news backgroundRising Costs and Recruitment Struggles, Here’s How Employers Are Reworking Health Benefits

Rising Costs and Recruitment Struggles, Here’s How Employers Are Reworking Health Benefits

By Gabriel Birky PohiriethPublished: 20/05/2022

Following rising levels of inflation, increased struggles in retaining employees, and higher healthcare costs, employers have experienced their fair share of difficulties. But employers aren’t alone, employees are also still experiencing the effects of the pandemic.

As 2022 pushes forward, employers are looking to implement new changes to not only save money but provide more adapted care to their employees to help keep employees healthy and happy in a time of remote work and virtual care. So, what are other companies doing and how can your business support itself and its employees, let’s find out!

Employee health benefits are a priority for employers

The UK has seen an increase in the need for employees to receive more support in various health-related aspects. According to Towergate Health & Protections research, 86% of employers believe that employees need more support for their health and wellbeing.

This same study showed that the differences were more noticeable when it came to larger companies as opposed to small to medium-sized enterprises. In companies with more than 250 employees, 49% of employers were concerned about their staff’s mental health since the pandemic, whereas in smaller businesses the percentage only reached 37%.

Employee’s mental health has also had an impact on employer’s costs when it comes to absenteeism, presenteeism (working while ill and therefore underperforming), and labour turnover as the estimated annual total costs reach £53-56 billion according to the Deloitte Mental health and employers report.

Now, this is where companies can make a change. Employers can effectively reduce costs by placing their focus on employees' mental well-being and introducing measures such as screening, training, targeted interventions or personal therapy for employees, and bringing general awareness to mental health issues.

Employers offer virtual care as a potential long term solution

Employers are offering healthcare support to ensure employee satisfaction and retention, and employees are beginning to expect it as well. According to the Deloitte survey, only 6% of employees thought less about their mental health now than before the pandemic. Beyond that, 31% of employees now expect more support for their mental health.

Beyond that, the study found that early interventions and certain types of intervention would give the largest returns on investment. When businesses focused on organisation-wide early interventions the ROI was £5.60 for every £1 invested, higher than proactive and reactive interventions. Whereas the type of intervention with the highest average ROI was screening, followed by training, awareness-raising, and therapy.

Virtual Care or telehealth/telemedicine is also poised as being a key part of healthcare strategies. When used effectively, this type of care can potentially help reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, and improve employee engagement. According to WTW (WillisTowersWatson), 39% of employers have provided or expanded access to telemedicine during the pandemic, beyond that 19% are planning or considering virtual care for their employees.

Other companies are ready to save money while offering more adapted care for their employees, is your business ready too?

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