- There are many forms of employee health benefits: Examples include private medical insurance, eye care, employee wellness programmes, gym memberships and counselling.
- Benefits can improve a business’s bottom line: This is due to better employee retention and therefore, lower recruitment costs, less employee absence and improved productivity.
- Employee health benefits promote overall wellbeing: Comprehensive employee health benefits will contribute to the physical, emotional and financial health of employees.
Employee health benefits refer to any non-monetary compensation an employer provides to their employees, above their normal salary or wage, for the purpose of caring for their health and wellbeing. Examples of employee health benefits include mental health support, dental care and fertility treatments.
More and more companies are now offering their employees health benefits yet there is still a gap between what employees hope to get and what employers actually provide. For example, 31.3% of employees state that they’d like private medical coverage yet only 12.6% of small and medium-sized enterprises offer this.
Having a health benefits package is advantageous for your business but it can also make a significant difference to your employees’ lives and wellbeing. In this guide, we explore the importance of health benefits to employees, outlining how they can make a positive impact on your workforce.
Benefits make employees feel valued
Longstanding research by the American Psychological Association revealed that employees who feel valued report better physical and mental health. In addition, 88% of those are more engaged and motivated to do their best work.
Statistics such as these demonstrate that ensuring employees feel valued has a benefit for individual employees, the workforce as a whole and the business. Employee health benefits are an excellent way to show employees that you value them, not just as members of the team but as people.
Benefits help employees to improve their work-life balance
Employee health benefits demonstrate that you acknowledge that your staff have priorities and lives outside of the workplace, and that how they feel and function matters beyond the office.
There are multiple ways that employee health benefits can improve an employee’s work-life balance. For example, a gym membership may allow them to incorporate regular exercise into their weekly routine. This could give them some much-needed time to focus on themselves and support their mental health.
Private healthcare that extends to family members, alongside paid time off for appointments, could ensure that a single parent can focus on a poorly child, without worrying about how they will fund treatment or what time off work will mean for their job security.
Benefits can lower stress levels
Stress can come from many situations, for example, a heavy workload, financial troubles, big life changes, illness and interpersonal issues. While employee health benefits may not be able to directly change such circumstances, they can help ease the emotional or mental pressure that arises from them.
For example, if someone has a big project deadline at work, resulting in them juggling many tasks and working long hours, access to a meditation app could help them to unwind and promote a better night’s sleep.
If an employee is going through a divorce and is navigating the division of assets, moving home and different living arrangements with their children, therapy sessions may give them the coping strategies they need to better manage each step in the process.
Helping employees to lower stress also has benefits for the business. Lower stress, and therefore better overall health, leads to high levels of employee productivity and fewer days off work.
Benefits can save employees money
There is no doubt that the cost of living has increased dramatically, with inflation reaching a 40-year high in October 2022. Essentials, such as food, have become more expensive, while bills, fuel and other goods have risen in cost, too.
This means that many people across the country are having to spread their income further than ever before. Employee health benefits can support employees by giving them access to free healthcare, and subsidised products and services. Some health benefits can also help them to lower their overall expenditure. A workplace that uses a bike-to-work scheme, for instance, may result in an employee no longer using a car to commute to work, thus saving on fuel, and vehicle wear and tear.
Health benefits can also help employees and their families to access and afford routine examinations, preventive care, prescription medications and medical treatments. This is particularly pertinent when you consider the increase in NHS appointment waiting times and the thousands of people who have reported struggling to find an NHS dentist.
Benefits promote inclusion and diversity
By offering access to services and healthcare that employees may not have been able to access otherwise, employee health benefits allow employees to thrive at work and in their personal lives, regardless of their gender identity, race or socio-economic background. This promotes diversity in the workforce and demonstrates a dedication to inclusion in the workplace.
For example, same-sex couples often face barriers to fertility treatment. Last year, the government announced plans to provide equal access to NHS-funded treatment, but before this, female homosexual couples were required to give proof of trying to conceive a minimum of six times using self-funded intrauterine insemination (IUI) before the NHS would consider them for fertility treatment. A company that offers funded fertility treatment for all employees would help overcome such a barrier, providing all who want it the chance to become parents.
If you are looking to create or expand your employee health benefits package, have you considered cancer support? One in two people will get some form of cancer in their lifetime and of those, 36% are of working age. Perci Health can help employers support employees with cancer via our virtual care clinic. We connect those affected by cancer to a range of specialists, ensuring they receive professional and personalised guidance. See how Perci Health works today by booking a demo with our team.
‘Can you afford not to offer business medical cover to your staff?’ smallbusiness.co.uk, February 2023, https://smallbusiness.co.uk/can-you-afford-not-to-offer-business-medical-cover-to-your-staff-2548271/
‘APA Survey Finds Feeling Valued at Work Linked to Well-Being and Performance’, apa.org, February 2023, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/03/well-being
‘The cost of living, current and upcoming work: February 2023’, ons.gov.uk, February 2023, https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/thecostoflivingcurrentandupcomingwork/february2023
‘New measures to improve access to dental care’, gov.uk, February 2023, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-improve-access-to-dental-care
‘Women’s Health Strategy For England’, gov.uk, August 2022, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/womens-health-strategy-for-england/womens-health-strategy-for-england‘Cancer’, nhs.uk, February 2023, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/