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Younger employees more willing to take risks with pay

Younger employees are more willing to take risks with pay and show greater interest in variable remuneration, according to research by PwC.

When asked whether they would be willing to swap £1,000 of their salary for the chance to receive a performance-related bonus of £5,000, 36% of respondents under 20 agreed. This compares to an average of 20% across all ages, and 18% among those aged 40 to 59.

Younger members of staff also expressed more of an interest in workplace training, with 25% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they would pick a four-day training scheme over cash.

Other benefits valued by Generation Y employees included company car schemes (32%) and gym memberships (20%).

Discounted or free food and drink is also popular among young staff, with 43% saying they would like a discounted canteen. More than half of those under 20 said they would give up 5% of their salary to receive free food and drink at work.

PwC’s survey of 2,400 UK employees also discovered gender differences in how workers view workplace benefits.

Medical insurance was valued more highly by women (32%) than men (24%), while company car schemes were more popular among men (29%) than women (21%).

PwC pay, performance and risk partner John Harding said reward is not a “one size fits all” activity.

He added: “Employers need to understand their people and their diversity to design a reward programme that takes account of individual preference. Effectively communicating and targeting benefits to different segments of the workforce could bring significant cost savings and stop the employer wasting valuable cash on benefits that are simply not valued by everyone.”

Most popular benefits

When asked to rank benefits that cut the cost of living, employees scored the following most highly: discount shopping vouchers (44%), help with mortgage rates (37%), healthcare (36%) and extra holiday (35%).

“Despite record low inflation, many people are still feeling the squeeze and value benefits that will save them money,” said Harding.