Employee benefit trends during and after Covid-19

28 Aug 2020

cycle to work

It is unsurprising that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on trends surrounding employee wellbeing.

It has been a difficult transition for HR leaders, many of whom have had to completely rethink workforce and employee planning, management, performance and experience strategies. In this blog our experts concentrate on the effects the pandemic has had on employee benefits.

While a number of traditional employee benefits – gym memberships for example – have been suspended due to social distancing measures, there are others which have found new favour with employees. The following article will analyse the changes to the employee benefits landscape, providing valuable insight into the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

The rise in health awareness

As the country was encouraged to work from home, the daily commute became a thing of the past. Time previously spent on a train, bus or in the car, became free time. One unforeseen beneficiary of this extra free time has been the cycle-to-work-scheme. The scheme has experienced an unprecedented 66% increase in orders received – with a value increase of 74%, when compared to the equivalent period last year.

With gyms closed and travel by car discouraged, bicycles became not only a crucial mode of transport, but also one of few ways to safely enjoy exercising. They also opened up countless opportunities to explore the world on our doorstep.

What does this mean for my employee benefits offering?

Covid-19 has caused people to revaluate what is important. For many, lockdown has shown the importance of time spent with family. The gym provision previous valued by your workforce may well have less appeal in the coming months. However by listening to your staff and introducing the option to join the cycle-to-work scheme you could not only help create a healthier workforce but also a more engaged one.

Protection is now a key benefit

One industry seeing an upsurge is that of protection and group risk benefits. A benefit sometimes previously seen as a fairly tedious necessity is now an area of vital importance. Even younger employees who have ordinarily been indifferent to the additional levels of cover available are asking more questions and taking an active interest.

How will this affect the industry?

The group risk industry insures in excess of 13 million people. After enjoying a fairly static market in recent years, we are now seeing a marked increase in protection enquiries. Figures show a 40% increase in demand for partner life insurance, and 70% more enquiries for will writing benefits. This is an area of vulnerability that Covid-19 has forced the industry to address.

Seeing employees as individuals

The Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a driving force to invest in the wellbeing of employees.

The growth in mindfulness and the move towards inclusivity and addressing inequalities – especially surrounding remote and on-site employees – has seen a growth in demand for wellness programmes.

How will the expanded employer role affect me?

The Covid-19 pandemic has focussed minds on how to play an expanded role in employees’ financial, physical and mental wellbeing. Options include enhanced sick leave, financial assistance, financial eduction, adjusted hours of operation and heightened child care provisions.

Zoom and Teams meetings give a valuable insight into life outside the office and pushed the bounds of how employers view the employee experience. Speaking to employees on a personal level and offering tailored support packages can be an effective way to improve the emotional wellbeing of employees.

Due to Covid19 we are introducing new products and services, so whether you already have an employee benefits plan in place which you would like to review, or if you’d like advice on starting a plan from scratch, please get in touch today to discover how the Generation Employee Benefits team can help you.





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