Employment benefits offered to staff in addition to their salaries have positive effects for both workers and for companies, according to the Institute for Employment Studies (IES).

Peter Reilly, director of HR research and consultancy at the organisation, stated that a flexible choice of benefits for employees can make a company attractive to both people with families – who may be impressed by health insurance – and young people who might be after more holiday time or something impressive to tell their friends.

He said: "There’s an argument to say that as we have a more diverse work force and a more consumerist society, people want more personalised pay and conditions. Flexible benefits offer that."

The expert added that tailoring benefit packages to the desires of a workforce is about finding the "right buttons to press" in terms of the groups that are employed.

Established in 1969, IES identifies itself as a national centre of expertise on the issues of labour market change, productivity and manpower planning.