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Employers are maintaining their expenditure on reward and benefits

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Employee benefits spend has experienced only a slight downward trend over the past year, as employers keep reward as a main focus of their budget.

HR professionals indicated that their organisations spent on average 20% of an employee's annual salary on mandatory benefits, 19% on voluntary benefits and 11% on pay for holiday and sickness benefits.

The survey from HR Recruitment Solutions (HRRS) found 81% of HR professionals reported their organisations reviewed their benefits programmes annually and 12% reported reviewing them even more frequently.

In 2009, almost three-quarters (74%) of HR professionals reported that their organisations reviewed their benefits programmes annually.

This survey was completed with results from over 750 employers and 1,200 job candidates, from September 2009 to February 2010.
 
Most employee benefits offerings have experienced a slight downward trend over the past year. But the findings come as the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP) found half of employees feel they are paid less than what they are worth, with 6% claiming they are being paid considerably less than what they deserve.

The IPP also revealed nearly two-thirds of employees would ask their employer for a pay rise if they knew that a colleague in a similar role was getting paid more and one in five workers would go as far as to threaten to leave their company but would stay if they were offered a pay rise.
 
With so many redundancies in 2009, HRRS saw a huge increase in the number of active candidates and because of this, many interview processes became extensively delayed because of sheer numbers of applicants and also because of the number of those applicants who had the necessary capability for said roles. For instance, the average number of applications in HR adviser roles increased from 64 per advert to 123 per advert and among the 123 there was a higher percentage of ‘valid' applications from those with the desired experience and capability levels.
 
Despite the economic climate and many redundancies, HRRS has found that several key HR roles have actually increased in salary levels in the past 12 months and envisage further increases in 2010.

For example, market averages for the role of HR business partner in the North West of England in 2008 were £33,400, but this has seen a steady 12.5% increase to £37,600 average salary in 2009. In London territories, this has increased from £36,100 in 2008 to £39,000 in 2009 (8% increase).