The COVID-19 pandemic has made financial wellbeing at work one of the hottest topics for both employers and employees. As a result, the importance of employee benefits -- particularly protection products -- has never been greater. However, new research reveals that many employers are not prioritising financial wellbeing at work.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), less than half of organisations have provided support for employees to help tackle the financial pressures they are experiencing due to the pandemic.
The CIPD’s Reward Management survey found that 49% of employers admitted to not having a financial wellbeing policy. Furthermore, just 12% of the 420 companies polled said they had either already introduced, or were planning to introduce, a financial wellbeing programme in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, less than a quarter (24%) of employers had explored how the crisis had impacted employees’ financial wellbeing.
[Related reading: Employees Want Better Benefits In The Wake Of Covid]
Charles Cotton, senior performance and reward adviser at the CIPD, said the results of the survey dramatically underline how some employers are not considering the impact that financial wellbeing at work has on employees, as well as how protection products can help. This is highlighted by the fact 20% of leaders surveyed admitted they did not think financial wellness benefits would contribute to employees’ wellbeing.
He said: “For too long financial wellbeing programmes have been considered the poor relation to wellbeing, but we know the two are intrinsically linked and should have parity... While we fully acknowledge how tough it is for businesses right now, with many just focusing on surviving, we think there’s a strong case for employers to be doing more to support their people’s financial wellbeing”.
The report also revealed how a significant proportion of employers do not have meeting certain base pay standards on their agendas. Indeed, just 19% said they were planning or considering becoming an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer; while only 30% said the COVID-19 pandemic had triggered them to consider how fair the pay and benefits they offer are.
Cotton added that the pandemic has had a serious detrimental impact on many employees’ finances, especially with many losing their jobs and others seeing their income fall.
“It should also be said that every employee stands to benefit from having better access to financial wellbeing support, particularly at key life stages, such as when they are starting out, becoming a parent or retiring,” he said.
Despite the survey results revealing only 7% of organisations were changing pay to reflect home working (or have plans to do so), more than a quarter (26%) indicated they would be changing the amount they spend on employee benefits in 2021.
Do your employee benefits include protection products? If they don’t, there is a chance they’re not working in your employees’ (or your) best interests to safeguard financial wellbeing at work.
Chat with one of our professional advisers today and find out exactly how protection products can benefit both you and your employees.