Danny McCance 10 Jan 2019 11:12am

Flexible working top priority for employees

The vast majority of employers (97%) are aware that employees’ expectations over their benefits are changing and most (89%) agree they will need to change their benefit offering to meet the needs of future generations

The latest annual Benefits and Trends Survey from professional services firm Aon, reveals that the top priority for many employees was flexible working, with 98% of employers saying that employees now expected more flexible working hours.

Furthermore, 89% of employers said their employees now expect agile or home working options to be available, although only 36% of respondents said they had a flexible working policy.

The other top priorities for employees were better awareness of mental health (79%), better approaches to diversity and inclusion (65%) and improved maternity/paternity/parental leave policies (63%).

In August, research suggested that business leaders were recognising an increase in the number of staff taking leave over mental health issues, finding that 49% of businesses surveyed did not offer access to occupational health support.

These figures come against a backdrop of competition for talent, with more than 60% of businesses saying they are already changing their policies to compete for talent with different sectors. However, 50% admit that their benefits do not meet the needs all generations within their workforce.

Research released yesterday found that a lack of available candidates in UK job markets has driven pay rates higher, with demand for staff growing at a stronger rate than seen over the past 21 years.