Employees Want Better Benefits In The Wake Of Covid

The nature of the relationship between employers and employees has changed during the course of the ongoing pandemic. Once it’s all over, employees will expect better benefits, including protection products like Group Risk and Health Insurance, to be part of employer offerings...

This is the reality as highlighted in new research from MetLife UK.

According to MetLife’s Re:Me report, employers are a lot more aware now of their employees’ personal situation and family commitments, than they were prior to the Covid outbreak. The report also claims that seven in 10 (71%) employees now feel their employers have a social responsibility to look after their health and wellbeing.

Another of the report’s findings states how three-fifths (61%) of employees now expect their employer to make additional allowances for their personal circumstances specifically because of the pandemic. For employees with children, examples of such allowances might include more flexibility around childcare commitments, as well as family-related health benefits for children and dependents.

Weakening relationships

However, 25% of employees and 27% of employers admitted the latter’s response to the pandemic has not always been adequate and had “somewhat or significantly weakened the trust between employers and employees”.

Furthermore, despite 71% of employees saying their employers have a social responsibility to look after their wellbeing, how strongly this is felt varies significantly between companies of different sizes.

While 66% of SME employees feel this is true, this figure rises to 70% for mid-sized and 80% for enterprise companies.

MetLife UK employee benefits director Adrian Matthews says: “The shift to working from home has naturally allowed colleagues and employers to have a greater insight into personal lives and home working set ups...

Employers have learnt a great deal about their staff and what is important to them as they seek to find ways to accommodate their needs. For example, those needing to shield, or those with caring responsibilities for parents or loved ones. It has undoubtedly shifted the traditional employer/employee dynamic.”

Matthews further explained how the changing relationship between employers and employees is impacting what staff are now expecting from their benefits packages.

He said working from home has naturally allowed colleagues and employers to have a greater insight into personal lives and home working setups. However, it will be the benefits and support organisations offer post-Covid that are going to become much more central to employees’ lives. Protection-related perks, such as Income Protection, Critical Illness and health screening, will all “rise to the fore.”

My final thoughts

The survey from MetLife is very interesting and highlights how our health and wellbeing are firmly at the forefront of both employers’ and employees’ minds. The pandemic has changed the corporate world and there is hope that some of the positive things to come out of it will stay with us, more flexible working being one of them.

It is apparent that the employer of choice in the future is one which not only welcomes this more flexible approach, but also demonstrates how they value their employees by offering benefits which support their wellbeing. 

Group Risk and Health Insurance offer many obvious benefits but, as the pandemic has shown, added value services such as access to remote doctors, therapies and diagnosis is what employees will now look for.

Author: Claire Ginnelly - Managing Director