According to research by Employee Benefits magazine and Simplyhealth (HSA), employers remain committed to looking after their staff despite the recession and widespread cutbacks.
The findings of the annual survey show that spending on employee healthcare benefits, in the form of Health Cash Plans, has risen by a huge 180% over the past 12 months. The survey results also reveal that 14% of UK companies now offer an employee healthcare Cash Plan scheme, compared with just 5% of companies last year.
It appears that small to medium size businesses are largely responsible for the continued rise, with 27% of companies employing under 100 people now offering a Health Cash Plan, compared to just 17% of 100-500 employee sized businesses and 3% of enterprises with employees between 501-1,000 doing the same.
Employees working in the pharmaceutical industry receive the best provision with 33% of industry employers offering healthcare benefits, followed by the building and construction industry at 26%.
Corporate Sales and Marketing Director for Simplyhealth, James Glover, commented: "Amidst 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."
With 22% of employers confirming that they intend to increase their healthcare benefits within the next 12 months, the rising trend looks set to continue.