Over Half of UK Employees Unhappy with Benefits Packages

A new survey from Reed Employment reveals that 58% of UK employees are grumbling about their employee benefits packages according to a new survey of over 2,500 jobseekers registered on the www.reed.co.uk database. 60% of jobseekers believe that receiving an annual bonus would be the number one benefit, but only 44% of employees actually receive one.

73% of employees felt their companies should be doing more to look after their health and wellbeing by offering gym membership discounts, free fruit, stop smoking schemes or even lunchtime yoga sessions to help reduce stress levels.

The research did show however, that workers were receiving a range of benefits – 35% of companies offer a Christmas party and free parking; 27% offer a contributory pension; 26% offer free eye tests; 22% of companies offer staff discounts and paid overtime; 21% have a ‘dress down’ Friday and 18% of employees are given a mobile phone.

In addition, the majority of companies offer between 21-25 days holiday a year (44%); 32% offer 15-20 days; 19% offer 26-28 days, with 5% of companies even offering more than 30 days a year.

However, it was surprising that very few companies offer employee sabbaticals (2%) and just 2% of companies offer crèche facilities for parents with small children.

Company brand image and reputation was considered the biggest attraction for jobseekers which was selected by 37% of respondents; salary was the next biggest factor in attracting employees (33%), and the benefits package was cited as the third most important influencer for jobseekers (30%).

Richard Branson’s company, Virgin topped the dream employer poll, with Google taking second place, closely followed by Microsoft. Other companies considered desirable for jobseekers were the Government and the NHS in particular, The BBC, British Airways, IBM, Apple, Marks and Spencer and HSBC and Barclays in the financial services arena.

Janine Parry, Head of Marketing at Reed Employment commented, “Salaries and bonuses are becoming increasingly important for jobseekers. The uncertain economy and housing market, rising interest rates and the high cost of living are clearly having an impact on jobseekers’ priorities making financial rewards a priority. It is also striking that so many people would like their companies to provide better facilities to improve their physical and mental health – perhaps this is indicative of a high level of stress amongst UK workers. It is disappointing that so few companies are offering incentives such as crèche facilities to make life easier for working parents or sabbaticals which can help retain staff in the long-term.”

“It is interesting that companies who focus on promoting their image and reputation are seen as the most attractive companies for jobseekers – it seems that Richard Branson’s PR and brand building efforts have paid off as his company is clearly number one for jobseekers,” she added.