For the majority of businesses, 2022 brings a new set of complex challenges to navigate as they look to grow and attract talent while protecting margins.

Business costs are at a ten-year high, with inflation soaring and having a knock-on impact on pricing and demand.1 At the same time, job vacancies are at a record high, making the market for candidates fierce and driving up wage levels.2

As organisations plan ahead, they must balance the need to manage costs with pressure to attract the best people and retain the talent they already have. For many, this presents an opportunity to look beyond salary and think more creatively about reward packages.

Of course, financial remuneration will always be an important factor for employees, especially with household costs rising. However, people are increasingly looking for other benefits that support them personally, look after their health and wellbeing, and demonstrate a supportive, flexible culture.

Since the pandemic started, the idea of employee health has expanded beyond the physical, with staff increasingly expecting employers to support their emotional, financial, social and career wellness. And ideally, this will extend to their families. Giving employees added peace of mind that help is at hand is now a major incentive, presenting businesses with an important opportunity to rethink how they attract, care for and reward employees.

Alongside flexible and hybrid working, benefits that empower employees to take care of both their own and their families’ health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly appealing. Traditional private health insurance is often price prohibitive; however, a far more affordable and usable option is to offer a health care cash plan. These plans put money back into employees’ pockets – increasingly relevant as the cost of living spirals – by paying them cash back towards essential, everyday health costs such as dental treatment, eye tests, glasses/contact lenses, physiotherapy and much more.

Costing as little as £4.15 per employee per month, employer-paid cash plans are inexpensive, quick to implement and, crucially, often include 24/7 access to a GP and confidential employee assistance and counselling services. These services allow employees to deal proactively with many of the pressures faced as they continue to deal with the pandemic, including return to work issues, stress, family and relationship matters, health concerns such as nutrition, anxiety and depression, and financial worries such as debt management, benefits, tax and budgeting.

By taking a broader perspective to benefits packages, employers can manage the risks associated with escalating wages, while also demonstrating their duty of care and understanding of what matters to today’s employees.  For more information on the options available along with a free guide to supporting employee health and wellbeing, visit



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