UK SMEs only offer one core benefit to all their employees on average

The proportion of UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that offer their employees benefits is quite low, with only 26.3% of SMEs offering flexible working arrangements to all of their employees, according to to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. The lack of benefits is even more pronounced when looking at Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) with less than one in five SMEs offering this benefit to all their employees.

The company’s latest report: ‘UK Employee Benefits Market’ reveals that three quarters of employers believe that they should be playing an active role in supporting their employees’ mental wellbeing while 7 in ten believe they should help support employees’ physical wellbeing.

Yasha Kuruvilla, Associate Insurance Analyst for GlobalData comments: “While employers recognize the need to support employees’ wellbeing, there is a disconnect in providing benefits that address these issues. Only 19.4% of SME employers offer a cycle to work program and 11.7% offer some sort of gym membership to all their employees.”

One of the main reasons that people explore external job opportunities is for better remuneration and benefits packages they would receive from a different employer. People also believe that large corporations are more likely to offer a wide range of benefits compared to smaller ones, which poses a real threat to SMEs whose employees may be tempted to look for employment elsewhere.

Kuruvilla concludes: “We live in an age where traditional career paths are not as prevalent and job mobility is much greater. People are more likely to make lateral job moves, especially in the younger generations. Employers need to ensure that their company remains attractive to current and potential employees by providing a tempting benefits package. This benefits both parties as employees are happier and healthier and therefore more productive.”

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