Despite making cut backs in many areas, employers remain committed to looking after their people. Spend on employee healthcare benefits, in the form of Health Cash Plans, has increased by a phenomenal 180% over the past 12 months, according to Employee Benefits / Simplyhealth Healthcare Research 2009.
The annual survey, conducted by Employee Benefits magazine and sponsored by leading health organisation Simplyhealth, reveals that 14% of companies across the UK now offer a company-paid healthcare scheme in the form of a Health Cash Plan, compared with just 5% last year.
It is Small / Medium Enterprises that are the most proactive, with over a quarter (27%) of companies employing under 100 people now implementing a Health Cash Plan, whilst just 17% of 100 - 500 employees sized companies and 3% of businesses with employees between 501 - 1,000 mirrored this initiative.
This trend looks set to continue as 22% of employers confirmed they plan to increase the healthcare benefits that they offer within the next 12 months to help employees look after their health and wellbeing in these times of need.
Commenting on the research, James Glover for Simplyhealth says, "Amid all the doom and gloom we keep hearing about, employers are recognising how important it is to look after staff wellbeing in these changing times. As employees struggle with money worries and the cost of rising bills, a company-paid Healthplan is a welcomed and valued form of support, whilst helping employers to maintain a happy and healthy workforce."