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Employers Offer Flexible Benefits to Retain Skills


Employers are increasingly offering a wide selection of benefits to staff in an attempt to recruit and retain professionals with key skills, a study says.

According to research firm Computer Economics, almost half (43%) of the 500 companies surveyed provided a flexible benefits package, compared to 30% in 2004.

More than three quarters (77%) of organisations allowed employees to work from home in 2005, an increase from 63% in the previous year.

Responding to worries that women will not return to work after maternity leave, companies are increasingly offering childcare arrangements to staff. Less than a fifth (19%) provided this option in 2004, but during 2005 this figure leapt to 29%.

Commenting on the research, director at Computer Economics Trevor Morris said: “There has been a significant increase in flexible benefits year on year. Companies realise they need to improve their benefits if they want to be thought of as an employer of choice.”

One Response

  1. Flexible Employment
    I found this an interesting confirmation of what many already know: that if you want to retain valued staff, ‘one size is most likely not going to suit all’.

    For all that smaller organisations inevitably find the full weight of changes in UK Employment Law especially constricting and expensive to sustain, they can at least be more flexible and employee-sensitive than many larger companies in making special exceptions for individual employees without setting global precedents. (In several businesses in which I am involved, this is acheived quite readily, and in one particular case almost no employee’s contract is quite like any other’s. But these are only small organisations in the grand scale of things.)

    So two further questions come to mind.

    How might very large employers be more flexible in meeting their employee’s individual needs, without creating expectations that may not be met more globally without possible abuse?

    And specifically within unionised workforces, and particularly those in the public sector where more rigid and codified employment practices may reach more senior levels than in many private sector organisations, is such flexibility ever likely to be a realistic proposition?

    (And just in case these questions may be misunderstood? I have no doubt personally about the worth of Trades Union in terms of collective bargaining given shared trust between them, their members and the employers, and I have experienced this many times as an MD in the past, employing several thousand folk across 25 sites in the UK, even if represented by 7 different Unions. But how is such flexibility to be achieved with shared advantage in practice?)

    Thankfully, these questions are not my daily concern, for all that I may have some suggestions. But worth posing?



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