Employee Benefits – SME’s In The Spotlight

Employee Benefits – SME’s In The Spotlight

When it comes to employee health and wellbeing, SMEs are falling behind smaller companies in the eyes of their employees. That’s one of the key findings to come out of new research by Legal & General (L&G).

According to L&G’s latest SME research, more employees working for smaller companies trust their employer to look after them than those working for larger SMEs. This, despite the fact that these larger organisations are more likely to have a health and wellbeing strategy in place.

In fact, L&G’s research found a direct correlation between the size of the business and the level of trust employees place in their employer.


The research shows that almost three quarters (74%) of employees working for micro businesses (defined as having nine or fewer employees) said they trust their employer to look after their wellbeing. In comparison, 55% of employees working for smaller companies (with between 10 and 49 staff) and just 42% of employees at medium companies (50 to 249 employees) said the same.

What’s most surprising about these results is the fact that medium-sized businesses are significantly more likely to have wellbeing strategies in place. As the L&G research reveals, almost double the percentage of medium-sized businesses have a wellbeing strategy, compared with their micro-counterparts – the figures are 77% and 39% respectively.

As Legal & General’s distribution director for group protection, Colin Fitzgerald points out: “Medium sized companies might have the tools in place – in terms of a wellbeing strategy – but it’s not necessarily translating into trust.

“So, either their benefit and wellbeing programmes are not considered relevant by all of their employees or they’re being poorly communicated.”


Meanwhile, separate research shows that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing many businesses to review the benefits they offer their employees. Accordingly, almost three quarters (72%) of employers will review their employee benefits offering in direct response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Research also reveals how the pandemic has led to a significant change in personal, as well as corporate, attitudes towards employee benefits provision. Findings suggest that 60% of people feel employee benefits are now either ‘much more important’ (38%) or a ‘little more important’ (22%) than before the pandemic. Furthermore, not one person polled in a recent study said they felt that the need for employee benefit provision had reduced since the lockdown began.


Providing staff with valuable employee benefits makes good sense all round, but do you make enough noise about what you already provide? Also, what is your thinking behind any incumbent benefits package? Is it a collection of numerous isolated decisions? Have reviews been performed to see how it all hangs together and degrees of integration explored? Gaps identified? If you have an incumbent package you would like reviewed, and/or are interested in considering additional health and wellbeing benefits, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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