UK, often referred to as “fringe benefits” are extra incentives that employers can provide in addition to an employees’ normal salary. They’re designed to help promote employee wellbeing and motivation, and can include anything from dental insurance and critical illness cover, to flexible working hours and childcare vouchers.

The right benefits reward programme can help you to:

  • Attract new talent to your business;
  • Improve the physical, emotional and financial wellness of your staff;
  • Motivate, engage and retain your staff; and,
  • Drive productivity and make your business money.

Why do employers provide employee benefits?
From the young recruit saving for their first house, to the employee with over 20 years’ service nearing retirement, you need to look out for all of your staff. Salaries and pensions give stability, but if you have an employee benefit offering that speaks to people as individuals, you’re on to a winner. Offering access to a wider range of benefits allows you to support your employees’ needs and the things that are most important to them, and say “we want you to be happy in and out of work”.
How do employee health & benefits work?

There are some employee health & benefits that are required by law. All UK workers are entitled to receive a holiday allowance and, following the introduction of Auto Enrolment, a workplace pension. However, employee benefits are more than just a salary and a pension. They can help you to encourage employee wellbeing, improve your company culture and increase the amount of quality applicants you get for vacancies.

Employee benefits packages allow you to express yourself as a business to your staff. It’s about you saying who you are and why you care about what you do. By wanting people to be happy and healthy in the workplace, you are letting them know you care about them.

How can I create an employee benefits plan?

As an employer you hold huge amounts of employee data. You know when someone joins your organisation, receives a pay rise, has children, turns 50 years old and so on. This data can help you to segment your employee population and design an employee benefits strategy that will resonate with each and every employee.

Research shows that the largest factor influencing employees’ perception of benefits is convenience, with 68% of employees wanting to access all of their benefits from one single place.1 Providing a complete view of their benefits and rewards can help your employees to make better informed decisions about their benefits to take care of their physical, emotional and financial wellness.

Total reward statements and regular communications can also help your employees to see and value your investment in their benefits resulting in an engaged and motivated workforce. And a more motivated and engaged workforce equals a more productive business.

What are the best benefits to offer employees?
Your employees will all be on a career journey and depending on where they are, they will value different benefits. Understanding that journey and the employee benefits that can support them, will help to drive engagement and productivity. For example, a Generation X employee will often value security. So group life insurance or income protection that provides peace of mind that they, or their dependants, will be taken care of should appeal to them.
What are the benefits of employee engagement?

72% of employees cite “engagement” as a top priority when choosing where to work and a more engaged workforce equals a more productive workforce.2

In fact, staff turnover is 87% less and people take fewer sick days at businesses with engaged employees, meaning less money spent on recruitment and less time lost through absence.3

How much are employee benefits worth?
Employees can often undervalue and underestimate the amount their employer spends on their benefits. Regular communications with your staff can not only raise awareness of the benefits available, but also educate your workforce on how these benefits can help them. Total reward statements that clearly assign a monetary value to each individual can help your employees to calculate and value your investment in their overall benefits package.
How much will employee benefits cost?

There is a common misconception amongst employers that employee benefits are very expensive. The range of available benefits to choose from is huge and clearly there are costs involved, but they needn’t all cost the earth. In fact, group life insurance typically costs less than 0.5% of payroll.

Some packages are likely to be must-haves, others will be desirable but not essential and others may come with such a low cost, including them could be something of a no-brainer. The three key elements to bear in mind are when and how they’re likely to be used, any tax considerations and the overall cost.

How are employee benefits treated in terms of tax?
This varies by benefit and by payroll deduction method. We can offer information regarding the potential tax treatment of any benefits you wish to include in a scheme, but you should always seek professional advice which is based on your individual circumstances.
How do I know if my employee benefits are working?

Less than 20% of employers measure the impact of benefits on employee wellness1 – those who do, and do it digitally, are almost as twice as effective in meeting their engagement objectives.

The data you can access through using a benefit management system can tell you a lot about your business. You can use this to tailor benefits packages to the habits and needs of your staff to make your reward programme even more cost effective and engaging.

Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA (for details see marshcommercial.co.uk/info/terms). Registered in England and Wales number 0837227. Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, London, EC3R 5BU.