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Employers look to enhance flexible benefits provision in difficult times, finds CIPP

Flexible benefit schemes are growing in popularity, as employers explore ways to keep staff engagement levels up in ‘difficult times’, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP).

The CIPP found a third of employees (32%) believe flexible benefits being offered by an employer on top of their basic salary is increasing.

The survey found 85% of respondents rate employee benefits as either very important or important.

Of those benefits offered by employers, the most popular at 77% is pensions contributions, followed closely with 73% of employers receiving childcare vouchers on top of their salary. The next two most popular flexible benefits are healthcare (50%) and payroll giving (49%) which the CIPP is pleased with being such a strong advocate of payroll giving schemes.

Diana Bruce, senior policy liaison officer at the CIPP, said: "With many employees experiencing pay freezes and even pay cuts it is more important than ever that individuals feel they are getting the maximum value from any benefits provided in the workplace.

"The employer's task is not a simple one as they too are looking for the best value from their spending so the requirement to source the most cost effective benefits, whilst ensuring the provision of optimum reward for their staff is vital.

"The survey results show that employees feel that benefits are an important part of the remuneration package so effective communication of what's on offer is key to ensure staff feel valued during these stringent times."

The survey also found that over a fifth of employers (21%) do not offer flexible benefits to their employees.

The CIPP polled 213 working-age employees over a period of four weeks.