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Staff rate perks above pay, statistics show

More than half of employees would take a job with a new employer, without a better salary if it offered better benefits, according to Canada Life.

The online survey of 1,308 staff shows almost two-thirds (61%) take the benefits on offer to them into account when considering a new job role. The same survey carried out in 2009 found that this was true of 52%, illustrating the difficult economic climate has increased the value of benefits to prospective employees.

Forty-nine per cent would give up part of their salary to gain better benefits.

The findings also indicate that employees have priced in the effects of the phasing out of defined benefit pension schemes and now see career average or defined contribution schemes as the new reality in pension benefits.

Of those who would move companies for better benefits, 13% would do so because they value benefits highly, and 19% because of the prospect of earning more in the long run. Twelve per cent said that they feel a generous benefits package illustrates the value an employer places upon the employee, whilst 8% said that the value of benefits had increased due to economic conditions.

With only 2% of respondents saying that they 'did not need' benefits, the appeal that they can add to a company looking to recruit and retain staff is invaluable.

But there is currently a "value gap" between those benefits most commonly offered and those that are highly valued by employees.

The survey shows the most valued benefits for employees are:

  1. Pension
  2. More than 28 days holiday
  3. Income protection
  4. Redundancy benefits
  5. Life insurance
  6. Critical illness cover
  7. Health insurance
  8. Maternity cover

But this conflicts with the top benefits offered by employers

  1. Pension
  2. More than 28 days holiday
  3. Free eye tests
  4. Death in service benefits
  5. Shopping discounts
  6. Bonus
  7. Maternity cover, above statutory levels
  8. Subsidised canteen

Paul Avis, director at Canada Life Group Insurance: "Over the past few years people's priorities have changed. In the past many employees would be tempted to accept a new job based purely upon the salary that was offered. However the uncertain job market and rising cost of living has meant that people look for the additional benefits that an employer offers.

"As our research shows, employers would do well to acknowledge the value that employees place upon benefits. By meeting the expectations of prospective employees, they will not only attract new recruits but also retain them."

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