Aviva Research | Benefits of Employment

One-third of employees are unaware of any benefits associated with their employment

More than 7 in 10 workers would continue to work through illness out of a sense of responsibility, according to new research from Aviva

One-third of employees are unaware of any benefits associated with their employment

Some 73% of workers in Ireland would feel a sense of responsibility to their family and/ or their employer which would drive them to endeavour to continue to work if they were to fall ill for an extended period of time, a new survey from Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland DAC (Aviva) has found.

The latest survey of 700 working adults from across the country was conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva and found that more than one-third of employees (35%) are unaware that there may be benefits available to them as part of their employment contract over and above their financial remuneration and annual leave.

The survey also explored what benefits workers would most value, with the findings showing that employees place greater importance on benefits such as private healthcare and income protection than free/subsidised lunches, club memberships or indeed a contribution towards childcare costs.

One of the most telling findings of the survey was just how many of us would feel some pressure to continue to work primarily to support our family, but also to make a meaningful contribution to our employer even if we were to fall ill for several months. The majority (34%) of workers would continue to work through illness out of a sense of responsibility to their family – with more men (36%) than women at 29% claiming they would do so. Just why people feel this is unclear but the financial implications of being absent from work is undoubtedly a key consideration. This underscores the value of an employer paid income protection policy as a benefit to allow employees recover from illness without financial worry and to encourage staff retention.

Siocha Costello, Aviva

The Aviva survey pointed to some discrepancy in the experience of male and female employees, with more women (40%) than men (30%) saying that they are unaware if there were any additional benefits associated with their employment. While 42% of workers said they have had their benefits confirmed in their appointment letter, almost a quarter (23%) said that they were only advised of them verbally. The findings showed that men were more likely (46%) than women at 38% to have their benefits confirmed in writing.

Siocha Costello went on to advise: “Ireland has almost reached full employment, and many sectors are now struggling to recruit suitable candidates.  Employers looking to recruit and indeed retain key workers will need to consider the total benefits package that they have on offer and ensure that it is meaningful for workers as the competition for talent continues. It also makes sense that, where employers do provide real benefits such as life insurance, income protection or a health insurance policy, that the benefits are clearly outlined in both the job specifications, the employee’s contract as well as in their communications to employees”.

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