During the pandemic, the majority of companies have refrained from cutting back their employee benefits plans and focused instead on adding new products to the offering to address the situation. These additions are likely to stay as employers now deem them as part of their value proposition.
Companies that have come under financial pressure due to the government restrictions imposed to reduce infection rates have introduced a hiring freeze and/or made some staff redundant if needed, held off on pay rises, or even pushed for temporary pay cuts. In many countries, governments used tax income to finance furlough schemes and take up the slack, but finances came under stress for many people. In this context of austerity, it was good to see that employee benefits plans remained in place, and if anything, were built out to address the increased support needs of staff.
Since the start of the pandemic, companies focused on building out their mental health support, expanded wellbeing employee assistance programmes, and added telemedicine services and financial education to their offering. These initiatives are reassuring evidence of the value companies place in their employee benefits offering. And it has paid off.