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Benefits trends that the experts are predicting for 2017

Modern employers now take it for granted that they have a duty to promote the health and wellbeing of their workforce

It may be that workplace benefits have hit the headlines lately for more controversial reasons, such as the trend for bringing pets to work or allowing paid puppy leave. However, Glassdoor’s chief economist has commented that it is the bread and butter, basic perks and support packages that contribute most in terms of staff morale and good retention rates.

Health and wellbeing

Thankfully, most modern employers now take it for granted that they have a duty to promote the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Much research has been conducted on the relationship between staff wellbeing and productivity, attendance, creativity and retention rates. Not to mention the ability to attract high calibre recruits.

Dr Andrew Chamberlain of Glassdoor has explained that for many, wellness boils down to the basics. Glassdoor researchers have found that trendy perks like puppy leave actually have little impact on job satisfaction. Instead, the more fundamental and impactful perks, such as top quality health insurance and generous paid leave, are what really make a difference to how people feel. Dr Chamberlain has predicted that in the near future we will see a return to these much more traditional yet significant benefits, compared to the more headline grabbing ones we have become all too familiar with.

Financial education

Benefits providers have predicted that financial education for employees will become commonplace in the workplaces of the future. Employers have realised how much stress people come under when they face financial pressures. Worry about debt and living costs possibly account for huge losses because not only are people unproductive after sleepless nights, they are also more likely to call in sick and make mistakes in their work.

Daniel Laverty of Secondsight has added that employers are now starting to lift the taboo about discussing money matters with their staff. It will become more widely acknowledged that wellbeing is not just about eating pumpkin seeds and doing yoga. Financial wellbeing is critical to having good mental health, and organisations are likely to start taking more of an active role in helping workers to manage their money.

Financial education, of course, revolves around discussions about personal debt, savings, living costs and benefits. However, it also touches upon the broader sweep of factors which affect our financial welfare. This could mean the exchange rate, Brexit, tax credits, childcare supplements and general discussions about the economy and how it affects us as we go about our daily lives.

Much like good counselling, financial advice comes with a heavy price tag which many employees cannot afford. So workplaces must step in and provide assistance to its staff, whether face to face, or utilising digital resources.

Health insurance may be scaled back due to IPT rises

The last eighteen months have seen worrying increases in the IPT or Insurance Premium Tax. Sadly, this will mean that private healthcare insurance for employees may become too expensive for employers to offer as a benefit for their staff.

Care for the elderly

Our ageing population could mean that people will have to take more time off to care for elderly relatives. Enlightened employers may integrate telecare service provision into their offices so that employees with caring responsibilities can remotely monitor their elderly relatives from work.

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