Benefits inequality: Are HR managers getting workplace rewards right?

Written by
Changeboard Team

15 Sep 2016

15 Sep 2016 • by Changeboard Team

An overwhelming majority of UK HR managers are confident that they got their employee benefits strategy right, despite an apparent inequality among many UK workforces. 

90% of respondents to a survey by Grass Roots Employee believed that their workplace rewards scheme is correct. 

However, an estimated 35% of workers are not receiving any rewards beyond pay, with male senior full-time workers claiming to get far more than their colleagues.

John Arnold, professor of organisation behaviour at Loughborough University said: “There’s a strong tendency for HR manager to believe that more benefits are being offered than employees think there are. It suggests that clearer information about benefits is needed within organisations.” 

The survey suggests that the UK could be suffering from a ‘gender benefits gap’ with women receiving less workplace benefits. 

44% of women say they do not receive wellbeing benefits such as healthcare and gym memberships, compared to 32% of men. Women also get fewer productivity benefits such as flexible hours or education funding. 48% of women said they received no such benefits in contrast to 35% of men.

Part time workers are also far less likely to receive any further benefits, with over half of respondents receiving no wellbeing or productivity support.

Stephen Holt, commercial director at Grass Roots commented: “There could be many factors affecting why people appear to get different access to benefits and definitely some cases of inequality, but we think that the relevance of a benefits offer to different demographics of worker is also likely to impact their awareness of what’s available to them.”

When asked what benefits they believe will be important to future workforces, financial reward was top, closely followed by flexible hours and technology to facilitate working remotely.

‘Nice to have’ benefits such as free gym memberships were overlooked in favour of flexible work, as 49% of employees want to achieve a better work life balance.