ANDOVER, England, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite making cut backs in many areas, employers remain committed to looking after their people. Spend on employee healthcare benefits, in the form of Health Cash Plans, has increased by a phenomenal 180% over the past 12 months, according to Employee Benefits / Simplyhealth Healthcare Research 2009.
The annual survey, conducted by Employee Benefits magazine and sponsored by leading health organisation Simplyhealth, reveals that 14% of companies across the UK now offer a company-paid healthcare scheme in the form of a Health Cash Plan, compared with just 5% last year.
It is Small / Medium Enterprises that are the most proactive, with over a quarter (27%) of companies employing under 100 people now implementing a Health Cash Plan, whilst just 17% of 100 - 500 employees sized companies and 3% of businesses with employees between 501 - 1,000 mirrored this initiative.
Those working in the pharmaceutical industry should count themselves lucky as a third (33%) of these employers offer healthcare benefits, closely followed by businesses in the building and construction industry (26%).
This trend looks set to continue as 22% of employers confirmed they plan to increase the healthcare benefits that they offer within the next 12 months to help employees look after their health and wellbeing in these times of need.
According to the 2009 survey, 88% of organisations that have a stress management strategy in place were encouraged to implement this by the current economic climate, both to look after their employees and ensure they meet their legal duty of care obligations at this difficult time.
Commenting on the research, James Glover, Corporate Sales and Marketing Director for Simplyhealth said: Amidst all the doom and gloom we keep hearing about, employers are recognising how important it is to look after staff wellbeing in these changing times. As employees struggle with money worries and the cost of rising bills, a company-paid Healthplan is a welcomed and valued form of support, whilst helping employers to maintain a happy and healthy workforce.
Debbie Lovewell, Deputy Editor of Employee Benefits magazine added: Despite the difficult economic conditions, many employers are committed to employee health and wellbeing. This is essential if they are to retain the talent and skills necessary to weather the recession and emerge with a strong business on the other side.
Simplyhealth is a family of organisations that have joined together with the sole purpose of helping people. For further information visit http://www.simplyhealth.co.uk or have a chat with someone in one of the UK call centres on 0800-072-6715.
For more information about the magazine or to see a copy of the survey visit: http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk.
Notes to Editor About Employee Benefits Magazine - For more information contact: Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor of Employee Benefits on 0207 943 8057 - Please note: all statistics quoted are based on the number of respondents who are responsible for, or influence, their organisation's healthcare strategy (441 respondents) - The annual benchmark survey was carried out in April among 834 readers of Employee Benefits magazine in the UK About Simplyhealth - Previously known as HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last 8 years to form Simplyhealth - At Simplyhealth, we have been providing healthcare solutions for over 137 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of Mobility and Living aids, Health Cash Plans, Dental Plans and Private Medical Insurance - We at Simplyhealth, are committed in our constitution to our responsibility of making a positive impact on our communities. Each year, we help health related charities and causes to the tune of at least GBP1million - Simplyhealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority - As of December 2008, our Healthplans had 1.2 million customers providing cover for some 2.1 million people
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