Tuesday, August 24, 2021

James Cox

Health Insurance, pensions and paid sick leave are the top three most sought after employee benefits.

A survey by Morgan McKinley looked at benefits employers offer versus the benefits employees value most.

Workers under the age of 25 valued educational support the most, which the recruitment firm says is often overlooked by employers.

Working from home was another option valued by employees.

Attracting and retaining the best talent is an increasingly difficult challenge that many organisations now face, according to the survey.

While salary still plays a role in attracting talent, employees now want regular, flexible, and holistic benefits that add value to their personal and professional lives. That’s one of the key findings of the survey.

The survey covered 1,551 individuals representing an overall employee population of over 1.1 million across 22 industry sectors and 30 counties in Ireland. The companies, corresponding to these employee responses, represent headquartered businesses from 48 different countries.

Morgan McKinley’s findings confirm that, in today’s employment market, benefits can be as important as competitive salaries in supporting candidate attraction and employee retention.

In the eyes of prospective employees, a benefits offering that aligns to an individual’s values and needs, can help employers differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The three benefits most valued or most desired by employees are still the ‘traditional’ ones, namely health insurance, pensions, and paid sick leave. Despite efforts from Irish employers to develop their benefits offering, the survey also shows that multinational employers in Ireland provide a more comprehensive benefits offering.

Employees working in the Information Technology (IT), Financial Service, Life Sciences and Utilities & Energy Industry sectors tend to be offered more benefits than their peers working in other industry sectors such as Education, Agriculture & Food and Engineering.


  • 73.6 per cent of employees surveyed said that they did receive some form of pension benefit from their employer.
  • This percentage increases to 84.9 per cent for employees working in Financial Services, 83.4 per cent for employees working in the Life Sciences sector and 81.9 per cent for employees working in the IT sector.
  • The most popular pension scheme in Ireland is the Defined Contribution (DC) scheme. 78.8 per cent of employees are currently offered a DC pension scheme as opposed to 18.2 per cent being offered a Defined Benefit (DB) scheme.

Paid Sick leave

  • 67.4 per cent of employees reported that their company provides them with paid sick leave.
  • 51.7 per cent of employees who participated in the survey reported not to have taken any Sick Leave in 2020.
  • This percentage is highest at 72.4 per cent for Construction employees, 66.7 per cent for Transport employees and 64.3 per cent for employees working in Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs).

Work from home

  • 69.9 per cent of employees reported that they would like to be offered a mix of remote and onsite working in the future and a further 20.5 per cent shared their wish to only work from home.
  • At the time of the survey, 81.8 per cent of employee respondents were working from home, either exclusively (65.4 per cent) or as part of a blended working schedule (16.4 per cent).
  • Only 13.2 per cent of employees have reported remote working to have had a negative impact on their productivity (45.2 per cent female and 54.8 per cent male).
  • It is more frequently offered to employees working in IT, Telecommunications, BPOs, Financial Services and Education sectors.

Stocks and shares

  • On average, 25.6 per cent of employees reported to be offered some form of Stock/Shares. This percentage reduces to 9.0 per cent for employees working in micro-companies and increases to 37.5 per cent for employees working in companies with a headcount of 1,000 or more.
  • 52.0 per cent of employees working for a US headquartered company are offered some sort of stock or share scheme as opposed to 34.8 per cent of employees working for German companies, 23.3 per cent of employees working for UK companies and 9.1 per cent of employees working for Irish companies.
  • The most commonly offered type of Stock/Shares are Approved Profit Sharing Schemes (APPS) and Restricted Stock Schemes.

Health Insurance

  • On average across all industry sectors in Ireland, 58.5 per cent of employees reported to be offered company sponsored Health Insurance.
  • This percentage rose to 82.4 per cent for employees working in IT, 77.3 per cent for employees working in Life Sciences and 71.4 per cent for employees working in the Business Process Outsourcing sector.
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

More National News