Health insurance, pensions and paid sick leave are among the top benefits sought by employees from their employers, new research has revealed.
However, the provision of support for childcare was the benefit that was least offered by employers, the study by Morgan McKinley also found, with just 1.1% receiving it from the firm they work for.
“The struggle for parents to balance careers and caregiving was an issue even before the pandemic,” said Trayc Keevans, Global FDI Director, Morgan McKinley Ireland.
“There is now a real opportunity for employers to achieve a better balance in the workplace through the inclusion of childcare support in their benefits offering.”
The survey of 1,551 individuals from across 22 industry sectors and 30 counties found that perks most commonly sought by workers are broadly aligned with the benefits that are most regularly offered by employers.
As well as the traditional benefits of health insurance, pensions and paid sick leave, bonuses and the ability to work from home are also key attractions for employees.
Nearly 70% of those surveyed said they would like a mixture of working from home and onsite.
Just 13.2% of employees said remote working has had a negative impact on their productivity.
Nearly three quarters of employee respondents said they receive some form of pension benefit from their employer, with higher levels in financial services, life sciences and IT.
Just one in every five workers is offered a more valuable Defined Benefit scheme by their company.
Morgan McKinley said Covid-19 has undoubtedly had an impact on the workplace.
“Employers have responded and revised their benefit strategies with 1 out of 4 employers surveyed confirming that they have amended their benefits offering because of Covid-19,” said Ms Keevans.
“As a result, flexible and hybrid work models are anticipated to proliferate in 2021 and are likely to endure.”
Employers in the multinational sector tend to still provide a more comprehensive benefits offering than Irish employers, the study also found.
Employees working in IT, financial services, life sciences and utilities and energy generally get offered more benefits than their peers working in other industry sectors..
According to Morgan McKinley benefits can be as important as competitive salaries in supporting candidate attraction and employee retention.
“Getting the package right with the proper mix of compensation, non-monetary rewards and benefits can become a major draw to attract and retain great talent,” said Ms Keevans.
“In fact, non-monetary benefits can play a surprisingly powerful role. Beyond traditional healthcare plans and pensions, employees now expect a broader choice of benefits that reflect their changing needs and lifestyles.”
“Meeting these expectations gives employers an opportunity to differentiate themselves in a very competitive market for talent.”
Around a quarter of employees said they were offered some form of stock or shares by the their employer, rising to over 50% in US headquartered firms