New data highlights a discrepancy between what employers are providing in terms of benefits and what staff really want – with many workers arguing that some benefits should be mandatory. 

Research by Moneypenny, an outsourced communications provider, has found that current benefits packages are failing to meet expectations.

In analysing various job advertisements, the company found that over two-fifths (41 per cent) listed a pension as a perk of the job.

This was followed by the option to work from home with around a fifth of companies offering this (22 per cent) – despite the radical shift which has occurred over the past year.

Over one in 10 (12 per cent) offered access to a gym while 11 per cent of job advertisements gave employees flexible working and sick pay.

However, when workers were surveyed on their reaction to this, many felt that a pension, sick pay and flexible working should be mandatory for staff and should not be marketed as “extras”.

The legal rights linked to the status of an “employee” confirms this with employees being entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, the right to request flexible working and the ability to join a company’s pension scheme.

Other listed benefits which employees did not feel should be classed as “extras” included free eye tests, working from home, maternity and paternity leave and kitchen facilities including tea and coffee.

Despite this, pension (42 per cent), sick pay (41 per cent) and flexible working hours (40 per cent) also topped the list as some of the most important priorities to staff.

Other benefits that employees desired included training (20 per cent), a bonus scheme (19 per cent) and time in lieu (18 per cent).

Categorising by age, Gen Z staff were most likely to desire weekly drinks and travelling for work the most, as a quarter of participants said so.

However, older staff (aged over 65) wanted a pension (60 per cent), sick pay (48 per cent) and flexible working hours (38 per cent).

Ceri Henfrey, Chief Operating Officer at Moneypenny, reacted to these findings:

After spending months cooped up indoors, having a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever.

We believe that one of the ways to help keep your staff happy is to provide them competitive and useful benefits that will enhance their experience working for you.

We’re not surprised to see flexible working, wellbeing programs and more ‘fun focused’ perks being featured across the listings we analysed, however it would be amazing to see more companies following suit in the future.

*OnePoll, on behalf of Moneypenny, surveyed 1,000 UK office workers between 8th and 12th July 2021. The company also analysed 1,000 job advertisements on Indeed, assessing the benefits each offered.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.