Real Employment Law Advice

Employers increasingly concerned about Employee retention

The Pandemic has caused significant uncertainty for some employees, who have either become concerned about their employment or who have enjoyed the flexibility and work life balance which working from home has achieved and are concerned about returning to the office.

In turn employers are becoming increasingly concerned about employee retention and are looking at what additional benefits they could offer to retain their employees.

Research undertaken by Garner shows that 91% of employers are concerned about employee turnover.  Further, the research also shows that 38% of workers are looking to change roles within the next 6 to 12 months, and that often workers are considering at two job offers at the same time.

With employers facing an extremely competitive job market, many businesses are placing more emphasis and consideration on the benefits being offered to entice employees to stay with them.

Benefit 1: Hybrid or Home Working

At present the main benefit being afforded to employees is the continuation of home working or introduction of hybrid working, and the pandemic demonstrated that employees could work from home and be just as efficient, if not more so, then when they are in the office.

As most employers who are offering hybrid or home working on a longer term basis have already had to implement home working measures, there will be little to no impact on the business. However, the employee has the benefit of not having the daily commute to and from the office, which could add another hour or two to an employee’s day, it may also allow employees the freedom to work around childcare, in a way they were unable to do before. In the circumstances, it could be a very easy benefit to afford your employees.

I know that candidates have been pulling out of roles, where the employer does not offer home or flexible working, and this speaks volumes. This means if candidates are holding out for the flexibility, chances are your employees are considering this option, this will be particularly the case where they were working from home and have then had to return to the office on a full-time basis.

If you are considering implementing home or hybrid working, then I would recommend you have your policies and procedures reviewed to ensure they protect the business sufficiently. You need to consider how confidential information will be stored and who could have access to the employee’s equipment. There are also health and safety considerations. 

Despite, the benefits of working from home, it is not for everyone and as an employer you need to ensure that all employees feel valued. With this is mind some employers are considering enhancing employee’s statutory benefits, such as maternity and adoption pay and/or offering longer parental leave and pay.

Benefit 2: Enhanced parental leave

I consider enhanced parental leave and pay to be a good benefit, as the parent who does not take the primary caring role often misses out on the important first few moments with their child. It normally boils down to the fact that, as a family you have taken a financial hit due to the statutory maternity pay, and you cannot afford for the other parent to be off, and so they either have to take holiday or return to work sooner than they would like.

I therefore consider, alleviating the financial concern for your employees to be an excellent benefit.

Benefit 3: Unlimited annual leave

This may fill you with dread at the very thought, but if you can create a results based working environment then the provision of unlimited annual leave could make you a very attractive employer compared to your competitors.

More common benefits

There are of course other more common benefits which could be provided to employees’ such as:

  1. Enhanced holiday entitlement.
  2. Private medical insurance.
  3. Bonus/commission scheme.
  4. Gym membership.
  5. Cinema membership.
  6. Subsidised travel costs.

Any of these benefits are likely to make a role more attractive and assist in retaining employees.

If you do decide to implement any employee benefits, then you need to consider whether the benefits will be contractual or non-contractual, and you are now required by law to confirm what employee benefits are included within the employment contract. I would therefore recommend that you have your contracts reviewed as part of the process, to ensure they are legal compliant.

Contractual benefits will be harder to change in the event that the benefit becomes too costly to the business, whereas non-contractual benefits can be withdrawn at the employer’s discretion. However, bear in mind that employees are likely to favour contractual benefits over non-contractual benefits, as they may feel they will not actually be provided with the non-contractual benefit, due to it being discretionary.

If you are considering making a benefit non-contractual then it may be a good idea to discuss matters with your employees’ and provide them with some reassurance that the benefit will only be withdrawn in limited circumstances.

If you are considering implementing any employee benefits, and would like your contracts and policies reviewed, please do not hesitate to contact either myself of a member of our team on 01983 897003. 

Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

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The information contained in this blog post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time it is written. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.


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