The benefits package as a workplace incentive is back on the agenda – you could be forgiven for thinking that the rise of the zero hours contract means that the days of the generous side dishes in addition to salary are in the past, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Employers will still offer incentives to attract the best employees, and it’s worth both potential employees and their bosses to take a good look at what deals are on offer, particularly with private healthcare.
At the top of attractive additional incentives is private healthcare. It is also, however, the most expensive for the employer – or at least it is at first glance. If the employer offers a private healthcare package that extends to the employee’s entire immediate family it can prove very costly indeed, although they do have the option of offering cashback health plans instead, which tend to cover optician, dentist and physiotherapy costs; as these are occasional, and frequently not even needed by a sizeable percentage of employees, they can be a far more attractive prospect for the employer.
Offering health benefits and private healthcare as an employee perk does have one very important and significant plus for the employer, and that’s the boost in the morale of their workforce. Sick days average out at just over a working week per employee per year, which can be very costly, especially when you factor in that hiring a temporary worker might be necessary to stop essential tasks falling behind if someone is likely to be out for more than a week or two.
We might think of colds and flu as being the most common reasons for people to take time off sick, but winter coughs and sneezes take second place to something preventable; back pain, and other physical strains and injuries, and something perhaps even harder to remedy once it becomes an issue requiring an absence; stress. Of course, it’s the responsibility of the employer to ensure that workstations are properly set up, and that employees are schooled in basic health and safety procedures to protect themselves, but a culture of openness and willingness to invest in the health of the employee can also go a long way to reducing the overload that can lead to increased workplace stress.
Additionally, if an employee has choices over how they approach treatment, and where they seek treatment, they are likely to be out of the office for less time. Managing periods of absence by giving employees choice and freedom over when and where they have their treatment – such as private healthcare institutions like The Wilmslow Hospital – gives everyone the necessary breathing space to put contingency plans in place, including temporary cover, and the possibility to carry out a little work from home during the recovery period.
For employer and employee alike, rather than an unnecessary expense, private healthcare is one perk that is a must-have.