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8 in 10 Brits think businesses over-complicate workplace benefits

PageGroup study highlights need for earlier, more flexible benefits conversation

According to new research released today by global recruitment specialist Michael Page, more than eight in ten (82%) Brits think businesses over-complicate workplace benefits, making them difficult to understand, and hard to use or claim.
 
The survey – conducted among 1,000 UK adults (18+)* – also revealed that almost two thirds (64%) of people believe businesses are investing in expensive benefits that employees neither want, need nor use. Rather than offering unusual job benefits, such as free massages, which seven in ten (70%) find a “gimmick”, more practical benefits topped the most wanted list.
 
With 73% saying that benefits factor into their decision to turn down a job, the results highlight the importance of getting the benefits mix right in today’s competitive job market.
 
MOST WANTED: TOP 5 BENEFITS
 
  1. Flexible working hours (71%)
  2. Work-from-home options (55%)
  3. Unlimited paid holiday (46%)
  4. Company car or subsidised travel (43%)
  5. Weekly free lunches (41%)
 
Oliver Watson, Executive Board Director for UK and North America at PageGroup, commented: “Whether you’re an employer scouting for new talent, or a candidate searching for a new job, the benefits package on offer needs to match both parties’ expectations. Yet while we may be accustomed to negotiating a starting salary, discussing more tailored benefits is rarely given the same priority – resulting in neither party getting an agreement that drives engagement for an employee and performance for an employer.”
 
As it stands, more than half (52%) of respondents said there was no opportunity to negotiate the benefits package on offer to them last time they interviewed for a job. In fact, over a third (37%) did not know what their benefits package comprised of before they took their current job, and two thirds (65%) have been surprised to find out about a particular benefit after working in a role for some time.
 
Watson continued:  “As working cultures become more flexible and dynamic, a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to benefits no longer applies. With only two in ten (20%) UK consumers completely satisfied with their current benefits package and 85% saying a flexible benefits package would make a job more desirable to them, employers need to relax their typically fixed policies and start an open conversation about benefits far earlier in the recruitment process.”