In a recent study conducted by Towergate Health & Protection, it has been revealed that a staggering 75 percent of companies do not tailor their employee benefits to different demographics within their workforce.

This comes in stark contrast to the fact that 61 percent of these same companies report receiving requests from their staff for demographic-specific wellbeing support, including considerations such as gender or age.

The failure to align health and wellbeing support with the diverse needs of employees poses a potential risk for employers.

Benefits that are not customised to specific demographics may be perceived as irrelevant, leading to undervaluation and underutilisation. Consequently, this oversight could impact recruitment, retention, productivity, and absenteeism rates within the company.

Why are employers not tailoring benefits?

A primary obstacle identified by employers for not tailoring benefits to demographics is the perceived complexity of such an endeavour. Nearly half (48%) of the surveyed companies acknowledged this challenge, even though they expressed a desire to provide benefits in a more targeted manner.

One effective approach suggested by experts involves considering the life stages and unique needs of employees within different demographics. For instance, analysing factors such as age and gender can help guide the selection of benefits that are most relevant, such as support for fitness, fertility, menopause, or heart health.

Debra Clark, Head of Wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, emphasised the importance of recognising patterns within demographic profiles. She stated, “While everyone is different, there are definite patterns surrounding demographic profiles, which can help employers to offer the right benefits at the right time. Age and gender demographics are a starting point. There is then a sliding scale of more in-depth analysis of the likely requirements of each individual.”

A targetted approach

The research also indicated that only a quarter (25%) of employers target benefits based on age, lifestyle, and risk factors. Health and wellbeing support based on risk factors involves assessing the likelihood of individuals developing certain health conditions, such as diabetes. This targeted approach allows employers to implement preventive and supportive measures tailored to specific needs.

Towergate’s study revealed that the most common method for risk profiling is through employee-completed questionnaires on the risk of serious illness, employed by 36 percent of companies. Additionally, 27 percent of companies conduct questionnaires on weight and fitness, while 26 percent offer more in-depth medical assessments of the risk of serious illness.

Debra Clark emphasised, “The more targeted health and wellbeing support is, the more it will benefit the individual and, therefore, the company with a greater return on investment. Making support more specific to the individual makes employee benefits more highly valued, utilised, and cost-effective, as the money is spent where it will have the most impact.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.