Articles & Insight
At Aon, we need to keep up-to-date with everything that’s going on in employee benefits, so we can give you the best service and support. We’ll share the highlights here regularly, so you can keep abreast of changes affecting the sector.
Also, our experts are often approached by the employee benefits media when they need an experienced perspective, or fresh research into new and emerging issues in the market, as well as inviting them to comment on hot topics in the media. The resulting pieces are great food for thought, so we’ll include them here too.
- Healthcare & Risk Benefits
- Online Benefits & Communications
- Workplace Pensions & Financial Wellbeing
Having a resilient workforce can be the difference between a business thriving or just surviving.
Considering employees may have been bombarded with questionnaires, pulse surveys and feedback requests over the course of the pandemic, it’s not surprising that employers and employees may be feeling some level of survey fatigue.
Wellbeing Strategy in place? Why taking part in Britain’s Healthiest Workplace helps you make an impact for employer and employee
Employers with a wellbeing strategy already in place may be wondering why taking part in the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Survey is a positive process..
Ask any employer, reward professional or HR practitioner why health and wellbeing is so important, and they’ll probably give you several answers: health and wellbeing initiatives can improve retention rates, increase productivity, boost employee loyalty and ultimately, can boost the bottom line.
When it comes to understanding risks to employee health, data is vital to identify, analyse and predict potential problems among staff.
We’ve come a long way from treating the menopause as taboo, something to be whispered about awkwardly among a few female family members in the relative safety of a bedroom.
Organisations now see mental health and wellbeing as their top priorities and are providing employees with a range of health and wellbeing benefits to help foster healthy and happy lifestyles.
Employee health data can be a thorny subject for organisations. While recognised as important to monitor the wellbeing of staff, tailor support and prevent future health risks, obtaining data isn’t always easy.
The Great Digital Detox: Balancing the benefits of technology with a cultural shift against screen time
There’s a strange dichotomy in the digital world we live in. Technology has enhanced our lives in so many ways; our jobs are easier, our entertainment varied, and our global communities more connected. But it also has significant drawbacks.
UK pension savers are failing to engage with their pensions, new research has revealed.
Women account for 47% of the UK workforce, and attracting and retaining female talent is a top priority for employers.
The UK Government’s social care reforms discussed in the Autumn Budget will still fall short of filling the gap to cover costs for necessary social care.
What’s the best way to ensure your workplace thrives? Pay attention to how diverse, equitable and inclusive it is.
In the past few years and to an extent accelerated by COVID-19, I’ve observed a real attitudinal shift when it comes to employee mental health and wellbeing.
Financial independence and stability can make a big difference to the wellbeing of individuals.
Over recent years, diversity has increasingly become a topic organisations want – and need – to engage with. Stakeholders, including governments, prospective and current employees are asking to see a more proactive approach by organisations, and proof of progress.
Employees don’t feel heard or listened to as gap between employee feedback and employee response identified
Employers are failing to listen effectively to their employees, new research from workplace issues thinktank The Workforce Institute has revealed, who identified a ‘worrying gap’ between employee feedback and employer response.
When it comes to workplace resilience, employees often look to management to model resilient behavioural traits and demonstrate an investment in their own wellbeing. However, leaders themselves are statistically more likely to be struggling when it comes to wellbeing.
Twenty or so years ago, employee benefits and indeed, total reward, such as it was then, was lacking the employee piece: the acknowledgement that the employee should be at the heart of benefits strategy.
The digital transformation we’ve seen in the past ten years has been nothing short of phenomenal. We’re now in a world where you have access to global communities, digitalised finances and a plethora of ecommerce platforms all at your – literal – fingertips.
The need for a resilient workforce has never been more pressing – the last twelve months are testament to that.
Nearly one million women have had to leave their jobs due to uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, new industry-wide research has revealed, as menopausal women become the ‘fastest growing workplace demographic’.
Self-confidence, flexibility, adaptability, adjustability… these are all words which are often associated with resilience. At its essence, resilience is about the ability to respond and adapt to potentially difficult situations or events. In an organisational context, a resilient workforce will be able to adapt and adjust to changes (or challenges) in their working environment or in their personal lives.
Gen Z, the youngest generation in the workforce, along with those in top management positions are the two demographics who are suffering ‘the most’ from mental health issues, new global research has revealed.
There is a clear correlation between health and wellbeing benefits and productivity levels, new research has revealed.
Financial wellbeing has been an emerging buzzword for several years in the corporate space. As mental health and emotional wellbeing have moved up the corporate agenda, so too are businesses recognising the significant role financial wellness plays within general wellbeing.
Job security has become more important than salary following pandemic-related changes to the working environment, while additional research highlights the role of employee benefits in retention and recruitment.
According to 46% of respondents to Aon’s UK Benefits and Trends Survey, there is a greater emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion in their workplaces since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while 19% of employers have adopted Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies in their pension strategies.
According to Aon’s UK Benefits and Trends Survey, only 44% of employers have a formal wellbeing strategy, despite significant investment in health and benefits by employers. In addition, 22% said they did not intend to have a strategy within the next 12-18 months.
According to Aon’s UK Benefits and Trends Survey, despite respondents realising the importance of engagement – 98% of employers said it was important to increase employees’ understanding and engagement with benefits and/or health and financial wellbeing – just 29% have a strategy in place, likely due to barriers; these were cited as budget (49%), lack of resources (36%) and uncertainty around creating engaging communications (15%).
Huge surge in annual leave requests for the summer raise concerns of holiday leave ‘bottleneck’ for employers
HR are dealing with a surge of annual leave requests following the government’s lockdown easing announcement last month.
Near unanimous consensus from employers on the need to increase engagement and understanding in employee benefits
The vast majority of employers say they want to increase engagement with current employee benefits offering, with over half who either have one already in place or who are intending to implement one soon.
We’re moving towards a four possibly five-generation workforce. People are living longer than ever before with many choosing – often through necessity - to stay in work for longer, too.
In recent years, there have been a number of headline stories highlighting how women may be less financially resilient than men and how the gender pay gap may have influenced this.
Aon expert Jeff Fox looks at how employee benefits technology can support benefits strategy and improve employee experience.
We’re in the midst of a shift in how companies view employees; we’re seeing more companies adopt an employee-centric model in how they approach employee benefits and the wider employee experience.
In these volatile times it is more important than ever that businesses take a proactive approach to the upcoming renewals of their insured employee benefit programs. There are plenty of challenges to address; we take a look at current market behaviour and the impact which COVID-19 has had.
As we enter 2021, employers will be looking at their health and wellness strategies for the year ahead and planning their budgets for PMI renewal premiums. But 2020 was a year like no other with the private medical sector enduring significant shake ups likely to affect medical costs across the board.
Children spoke in depth about how their relationships with others can affect their wellbeing; socialising and being able to talk to others were also seen as highly important – this need for trust and reliable support is echoed in the workplace.
Founded in in 1999, International Men’s Day is relatively new compared to International Women’s Day which was first celebrated in 1909. It is not intended to compete against International Women’s Day, but exists to highlighting men’s experiences, the positive value they bring to the world, and to raise awareness of men’s health.
Aon expert Matt Lawrence takes a look at the key challenges organisations face in supporting gig workers’ wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides insight on how employers can provide holistic support which is inclusive of their whole workforce.
COVID-19 has been high on the priority list for businesses this year, but many other critical illnesses remain as prevalent as ever. Cancer hasn’t gone away. According to cancer charity Breast Cancer Now, there are 55,200 new cases of breast cancer in the UK alone.
Women are staying longer in the workforce than ever before. ONS figures in March revealed that the number of older women in work has increased by 51 per cent since 2010, when there were changes to the state pension age.
Mental health issues have been on the rise long before COVID-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicted back in 2012 that depression would be the leading cause of disability and ill health by 2030.
Employee benefits are one of the key ways companies can attract and retain prospective employees while inspiring and engaging their current workforce.
Drop in employment rates among older workers highlight need for financial planning for unforeseen circumstances
A significant drop in the number of over 65s in employment between March and May 2020 has fuelled speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people into early retirement, but experts fear many will retire on inadequate savings.
We all know the cliché ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’, but it’s surprising how often people forget this simple financial truth.
To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, we take a look at how employers can support breastfeeding mothers’ when they return to work.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could result in a UK-wide mental health crisis if nothing is done to address the issue, industry experts have warned.
Lockdown has brought about a significant increase in the numbers of people reporting high levels of anxiety and associated loneliness, with 19 million adults in Great Britain affected, new figures from ONS have revealed this month.
As lockdown continues it is becoming evident that a new way of working is here to stay, in the medium-term at least. COVID-19 has forced large proportions of the UK workforce into their homes and businesses are striving to maintain business-as-usual in a time that is highly unusual.
There are a wide range of solutions available to employers in this space. Resources such as a financial wellness portal to support with awareness and uptake of financial benefits is a great start. Discounts platforms offer a way for employees to be thriftier with their spending. Pension and savings modellers can offer a clear picture of an individual’s long-term financial outlook and can be highly effective when paired with the financial education programmes.
Working remotely will invariably have an impact on people’s physical health. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative one.
Commuters are being encouraged to walk or cycle to work following an emergency new initiative announced by the government last month, which will see councils in England reallocate road space for pedestrians and cyclists.
With kindness the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we take a look at why kindness should be at the heart of your company culture.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his debut budget in early March where he announced a raft of emergency measures to help combat the devastating impact of Covid-19.
Respondents to the tenth annual Aon Benefits and Trends Survey 2020 said the surprise trend came seventh as the ‘most important employee expectation’ for the first time.
There has been an increase in the number of employers communicating their Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) to their workforce, new research from Aon has found.
In our fast paced and ever-changing world where people change jobs every five years on average and recruiters can send messages to your employees 24/7, ensuring that your employees understand the total value of their package has never been more important.
Aon expert Charles Alberts provides his thoughts on National Sickie Day – and looks at how companies can help prevent and manage employee absence.
Two-fifths of working adults are close to breaking point at work, according to a new study.
Employers focus on emotional and financial wellbeing while Aon warns physical health should not be overlooked
There’s been a ‘significant shift’ in employer focus towards staff emotional and financial wellbeing, the latest UK Benefits and Trends Survey 2020 from Aon has revealed.
A leading charity has warned they’re seeing ‘record numbers’ of people struggling with debt, thanks to ‘unexpected life events’ such as unemployment, illness and reduction in earnings.
An employee benefits scheme can have numerous advantages for employers - including talent retention and attraction. But ensuring a good roll out and engagement is crucial.
Given the massive growth over the past few years in health wearables and apps, from Fitbits to activity trackers and the rise in popularity of complementary medicine, it’s safe to say that wellbeing is now mainstream..
Employees born between 1966 and 1980 - the so-called Generation X - are not saving enough for retirement and now do not have enough time to top up their savings, new research has found.
At Aon we practice what we preach. We know that it is essential to enhance and protect the mental health of our people while encouraging other employers to do the same.
That's why we embarked on our mental health strategy for our UK colleagues in 2016. We set a number of objectives, but raising awareness, challenging stigma and creating an environment where all colleagues feel safe and comfortable to talk about mental health was key. We have a vision that mental health should be treated equally to physical health.
There’s a ticking time bomb in the workplace. As a professional services firm, we’ve seen for a long time that we’re all getting older, living longer but less healthy lives. This is putting traditional benefits under strain. The outcome of companies claiming more – and without enough initial investment to replace that money – is that premiums will increase. The issue with this situation in a typical return on investment model is that you might spend £1 and save £2 on the benefits you offer, but you might also pay a big lump sum later in that employee’s working life because they get sick. So is that really return on investment overall?
Her employer supported her at a time when nothing was more important than helping the treatment to work. She needed time away from work, yet because of her employer stance, she didn’t need to lie about it. She could go to appointments, try to relax, working from home if, for instance, facing rush hour was desperately hard when she felt so vulnerable and needed to be calm. Her manager and employer simply understood.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that a record 32.54 million people are in work in the UK; a statistic that looks fantastic on the surface and one that many will celebrate, particularly from a political standpoint. However, mental health issues in the workplace and presenteeism because of mental health is also at an all-time high, with 22% of employees going into work in 2018 despite feeling mentally un-well – up from 18% in 2016.
By nature, wellbeing is a complex issue. Incorporating a range of factors – such as physical health, mental health and financial wellbeing – it’s highly individualised.
The Government should increase the state pension age to 75 in order to tackle the challenges of an ageing population, a think tank has said.
According to the World Health Organisation’s Tackling Chronic Disease 2010 report, 80 per cent of the total cost of chronic illness worldwide can be attributed to 15 chronic health conditions.
Everything in health and wellbeing boils down to employees working optimally: you want your people to be at the top of their game for as much time as possible.
In a series of three articles, Principal Consultant Richard Morgan explores the current issues around health and wellbeing...
The number of UK firms with a wellbeing strategy has increased by 130% over the past three years.
One in four lenders has seen an increase in consumers being unable to pay credit card bills, according to the Bank of England.
As employee benefits have the potential to have a huge impact on the wellbeing and work/life balance of employees, it is imperative to ensure they cater to all generations.
Employee commutes have become so long that they are the equivalent of a two week period, research has revealed.
One in twelve men and women in their 70s and over are choosing to stay in work, according to new research.
Futureproofing your employee benefits isn’t just beneficial for your employees – it’s also good for your business. Ensuring that your benefits are suitable for your current workforce means that uptake is likely to be higher, and therefore your return on investment is greater.
Action plan for employers: The impact of the Lifetime Allowance on lump sum death in service benefits
Our recent research of over 1,000 clients shows that just a third of employers have taken actions to address the impact of lump sum death in service benefits on the Lifetime Allowance, by using Excepted Death in Service cover.
Aon’s Charles Alberts, head of health management gives the low-down on workplace mental health.
Pensioners are ‘holding back’ from spending in retirement due to concerns around care costs, new research has revealed.
The majority of managers (two in three) say they would be able to promote mental wellbeing within their teams despite less than half admitting they would be unable to spot mental health issues within themselves, a new survey from mental health charity Mind has revealed.
A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that numbers of those breaching their Lifetime Allowance protections is high.
We’ve seen various reports recently stating that millennials are less likely to engage with rehabilitative benefits, preferring instead to opt-in to lifestyle benefits such as discounted retail vouchers or gym memberships.
On April 6th this year the UK saw the final phase of the increase to automatic enrolment contributions, and there was a collective sigh of relief from Finance Directors, HR departments, employee representatives and pension advisors for its successful communication and implementation. However, it shouldn’t mask the fact that there is still a large issue regarding underfunding pensions which needs to be addressed.
A significant proportion of young people in their 20s and 30s are confused about pensions and how they work, as experts call on the industry to do more to improve pensions engagement among young people.
Employers who offer eyecare benefits are likely to see improved health and wellbeing across their workforce as new research discovers a correlation between the two.
The health and wellbeing of staff is still misunderstood, yet employers who get it right can enjoy the positive effects of loyalty, engagement and productivity, according to a group risk trade body.
Millennials are experiencing sleep deprivation and weight loss due to workplace stress, research by a healthcare employment firm has found.
Those struggling with mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders are more likely to also be struggling with debt and other financial problems, new analysis has found.
Parents and primary carers who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to at least two weeks’ paid parental bereavement leave from April 2020, it has been confirmed.
The HR in Law and Aon Employee Benefits Survey 2019 highlights that employee wellbeing is increasingly important within law firms as they work to align financial wellness, wellbeing and benefits strategies.
A significant number of staff in the retail, hospitality and entertainment industries are using ‘unapproved’ smartphone apps and social media platforms for work-related communications, a new study by app provider Speakap has revealed.
Employers are placing too much emphasis on ‘glitzy’ total reward packages and employee benefits instead of addressing salary expectations and career progression opportunities, the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has found.
The 2019 Aon Benefits & Trends survey shows that despite companies’ willingness to help their employees make the right decisions when it comes to retirement, the tools and processes they utilise are not currently meeting these needs.
Concerns raised over pension freedoms as confused savers face double jeopardy from pension withdrawal
Savers could be facing ‘double jeopardy’ as a total of £3.3bn transferred from pension pots into bank accounts has resulted in unnecessary tax charges in addition to the erosion of pension value due to inflation, financial experts have warned.
The 2019 Aon Benefits & Trends survey highlights that having an employer value proposition (EVP) is gaining in importance to organisations. The report also shows that 51% of employers plan to develop their ‘employee experience’, or EVP - a significant increase on the 16% of last year.
UK employers must act to ensure their workplace pension schemes meet regulatory requirements as automatic enrolment contribution rates are due to increase again this year.
Too few employers focus on key health risks despite positive impact on employees and benefit expenditure
The 2019 Aon Benefits & Trends survey shows that despite mental health being the most common health condition for employers to tackle, only 41% have a formal approach in place, changing little since 2017. The report also highlights that just 11% of employers have strategies to target cancer risks, while 21% target musculoskeletal conditions and only 9% heart and cardio strategies.
The 2019 Aon Benefits & Trends survey has benchmarked employers’ annual leave, parental leave and flexible working policies for the first time.
The 2019 Aon Benefits & Trends survey shows that 97% of employers agree that employees’ expectations of their experience in the workplace are changing.
GIP products ‘jewel in crown’ of employee benefits, GRiD says
Employers offer group income protection (GIP) products to staff to help improve recruitment and retention, research has shown.
Budget promise to increase mental health spending may not go far enough
NHS mental health services in England will receive an extra £2bn in funding by 2023-24 which will see the introduction of a Mental Health Crisis Service along with ‘comprehensive’ support available in every large A&E department, Chancellor Phillip Hammond revealed in his budget on Monday.
Experts warn of epidemic as work-related stress levels increase
New figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed a worrying rise in work-related stress among UK workers over the past year. 15.4 million working days were lost due to stress last year – an increase of three million from 12.4 million the previous year.
Average pension withdrawal rate increases by 1 per cent
Our retired nation is depleting their pension funds at a higher rate according to the latest data from regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Absenteeism more of an issue among UK staff than European counterparts
UK employees are more likely to ‘pull a sickie’ than other European countries, new research has revealed.
Child Trust Funds as an opportunity to empower young people to be interested in their finances
In September we saw the first children who took advantage of the Child Trust Fund come of age.
Death is taboo for a third of Brits
A third of Brits find it difficult to talk about death and 81 per cent have not saved towards a funeral, according to a YouGov poll.
Menopause has negative impact on work
The British Menopause Society (BMS) released statistics in 2017 stating that 45% of women say they feel their menopause symptoms have had a negative impact on their work . Three quarters of women say the menopause has caused them to change their life, and more than half say it has had a negative impact on their lives.
Employers should allow flexible working hours for night owls
UK employers should adopt flexible working hours that reflect employees’ sleeping patterns, according to researchers, following a study that showed sleep deprivation can increase the risk of death.
Staff have little time to alleviate work-related stress
Nearly half of the UK’s employees don’t have a hobby or any sort of stress relieving activity, according to a recent survey by Obby, a learning provider that offers classes, courses and workshops on a variety of activities to Londoners.
Make the commute part of the working day, academics urge, as thousands still work while en route
The commute should be classed as part of the working day as most employees are using travel time to check and respond to work emails, academics have suggested.
Shared parental leave fails to take off
Research shows that shared parental leave (SPL) has not had much success in the workplace with as little as a two per cent take-up rate.
Care needs of elderly population expected to increase by 2035
The numbers of people aged over 85 requiring round-the-clock care is widely expected to double by 2035 as experts warn that the current system is already at breaking point.
Aon reveals the state of engagement in the legal sector
Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has published a new paper looking at the latest trends in partner and employee engagement within the legal sector.'The state of partner and employee engagement in the legal sector' covers trends representing nearly 10,000 professionals working in predominantly the UK legal sector.
Aon develops Aon App, the first app for employees to manage all benefits on smartphones
Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions (NYSE:AON), has developed the first app for employees to access and manage all their benefits from a smartphone - from total reward statements to full benefits enrolment, no matter where they are based.
Aon highlights the 16 tech megatrends that are changing reward, benefits and engagement
Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions (NYSE:AON), has identified 16 technology megatrends that are now impacting rewards, benefits and engagement.
Nearly a quarter of 18 to 35 year olds do not know how a pension works
Over a fifth of people aged between 18 and 35 are unsure of how their pension works and 45 per cent don’t know how much money they will have accrued at the time of retirement, according to research.
Government delays cold calling ban until Autumn
The government has allowed the pensions cold calling deadline to slide until the Autumn, which may mean vulnerable pensioners could still be targeted by firms conning them out of their pension pots.
UK workers ‘unsure’ if mental health warrants sick leave
A significant number of British workers are unsure if they can take sick leave for mental health reasons according to research by conference call facilitator, Powwownow.
Aon offers 10 tips to make Occupational Health programmes work harder for organisations
Aon, the leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions (NYSE:AON), is offering 10 tips to help organisations maximise the use of occupational health (OH) programmes.
If your benefits programme isn’t performing, it’s likely to be one of these five digital-age reasons, says Aon
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has identified five of the main challenges employers have with employee benefits in a digital age, and provided advice to support each issue.
Employers ‘underestimating’ value job candidates place on workplace mental health policies
Companies who fail to acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellbeing policies are missing a trick, a leading recruitment firm has warned.
An age-diverse workforce can benefit businesses but employee conflict remains a concern, employers say
Employers value the benefits a multi-generational workforce can bring but many still fear that it can result in an increased risk of conflict.
Employers’ sick leave bill increases despite drop in absence rates while employers fail to effectively monitor sickness absence
Sickness absence is costing employers more in lost working time despite fewer employees taking time off sick.
Workplace pension saving continues to rise
Auto-enrolment has proved a ‘stunning success’ with more than 80 per cent of eligible employees contributing to a workplace pension last year.
Presenteeism record soars amidst concerns over stress and other ‘unhealthy workplace practices’
The numbers of people coming into work despite illness has ‘more than tripled’ in nearly a decade, the CIPD and Simply Health have warned.
Government proposals to improve support for working carers
Working carers could benefit from more support if Government proposals to give employees the right to request flexible working on their first day of employment goes ahead.
Employee engagement ‘priority’ for UK companies
Employee engagement is one of the ‘top objectives’ for employers, although just a quarter of companies have defining strategic objectives in place for their benefit programmes.
Latest ONS wellbeing release reveals differences in wellbeing across age groups
Older Brits (aged 75 and over) feel more satisfied with their social and financial lives than any other age group, despite suffering from more health problems, new data has revealed.
Employers urged to work harder and smarter to engage staff as remote working becomes global trend
Significant numbers of the global workforce are now working remotely, with nearly 70 per cent of employees across the world ditching their traditional office set up for alternative workspaces at least once a week.
Parents confused and unclear about shared parental leave
Working parents are still unclear about shared parental leave (SPL) criteria, despite the scheme being in place for over three years.
Aon provides tips to increase employees’ engagement with benefits
Aon has created ten tips to help organisations increase employees’ engagement with their benefits. Aon’s 2018 Benefits and Trends Survey cited employee engagement as one of the top two challenges for employers, alongside retention. Employers also said the third biggest challenge was improving employee participation with their benefits.
Six simple ways to encourage your staff to explore their employee benefits more
Creating the optimum benefits package for your organisation is only half the battle when it comes to encouraging employee engagement and take-up. To ensure they really connect with their benefits, an ongoing marketing and communications campaign is essential.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey compares mental health-related issues across five key sectors
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), says that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed marked sector differences in the number of UK employers reporting employee stress and mental health-related illnesses.
Millennials ‘saved less’ for retirement during 2016 than in 2012
Millennials are the only age group to experience a drop in their pension savings as new data reveals that 50 per cent of millennials were saving less in 2016 than they were in 2012.
What is work-related stress? What are the issues to organisations and what's the legislation?
Work-related stress is a significant issue, affecting individuals and employers as well as the broader society. Understanding what it is and how it affects people can help employers meet their legal responsibilities and protect the health and safety of their employees.
Why don't organisations focus on intervention?
With 11.7 million working days lost to stress in 2015/16 (1), it's an issue that no organisation can afford to ignore. But, in spite of the moral, legal and business reasons for tackling it, few organisations have robust stress management interventions in place.
Three quarters of Brits are saving into workplace pension schemes thanks to auto enrolment
Auto enrolment has led to nearly three-quarters of UK employees saving for retirement through workplace pension schemes with a significant increase in pension membership among younger workers, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
Shared parental leave becoming more popular
Modern family life is changing and figures show that both parents are keen to share the time caring for their baby throughout its first year.
Shift in preferred workplace communication methods among US and UK employees
A significant proportion of British and American-based employees are ‘dissatisfied’ with communication methods used by their employer, new research has revealed.
Connecting with a new generation
People are living longer than ever but the reality is that not everyone can afford to retire when they want to and are staying in work for longer too. Add in the fact that many retirees are choosing to ‘unretire’ after leaving work and the average workplace is now a mixed age demographic indeed.
Auto enrolment ‘not enough’ to help women prepare
Automatically enrolling staff into a pension scheme at work has, as expected, proved a boon according to government figures, however, it falls short in helping women save for their retirement.
What does freedom look like?
It’s now two and a half years since over-55s were given much greater control over their retirement savings. Adam Burn, Corporate Pensions Technical Manager explores what we’ve learned so far.
Pension scheme charges: nothing to see here?
Who cares about pension scheme charges any more? Legislation has reined in the worst excesses of pension suppliers; trustees or employers keep an annual eye on provider costs
Member engagement - face to face v online tools
Encouraging greater engagement with pensions is good for employers and employees. As well as highlighting the value of the pension benefit you provide, it can also lead to better retirement outcomes for employees. But, with a range of communication methods available to employers, determining which is most appropriate for your workforce isn't always easy.
Employees would be more productive if bosses recognised efforts
Employees who don’t feel valued and appreciated for their efforts will display lower productivity levels, according to new research.
Smartphone fatigue affects scores of young employees
A record number of young working people are struggling to switch off from work due to work-related calls, messages and emails accessed via smartphones received outside of the working day.
Benefits are known to be important by business leaders, but something’s not working. Here’s the missing link.
Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the role employee benefits can play in recruitment, retention and employee engagement. Many know, for instance, that in order to maintain a productive, engaged workforce and to attract and retain talent, their employee benefits offering needs to be competitive.
Opt out rates likely to rise if employees unprepared for contribution rate increase
Auto enrolment opt-out rates could increase if employees are not aware of imminent contribution rates changes, the Liberal Democrats have warned.
Ensure apprentices are offered group risk benefits, says GRiD
Apprentices should be entitled to the same group risk benefits as other employees working in similar roles, Group Risk Development (GRiD) have recommended.
Active ageing more important than increases in state pension age
The government should avoid raising the pension age as it intends this year, and instead encourage an ‘active ageing environment’, a report has recommended.
Aon Benefits & Trends survey highlights key pension trends
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has published the results of its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 which sheds new light on key areas of focus for UK pension schemes.
Workers to save more under new rules from April; ideas on how to invest it
From April 2018, millions of employees will see the amount they contribute to their workplace pension automatically increased, but few realise that they can take control of how it’s invested.
Benefits – Understanding why the landscape impacts your costs, value and ROI
Employee benefits offered by businesses today are radically different to those available several decades ago. When employers started offering so-called workplace perks in the 1950s, partly as a response to wage increase demands from unions, they tended to focus around holiday entitlements and in some cases, minimal pension provision.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey shows 41% of employers need to prepare for new tax regulations coming into force in April
Aon has said that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed 41% of employers are unaware of the implications of the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OPRA) which are coming into force on 6 April.
Women can vote but not flexibly work
As women in the UK celebrate 100 years since they won the right to vote, they still have battles to fight in other areas of life, not least, the workplace. It is well publicised that women are paid less, even now, than men for the same skills.
Seasonal depression is more common in women than men
Women are more likely than men to feel depressed during the winter months’ colder temperatures and shorter days, according to research by Glasgow University.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey says new technology will play a role in benefits communications
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed that 32% of employers believe new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will play a part in benefits communications.
Employers need to be more explicit in rewards communication to attract talent
People are more likely to apply for jobs where the employee benefits are made clear, research has shown.
Childcare company suggests employee eldercare vouchers pay for care in later life
Like childcare vouchers, tax free vouchers to pay for long term care costs should be offered to employees, suggests a childcare chain of nurseries.
Aon Benefits & Trends Survey shows sharp increase in workplace mental health issues
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), says that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 shows a sharp increase in the number of employers reporting employee stress and mental health-related illnesses - from 55% last year to 68% in 2018.
World Cancer Day: ‘Becoming empowered may just save someone’s life’
With more than 112,000 people of working age diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year and 700,000 employees thought to be caring for someone with cancer according to cancer charity Macmillan, awareness-raising initiatives such as World Cancer Day has never been more important.
PMI and pensions are most valued by staff
Employees are showing a keenness for what the industry calls “safety net” products with pensions at the top and private medical insurance (PMI) at number two.
Government urged to extend salary sacrifice arrangements for low-paid workers
The government is under pressure from industry experts to review salary sacrifice legislation so it benefits those on lower incomes.
What investment strategies can support people through retirement?
Investment choices in the run up to retirement used to be simple, with most people opting for low risk options to match the annuity they bought to generate an income.
Four factors to consider when simplifying pensions
The author of The Cat in the Hat may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of pensions commentators, but in this case he’s hit the nail on the head.
Are you communicating your pension scheme effectively?
Employees love pensions, with a company scheme often appearing in the top most popular benefits in our annual Employee Benefits & Trends Survey. But, as they become the norm in the workplace, effective communications are essential to ensure employees get the most out of their pensions and their appreciation remains high.
Low pay preventing staff from saving for retirement, research finds
A significant majority of UK staff are failing to pay into pension schemes despite auto-enrolment which has been in force since 2012, the TUC have found.
Work-related stress - why it's time to focus on the organisation, not the individual
Most workplace stress interventions focus on the individual, either strengthening their resilience or providing the treatment required to help them recover. But, while there's a need for these interventions, employers should focus much more on the organisation and how it contributes to employees' wellbeing.
Management commitment - what it takes to reduce work-related stress
Management commitment to tackle work-related stress is essential. Without this it's virtually impossible to create the right culture to prevent and manage work-related stress effectively.
What are the causes of stress and what helps employees?
Employers have a legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, including minimising the risk of stress-related illness or injury. But to do this successfully, it's important to understand the causes of stress and the support available to employees.
Aon's acquisition of Portus Consulting approved by Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved Aon's purchase of Portus Consulting, a highly-regarded, independent UK-based employee benefits firm. Portus has a leading position in the UK professional services market, particularly the legal sector and among SMEs with 50 to 750 employees.
Aon data shows only 20% of employers measure ROI of employee benefits
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that data from The Benefits Score, Aon’s new strategic benchmarking tool, shows that just 20% of medium to large companies are measuring the return on investment (ROI) of their benefits programmes.
Eldercare - when will it become the norm as an employee benefit?
People are living longer thanks to advances in medical science, and this has led to the emergence of a sandwich generation, aged 30 to 60, who need to manage their work-life balance to better cope with caring for their children as well as elderly parents.
Aon says employers may need significant benefit redesign as a result of OPRA regulations
Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that tax advantages removed with new Optional Remuneration Arrangement (OPRA) rules, mean both employers and employees will need to be ready for tax charges.
Lightening up pension communications
"Do you know what's boring? Emails from your pension scheme." This tweet, written by a millennial, did not come as a surprise to chartered financial planner, Mel Kenny, but it did make him ponder on the huge job ahead for advisers and those putting together pension communications. It's well known that millennials and consumers in general, are rather disengaged when it comes to pensions. The majority may now be signed up to a workplace pension scheme thanks to auto-enrolment, but many remain disengaged and even bored of pension-related communications.
My Story: What we do to people's pensions matters
Pension freedoms: freedom and choice for the average person, that's the idea anyway. It means retirees now have the power to draw their pension when and how they want. It has given people choice and complete control over how they spend their money. It sounds ideal, what could possibly go wrong?
The biggest risks to employee health - and how employers can help
Keeping your employees healthy and happy is good for business. The workforce demographic is, and will continue to change, especially as more and more of us will need to work well into our 60s, 70s and beyond.
Aon acquires Portus Consulting
It has been announced today that Aon has acquired Portus Consulting, a highly-regarded, independent UK-based employee benefits firm. Portus has a leading position in the UK professional services market, particularly the legal sector and among SMEs with 50 to 750 employees.
Significant differences between men and women's pension savings, report finds
There's a "stark difference" in pension savings between men and women, a pension expert has warned, after a report reveals that men's pension income is three times bigger than women's.
Employee wellbeing - making the connections
There's plenty of buzz around employee wellbeing, with everything from fresh fruit and fitness challenges to mindfulness sessions and financial education being promoted as key to employee happiness. But, while any of these could lead to improvements in your employees' health and happiness, understanding the connection between physical, mental and financial wellbeing can help you achieve the best results.
Making health and wellbeing work
Awareness of the importance of employee health and wellbeing is at an all-time high, with more and more organisations looking to encourage employees to transform everything from their waistlines and stress levels to their exercise regimes. And it's hardly surprising. Healthy, happy employees tend to be more productive and motivated, take less time off sick and rack up fewer claims on their health insurance benefit plans.
What is the state of pension scheme membership in the UK?
By next year, some seven million people will be saving into a pension scheme as auto enrolment reaches all employees. As a result, the Government calculates there has been a 37% increase in the numbers saving into a private sector pension scheme with a total of 16 million people now taking part.
Wearable technology could improve productivity despite staff reservations
Workplace wearables can help increase productivity and staff engagement, a third of employee respondents to a survey have claimed.
How much should employees put aside for their retirement?
All these percentages are bandied about as thresholds for good or acceptable pension saving levels. The first is the bare minimum that government has decreed is enough for auto-enrolment.
Helping your employees become healthier and wealthier
With workplace wellbeing and pensions initiatives now commonplace, we should all be feeling a bit healthier and wealthier. But, while some of us may have got the exercise or pension bug, unfortunately our data suggests that, overall, there's been very little improvement in either of these factors in the UK.
Aon health and wealth study identifies four ways employers can support employee wellbeing in a changing economic climate
The new report, 'Wellbeing: Examining the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing' examines and interprets data from various global and regional sources, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Aon's own research and client base data. The result is a picture of what is changing in employee health and wealth and what that means for employers.
Designing a wellbeing programme relevant to employees
In Aon's latest whitepaper, Wellbeing: The correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing, it asks whether employers are doing enough to support employee wellbeing.
The power of sharing experiences of mental health
Brave individuals sharing their experiences is an incredibly effective way to get conversations started about mental health in the workplace. The more people talk about mental health, the more the level of literacy on the issue improves, the more stigma is overcome and problems dealt with.
New whitepaper highlights workplace mental health
A new whitepaper investigating the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing has been published by Aon which discusses the growing prevalence of mental health in the workplace.
Important benefit changes to income protection
Are you aware of how government cuts to benefits could leave employers liable for increased payments to claimants of group income protection (GIP) schemes?
A recent employer seminar Aon held found that only 1 in 10 were well briefed on the changes that came into force on 6 April, so if you were not fully informed you are in good company.
The low-down on salary sacrifice changes
As the government legislates for salary sacrifice changes, due to become law from 6 April 2017, Jeff Fox looks at what these changes are and how they’re likely to impact on employee benefits.
The no-nonsense guide to implementing a successful health and wellbeing scheme
We know that employees with a strong wellbeing are significantly more likely to be engaged at work, not to mention being generally healthier. Indeed, 92 per cent of UK employers polled for our 2016 EMEA Health survey saw a clear correlation between health and employee performance.
Aon Benefit & Trends survey shows 90% of employers want to increase engagement in benefits, but only 36% have a communications strategy
Among the survey's key findings are that the main objectives for implementing online for flexible benefits are to increase employee engagement (85%), employee choice (76%) and retention (67%). However, Aon warns that one of the lowest-rated objectives - governance (11%) - makes it difficult for employers to understand whether a scheme is fit for purpose or whether objectives are met.
Aon partners with SmarterInvestment and Unum to help employees invest in tax-efficient stocks & shares ISAs simply and wisely
Aon Employee Benefits is to partner with SmarterInvestment and Unum to offer workplace ISAs.
Aon warns the Insurance Act 2015 needs to be an employee benefits priority
Employers insuring employee benefits need to be ready for the Insurance Act 2015, which comes into effect from 12 August 2016. The Act replaces law that has been in place since 1906 and applies to all non-consumer insurance policies that incept, vary or renew on or after 12 August 2016.
Majority of employers have no policies in place to manage cancer diagnosis
Nearly three-quarters of UK employers have no policies in place to manage cancer diagnosis among employees, research by Check4Cancer has revealed.
Lost tax relief for low earners, pension minister warns
Low earners could be cut out of auto enrolment into workplace pensions if pension contributions are calculated with net pay arrangements, pensions minister Ros Altmann has warned.
Aon to discuss gamification in pensions at Employee Benefits Connect
LONDON (2 March, 2016) – Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), will discuss gamification as part of its examination of how to engage ‘Generation Z’ (Gen Z) in the workplace at Employee Benefits Connect.
Aon wins Firm of the Year and Best Use of Technology at Corporate Adviser Awards
LONDON (12 February, 2016) – Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has won two awards at the Corporate Adviser awards ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in London. It has been named Firm of the Year and received the award for Best Use of Technology by a Corporate Adviser.
Unhealthy work-life balance harms family life and productivity levels
The majority of UK employees are lacking a healthy work-life balance, creating an adverse effect on productivity levels, a new report has revealed.
State pension age increase not 'viable' if public health doesn't improve
Brits are not 'healthy enough' to work much beyond 60, a leading economist has warned, despite government plans to increase state pension age to 68.
Millennials 'most demanding' of their employers, study shows
Millennials require more time and support from their line managers than other workplace generations, new research has revealed.
Aon's Bigblue Touch is judged as 'value for money' by independent assessment
LONDON, (1 February 2016) - Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has announced that the Governance Advisory Arrangement (GAA) for its Bigblue Touch contract-based defined contribution (DC) scheme has stated in the Chair's Annual Report that the scheme represents 'good value for money' . Bigblue Touch is one of the first schemes in the UK to have issued its annual report and the first to have assessed value for money at both accumulation and decumulation.
Cycle to work schemes 'contribute' to workplace health and wellbeing
Cycling to work can improve the health and wellbeing of employees whilst contributing to higher productivity levels, new research has found.
Aon launches Bigblue Touch 4life
The ‘At Retirement’ service that offers drawdown, annuities and financial aggregation tools in an easy to access service
Aon client ‘highly commended’ for pioneering flexible working scheme
Media agency MEC have been highly commended at the Employee Benefits Awards for their pioneering flexible working scheme, Smarter Working.
Eldercare as a benefit
Eldercare as an employee benefit is increasing in popularity among UK employees, research by travel insurance and assistance service provider Allianz Global Assistance has revealed.
Shared parental leave legislation
Shared parental leave regulations have come into force this month, despite over a fifth of HR Directors admitting they are not ready for the new legislation.
Supporting women back to work
The government has announced a package of measures to encourage more women back to work following maternity leave.
Offering flexible benefits via salary sacrifice is becoming increasingly popular among UK employers
Nearly 60 per cent of UK employers now provide benefits funded by salary sacrifice schemes such as childcare vouchers, cycle-to-work schemes and additional pension contributions.
Employee engagement pay and reward
Employee engagement can be improved by the use of fair and effective pay and reward strategies, Workplace Savings & Benefits reports.
Mental health getting worse research finds
Staff mental health is ‘getting worse’ new research reveals, despite increased efforts to reduce stigma and implement workplace health initiatives.
New online benchmarking tool from Aon provides sector insights and measurable data against competition
Aon Employee Benefits has launched a new benchmarking database tool which provides UK organisations with market insights and measurable data compared with their competition. This online technology delivers quicker plan design benchmarking without manual collation.
Improving employee resilience
Improving employee resilience requires a strategic and sustained campaign rooted in the collective wellbeing needs of the workforce, says Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits.
Tips for maintaining a healthy workforce
Employee health is very much on the corporate agenda right now, and with good reason, says Matthew Lawrence Head of Broking and Proposition for Health and Risk at Aon Employee Benefits.
23% of employees are not taking holiday entitlements
Just under a quarter of UK employees are failing to take their full annual leave entitlements, research from Canada Life has shown.
Staff absence and productivity levels
Growing numbers of UK employers are recognising the cost staff absence is having on their business, a UK health insurer has said, whilst a recent Aon survey has found that employers want to better understand staff health risks in order to reduce these costs as well as improving business performance.
Aon Employee Benefits encourages early detection of cancer
..with cancer incidence reaching a record high, employers are starting to respond to calls from the Department of Health to back the NHS’ fight against cancer and put services in place to encourage and ensure the early detection of cancer.
Pension scammers are targeting a significant number of retirees since the pension freedoms came into force in April.
Private pension age increase proposed
The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) has urged new pensions minister Ros Altmann to increase the private pension age to 60 by 2024.
FCA ScamSmart campaign launch
A campaign designed to raise awareness into the increased risk of pension scams has been launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Surviving on a state pension research
A significant proportion of the over 40s have said they could not survive on the new state pension alone, according to new research by Partnership.
Gender pay reporting bill amendment
Businesses with more than 250 employees will be expected to reveal pay differences between their male and female employees, thanks to new legislation recently introduced in Parliament in the Equal Pay Transparency Bill 2015.
Aon wins two major awards at Workplace Savings and Benefits ceremony
Aon have taken home the title of Benefits Innovation of the Year for its Bigblue platform and Auto-enrolment Innovation of the Year for its Littleblue 2go SME solution.
Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 00210725. Registered Office: The Aon Centre, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AN.