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Employee Benefits News

News in 2017
27 Dec 2017 Lack of adequate sick pay leaves UK workers at risk of ´financial shock´

Two in three UK employees have no sick pay provision beyond the statutory minimum, and many would be unable to pay household bills for more than six to eight weeks in the event of ill-health. That´s according to research from health insurance provider BHSF, which said that employees...

18 Dec 2017 Auto-enrolment to include workers aged 18-21

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke has revealed there are plans to extend automatic enrolment pension saving to younger workers. Gauke told the BBC´s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that there had been “greater saving for pensions” since auto-enrolment was introduced in October ...

04 Dec 2017 Are businesses meeting employees´ benefit needs?

Employers need to do more to communicate with their employees about the benefits available to them, new research suggests. Bob, a cloud-based HR and benefits platform, found that only one in three employees (33%) really understand and actually use their benefits. Meanwhile, 52% said tha...

27 Nov 2017 ´Defined ambition´ pension schemes may be introduced in the UK

MPs are planning to look into “defined ambition” pension schemes, which are common in the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark but are not yet allowed in the UK. Also known as Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes, they are seen as a middle ground between Defined Benefit (DB) sch...

20 Nov 2017 UK employers see correlation between employee health and performance

The vast majority (96%) of employers in the UK see a direct correlation between employee health and performance, according to the 2017 Health Survey from Aon. The survey of 200 UK organisations also found that health and wellbeing is rising up the corporate agenda, with 96% of employers...

13 Nov 2017 UK government urged to extend salary sacrifice to low-paid

Low-paid workers are missing out on the benefits of salary sacrifice, according to pension provider Royal London and a Southampton-based financial adviser. Salary sacrifice, also known as salary exchange, allows a worker and an employer come to an arrangement whereby pension contributio...

30 Oct 2017 Quarter of firms miss auto-enrolment deadline

A record proportion of companies are setting up a workplace pension after their deadline has passed, according to research by Aviva. In the third quarter of this year, 25% of businesses applying for an auto-enrolment pension scheme with Aviva did so after the ‘staging date´ set ...

23 Oct 2017 Employees need more support to return to work after breast cancer

More women are surviving breast cancer, but their return to work rates vary considerably across Europe. That´s according to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Pfizer, which investigated the challenges involved in returning to employment for the growing...

16 Oct 2017 Savers need retirement income targets, report says

Pension targets could help savers understand how much they need to save for a decent retirement income, according to a new report. National retirement income targets are already used successfully in Australia. Such targets provide savers with tangible income goals which take into accoun...

02 Oct 2017 Auto enrolment: a ´huge success story´ but more still needs to be done

Five years on from the launch of automatic enrolment in October 2012, more than 7.6 million people have been automatically enrolled into workplace pensions. According to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), almost three-quarters (74%) of all employers support the policy...

25 Sep 2017 Warning over risk of non-compliant group risk protection

Employers are in danger of having group risk protection policies that are not legislatively compliant as the State Pension Age (SPA) increases, Group Risk Development (GRiD) warned last week. The industry body is urging employers to check their arrangements for group risk insurance bene...

18 Sep 2017 Analysis reveals ´huge variations´ in workplace pension returns

Millions of workers have started saving for retirement in a company pension since the launch of automatic enrolment in October 2012. But there are “huge variations” in the returns on offer, according to a new analysis by Punter Southall Aspire. The pension consultants examined nine ...

04 Sep 2017 Employees welcome salary sacrifice schemes for home technology

Salary sacrifice schemes that help employees to buy home technology products can play a “vital role” in closing the digital skills gap. That´s according to specialist provider Let´s Connect, which surveyed more than 1,100 employees who have participated in a salary sacrifice sch...

29 Aug 2017 Millennials will stick with auto-enrolment when contributions rise

Automatic enrolment into a workplace pension is popular with Millennials, according to new research by Royal London. The life, pensions and investment company surveyed 1,500 people aged 25-34, revealing that seven in ten (71%) decided not to opt out after being enrolled and a further 8%...

21 Aug 2017 Government match-funding would boost employee health and wellbeing investment, says EEF

UK firms would be more likely to invest in employee health and wellbeing programmes if there was match-funding available from the government. That´s according to a new survey by EEF, the manufacturers´ organisation, which questioned 264 companies about sickness absence. ...

07 Aug 2017 Employees value health policies, pensions and legal advice, survey shows

Pensions and health insurance are among the workplace benefits most valued by UK employees, according to a new survey. The research by legal services provider Epoq Legal found that over 80% of employees value pension, health, legal and protection services, ahead of ‘softer´ bene...

24 Jul 2017 Employee wellbeing rising up UK corporate agenda

Growing numbers of employers in the UK are recognising the advantages of employee wellbeing programmes, according to data from the Top Employers Institute. The global certification company found that 82% of large companies have an organisation-wide total wellbeing programme in 2017 — ...

17 Jul 2017 Over 8 million workers now signed up for auto enrolment

Almost five years after the launch of automatic enrolment, more than eight million employees have signed up for a workplace pension and most employers are confident they are meeting their obligations. The latest declaration of compliance report from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) reveals ...

03 Jul 2017 Fewer than one in five workers have critical illness or income protection cover

Only 18% of UK employees have some form of critical illness or income protection cover that would provide financial help if they were to develop a serious illness, according to new research. Canada Life Group Insurance found that almost three-quarters (72%) of workers would struggle to ...

26 Jun 2017 UK pension schemes taking action to reduce risk

Defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK are taking positive steps to reduce their level of risk in a variety of ways, according to risk, retirement and health products provider Aon. The company´s Global Pension Risk Survey 2017, which included 185 UK pension trustees, pensi...

19 Jun 2017 Greater flexibility could help tackle gender pension gap

It´s time for employers to address the difference in pension savings of men and women, according to a new white paper from human resources consulting firm Mercer. The Gender Pension Gap — From Awareness to Action says that businesses have a key role to play in ensuring their fem...

12 Jun 2017 Group risk protection can help support staff with caring responsibilities

Caring issues are a significant cause of workforce absence — but group risk products can help employees cope, according to industry body Group Risk Development (GRiD). Employer research conducted for GRiD found that home and family issues — including the need to care for children, e...

05 Jun 2017 Employers should draw up a manifesto for mental health, says RedArc

Employers need to set out how they will support their employees´ mental health, according to medical services provider RedArc. Christine Husbands, managing director of RedArc, welcomed the fact that all the major political parties promoted equality for mental and physical health i...

30 May 2017 Nine in ten employers face challenges communicating benefits to workers

Employers are struggling to communicate effectively with their staff about the benefits available, a new study has found. A competitive benefits package in the workplace can help improve job satisfaction and employee engagement and bring down the costs of absenteeism. But a UK survey of...

15 May 2017 Group Risk cover supports record number of families

The UK Group Risk industry provided financial support to a record number of families last year, according to industry body Group Risk Development (GRiD). The latest industry figures from GRiD show that a total of nearly £1.5bn was paid out during 2016, an increase of £100m on 2015. Th...

08 May 2017 Under-40s plan to cut back on workplace pension saving to invest in LISAs

The Lifetime ISA (LISA), which launched last month, is a more attractive savings prospect than a workplace pension for many employees under the age of 40, according to research from MetLife. A survey by the life insurance company among 1,071 employed adults aged 18 and over found that n...

18 Apr 2017 Auto-enrolment passes half-million mark

More than half a million UK employers have now set up auto-enrolment pensions for their employees, according to the latest figures from The Pensions Regulator (TPR). The regulator´s Declaration of Compliance report shows that 503,178 employers had completed their workplace pension...

10 Apr 2017 CBI boss urges government to support UK´s self-employed

The head of the UK´s biggest business group is calling for the Government to scrap plans to hit Britain´s “thriving” self-employed workforce with sudden tax changes, The Telegraph reports. Paul Drechsler, head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), argued that t...

03 Apr 2017 BMW employees vote to strike over ‘pensions robbery´

BMW staff in Britain have voted in ‘overwhelming´ proportions to go on strike over the company´s plans to close its final salary pension, The Telegraph has reported. As a result, the article notes, up to 3,500 workers at the car manufacturer´s nationwide sites could ...

27 Mar 2017 How Article 50 could affect UK employment law

Writing recently for the CIPD website, lawyer Amanda Steadman explained how the triggering of Article 50 – and Britain´s subsequent exit from the EU – could affect workers´ rights in the UK. As Steadman explains, once the Article 50 notification has been issued, Britain ...

13 Mar 2017 Lowest UK sick day rates since records began

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that last year, workers in the UK reported the lowest level of sickness absence since records began in 1993, the Guardian reports. According to the data, around 137 million working days were lost due to illness or injury in 2...

06 Mar 2017 More employers using wellbeing strategies to boost engagement

New research has found that employees in the UK are introducing workplace wellbeing strategies at an “unprecedented rate,” the Business Matters magazine reports. According to a recent survey by Punter Southall Health & Protection, nearly half (45%) of UK companies have a clearly-def...

22 Feb 2017 ´Wellbeing days´ and opening up dialogue around mental health could help tackle £9bn ill-health bill

Organisations have been compelled by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) to prioritise wellbeing as much as sickness, in order to rectify Britain´s growing sickness absence rate. The government body also suggested a range of potential ideas, such as ‘wellbeing days´ an...

13 Feb 2017 Plumber wins landmark case for workers´ rights in gig economy

A plumber from London has won a legal battle for employment rights, which could have a knock-on effect on the UK´s burgeoning ‘gig´ economy, the Independent reports. Gary Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers on a self-employed basis for six years leading to 2011. After being ...

06 Feb 2017 Zero-hours contracts scrapped at Homebase

Staff at retail chain Homebase will no longer have to accept zero-hour contracts, after new company owner Bunnings decided to scrap them for UK workforce, the Telegraph reports. Australian DIY chain Bunnings bought Homebase last year for £340m. Along with plans to open at least five pi...

23 Jan 2017 Financial concerns limit productivity for 25% of employees

New research has revealed that one in four UK employees say money worries affect their productivity levels at work, the CIPD website writes. According to the survey, conducted by the CIPD and Close Brothers Asset Management, one quarter (25%) of employees are struggling with financial p...

09 Jan 2017 Gender pay gap falls to 5% for workers below 30

New research has revealed that the gender pay gap has halved to 5% for women in their 20s, The Guardian reports; yet the discrepancy continues to follow a generations-old pattern of widening when women reach 30. A report published by the Resolution Foundation aims to highlight the chall...

02 Jan 2017 Brexit foot-dragging bringing down employee confidence

The lengthy and uncertain process of Britain´s exit from the European Union is causing UK employee confidence to dip, Study International reports. According to a specially-commissioned report made six months after the Brexit vote, less than a third of UK employees (29%) are confid...

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