March 29, 2017
Today (29 March) the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 to begin the UK’s exit from the European Union, and a new piece of research claims that almost two thirds (62 percent) of HR professionals expect this to impact their HR strategy and more worryingly, over a third (35 percent) say that the leave vote will impact the profits of their business. According to the research from employee benefits specialist Secondsight, 37 percent have opted not to hire over the coming year, and 39 percent agreed that recruiting the right people into their business will now be more difficult than before the decision to leave was made. However, on a more encouraging note, 95 percent of the HR professionals surveyed will see their budget rise in 2017, and 18 percent plan to introduce new benefits in the year ahead.
Commenting on the findings, Ian Bird, director of business development at Secondsight, said: “There’s no doubt the leave vote sent shock waves through many organisations, and the uncertainty brought by this has clearly had an impact on HR and their strategy, as our research suggests”.
The research also indicates that more than half (53 percent) of respondents offer a benefits package because they want to look after their employees. 44 percent advised that it was to act as a recruitment tool, and 42 per cent said it was good for their employees’ wellbeing. And more than half of employers, 55 per cent, offer employees access to a wellbeing programme, cementing the fact that employee wellbeing is firmly on the agenda for employers.
“The wellbeing agenda is gaining momentum, with employers taking a broader view when it comes to employee wellbeing; it seems there’s a real focus not only on the more traditional physical wellbeing, but also now on financial wellbeing and mental wellbeing, which we know are often linked,” said Bird.
The research findings also revealed that when it comes to financial education, 29 percent would like to offer this benefit in 2017; nearly half (49 percent) of employers would like to introduce mental health first aid benefits and 34 percent of employers plan to implement some form of critical illness or medical insurance this year.
In addition a key challenge for the year ahead will be increased costs, as cited by 43 percent of survey respondents, with an increased administrative burden affecting 26 percent and a lack of time 25 percent.
Secondsight has produced an employee benefits research paper called ‘The ever changing benefits landscape’ providing a comprehensive overview of the survey findings. Click here to download a copy.