Half of Irish workers not offered any employment benefits

One in 10 men compared with just one in 20 women said they would be too self-conscious to make use of benefits such as yoga classes. Photograph: PA

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Half of Irish workers are not offered any employment benefits, while four out of 10 with access to benefits do not use them, according to new research.

The findings stem from research conducted by Lockton People Solutions which surveyed more than 700 employees in small to large organisations in a range of public and private sector industries.

More women (57 per cent) than men (44 per cent) do not receive any benefits, the report found.

The biggest reason cited by those who do not take up benefits was a lack of relevance to their lives, which was cited by nearly half. A quarter of employees cited a lack of communication as one of the reasons for not taking advantage of employee benefits.

More than six in 10 of those working in small organisations with 50 employees or less said they do not receive additional workplace benefits compared to 43 per cent of those working in large-scale businesses of 250 or more people.

Those over the age of 55 were the most likely cohort to say that workplace offerings do not resonate with their lives and needs (52 per cent).

One in 10 men compared with just one in 20 women said they would be too self-conscious to make use of benefits such as yoga classes and counselling support, with those aged 45-54 the most likely to share this sentiment, at 10 per cent.

The report also suggested industry-based discrepancies between those employees in receipt of benefits and those who are not offered any additional extras. Public sector employees were the most likely to not receive any benefits.

By sector, those in the pharma and manufacturing industries were the least likely not to get benefits.

More than half of those in the public and private education and healthcare sectors said a lack of relevance was the key reason they do not utilise workplace benefits.

More than one in four of those working in the business services sector such as IT and financial services said working from home was the main reason they do not avail of benefits as many of them are office-based.

Communication about benefits appears to be worst in retail hospitality and the public education and healthcare sectors where 36 per cent of workers stated that nobody has ever explained how or where to access benefits.

No stark or remarkable differences were found between different-sized organisations when it comes to why people don’t take up benefits, the report added.


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