FDs fail to review employee benefits

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As many as three-quarters of finance directors (FDs) have failed to review their company’s employee benefits since 2009.
Time and economic pressures were blamed for the lack of evaluation in a survey commissioned by insurance provider Unum.
Around one in five FDs neglected to consult HR, while 27 per cent have limited contact with the department regarding benefits.
The research also revealed that three-quarters are very or moderately involved in their organisation’s package, and the remaining 28 per cent are responsible for sign-off. Despite this, half of FDs admitted to spending just three days or less on these decisions.
In addition, almost two in five claimed to only amend their offering to remain competitive in the market, while more than two-thirds plan to freeze or cut their spend in this area this year.
Peter O’Donnell, Finance Director at Unum, said: “I can empathise with hard-pressed FDs and understand the challenges they face. However, we can’t forget that benefits can play an important role in saving money and making for more predictable annual costs.”
There was also misunderstanding among FDs over Income Protection, which pays part of an individual’s wage if they leave work as a result of illness or injury, with one in 10 FDs not knowing what it is.
“Income Protection is one of the few employee benefits to provide a valuable saving for the employer if you do need to claim by getting people back to work more quickly and paying the employee an income so the employer doesn’t have to,” added O’Donnell. “This is no small consideration when one in 10 people go on long-term sick leave during their working lives.”

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