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The wellbeing revolution: Increased employee demand for wellbeing benefits

• New research ahead of World Mental Health Day reveals that wellbeing benefits are now a top priority for employees – 83% of businesses say their employees are demanding more of these benefits

• To cater to employee demand, over seven in ten businesses (71%) have introduced a Head of Wellbeing

• However, under a fifth (19%) of businesses offer employees a wellbeing allowance as part of their benefits package

• Businesses are in danger of losing out on talent by refusing to invest in wellbeing benefits

Over eight in ten (83%) businesses in the UK report a rise in employees requesting more wellbeing benefits in the workplace, according to new research from employee benefits technology company Zest.

The research marks World Mental Health Day (10th October) and demonstrates the growing importance employees are placing on wellbeing benefits as part of their total renumeration package as these perks become a top priority for the workforce.

Businesses are putting increasing emphasis on catering to employee demands for wellbeing benefits – over seven in ten businesses (71%) have introduced a Head of Wellbeing role or equivalent. A key aspect of these roles will be communicating with employees over their wellbeing needs – their workforce is likely to be highly engaged on this issue as nine in ten (89%) employers say that their employees are now more likely to discuss wellbeing at work.

However, despite the growing awareness of the needs of employees for more wellbeing benefits options, there is still room for improvement. For example, less than a fifth (19%) of businesses currently offer employees a wellbeing allowance as part of their benefits package.

By not investing in their wellbeing benefits packages in a challenging hiring landscape, businesses are in danger of losing out on talent which will impact growth plans competitiveness.

Despite 82% of businesses investing more in their wellbeing benefits offer, six in ten (57%) admit that employee wellbeing is at an all-time low, demonstrating a clear need for employers to develop these packages even further.

Paid mental health leave is the most popular wellbeing benefit amongst UK employers, with nearly a quarter (24%) of businesses offering this. Other popular options include:

  • Cycle to work schemes – offered by 23% of employers
  • Mindfulness programmes –21%
  • Menopause support – 17%

Matt Russell, CEO at Zest, said: “Employers not investing in their benefits packages will struggle to keep pace as the wellbeing revolution continues to accelerate. They risk being left behind by competitors and could face a real struggle to attract and retain key talent if they don’t listen to the demands of their workforce.

“Many people struggled with their mental wellbeing during Covid and then the cost of living crisis took a toll on their financial wellbeing – employers need to ensure that their employee benefits packages are offering the right tools to support both.

“However, it’s a hugely positive sign that so many employers are appointing Heads of Wellbeing or similar roles – these individuals will be able to liaise with the workforce directly, ultimately ensuring that employees have access to the support and renumeration that they need during this challenging time.”

Zest is an employee benefits platform that offers flexible benefits services for a wide range of well-known businesses across the world, including Hargreaves Lansdown, Taylor Wimpey, ADP and Travis Perkins.

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