Employee fringe benefits that disappeared after the pandemic outbreak (Analysis)

Redacția nov. 29, 2021 0 comentarii
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The types of fringe benefits given to employees, such as massages and office meals, fell by 95% in 2020 compared to 2019, while so far this year they have not been given at all, according to an analysis published on Monday by a consulting company and cited by Agerpres. On the other hand, while at the beginning of 2019, life insurance was the most rarely seen benefit in companies, at the end of 2020 there was a 50% increase in its granting.

“If we look at the evolution of benefit packages in the last year, we see (…) the disappearance of certain types of benefits granted to employees before the pandemic, such as massage and office meals. This is mainly due to the implementation of teleworking or home working. Thus, in 2020, the decrease was 95% compared to 2019. In the period January 2021 – present, these benefits have not been granted at all. Decrease in certain benefit-in-kind packages, such as gym memberships and Christmas parties. We can consider that the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of gyms during certain periods has also had an impact on the sphere of sports and recreational activities. The year 2021 saw a further 40% decrease compared to the values recorded in 2020,” Mazars consultants note.

Other elements that affected employees’ incomes are related to the capping of certain benefits (meal vouchers and voluntary pensions) and the increase in the granting of certain salary benefit packages (health insurance and life insurance)

“While at the beginning of 2019, life insurance was the benefit most rarely seen in companies, at the end of 2020 there was an increase in the granting of these benefits by 50% compared to 2019. In terms of the data recorded in 2021, the value of health insurance increased by 17% compared to the values recorded in 2020, while life insurance amounts doubled compared to the values recorded in this category in 2020,” the analysis notes.

At the same time, accelerated growth was seen in shares offered by companies to their own employees. Thus, in 2020, 23% more shares were granted than in the previous year, and in 2021, 70% more shares were granted than in 2020.

“Although still a hotly debated topic in the public arena, the way we will work in the future will be very different from what we were used to before the pandemic started. With 75% of employees surveyed by Gartner saying they expect flexible working, most companies have already incorporated this flexibility into their benefits list. Employers who insist on a full return to the office will have to manage the resignations of 40% of employees who have expressed their intention to leave employers who will not integrate remote or hybrid working. Even employees working in the retail sector have expressed a desire to choose shift work instead of having it imposed on them, which will put a lot of pressure on the big players in this sector. The pressure to adapt working hours to employees’ needs is also being felt in the construction sector as well as in the telecom sector,” say Mazars consultants.

A Salesforce survey reveals that 59% of respondents see hybrid working arrangements as a benefit to employee well-being, so this is a benefit today’s employers are looking for.

Mazars is an international partnership providing integrated audit, accounting, financial, legal and tax advisory services with operations in over 90 countries and territories.

In Romania, Mazars has more than 25 years of experience in audit, tax, financial, accounting, HR and payroll advisory services.

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