Human Resource Management

HRM Guide Updates

Employee Benefits not Family Friendly New Report Reveals 9 March 2015 – Despite the government’s best efforts to make the work place more family-friendly, the latest Croner Reward Employee Benefits Report* by Wolters Kluwer reveals that less than half of employers (48%) offer enhanced maternity payments and only a third offer paternity leave above the statutory minimum. The specialist annual report reviews the benefits offered to employees by organisations from a broad range of industry backgrounds and sizes across the UK. Split into six sections, the report covers areas including healthcare, travel and company cars. Commenting on the findings, Viv Copeland, Croner Head of Reward at Wolters Kluwer, says: “While some family friendly benefits such as flexible working and childcare vouchers have really grown in the last few years, the offer of enhanced maternity and paternity leave and pay still has a long way to go. The recent legislation around shared maternity/paternity leave should bring some fresh thinking to this area from parents and employers alike.” Key findings of the Croner Reward Employee Benefits Report 2014-15 48% of participants offered enhanced maternity payments, with the most common enhanced scheme being 12-13 weeks at full pay. Just under a third of participants offered paternity leave above the statutory minimum, with 62% offering full pay for a period of two weeks. 49% of respondents stated that their adoption leave policy mirrored the maternity benefits offered. 92% of participants said that their organisation offers flexible working. The most common options offered were part-time working (91%), staggered hours (66%), flexitime (53%) and career breaks/sabbaticals (41%). 21% of organisations stated that they do not have a formal policy regarding compassionate leave, but they give management the discretion to authorise appropriate leave periods. 36% companies indicated that they give employees the option to buy or sell up to five days of holiday. 88% of organisations have an enhanced sick pay scheme. The majority of participants give 10 days’ full pay as the minimum entitlement and six months as a maximum. 78% of participants offer salary sacrifice benefits, of which childcare vouchers are the most popular and pensions the second most popular. Ends Notes to editors: *The information for this report comes from three sources: An online survey of 127 organisations; the Croner Reward database, which currently holds the job pay records and benefits information from almost 3,000 organisations; several specialist employee benefits surveys undertaken during 2014.

Most Job Ads Don't Mention Benefits

August 8 2006 - A mere one in four of job advertisements refers to employee benefits and only 16 per cent feature membership of a pension scheme as part of the employment package, according to recent research by Watson Wyatt.

Watson Wyatt sampled 1000 national, regional and local recruitment advertisements in the first week of July 2006. Only advertisements with at least 50 words about individual jobs were included. 70 per cent gave some details about salary but just 25 per cent refered to other benefits such as pensions, health insurance and bonuses.

"Employee benefits can make up as much as 40 per cent of an employee's total remuneration package, so those employers with a good range of benefits may be missing out on a useful recruitment tool," said Gary Smith, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt. "Employees traditionally undervalue the benefits - and in particular the pension benefits - provided to them by their employer. Perhaps some employers are guilty of encouraging this by not highlighting the benefits they offer at the earliest possible stage in their relationship with potential recruits."

A survey from Axa Investment Managers released in July 2006 found that 67 per cent of employees thought that full details of the employment package should be compulsory in job advertisements. 42 per cent of senior managers in the survey agreed.

In Watson Wyatt's survey, of the 16 per cent of job ads that made some reference to pensions, 34 per cent pointed to a final salary scheme while 9 per cent said they had a defined contribution scheme. Intriguingly, pensions were more likely to be mentioned in advertisements for lower paid jobs. Ads for jobs with higher pay (over £30,000) tended to refer to pensions only when they could offer a final salary scheme.

Apart from pensions, specific employee benefits were rarely mentioned. These were:

  • Holiday entitlement (9%)
  • Bonus scheme (8%)
  • Car or car allowance (6%)
  • Flexible working arrangements (4%)
  • Healthcare benefits (3%)
  • Equity or share options (2%)
  • Life assurance (1%)

"The quality of employer communication about the benefits on offer can be at least as important as the structure and cost of providing them in affecting employees' perceptions of their value," said Gary Smith. "HR professionals and recruiters might consider how they could do more to leverage competitive advantage out of their employee benefits schemes."


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