UK firms introduce work/life balance perks to tempt staff

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "UK firms introduce work/life balance perks to tempt staff", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 21 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

UK firms introduce work/life balance perks to tempt staff

UK firms introduce work/life balance perks to tempt staff

Keywords: Family-friendly organizations, Managers

A recent survey of 2,000 people management professionals, carried out by the Reward Group for the IPD, found that employers are offering a wider range of perks to recruit and retain staff - from family-friendly policies to pet insurance.

Paternity leave is the fastest growing policy to be introduced, with nearly one in ten organisations adopting it within the last 12 months. Nearly three-quarters of respondents' organisations offer part-time working as an option, job sharing is available in 57 per cent of their workplaces and tele-working is offered by a third of respondents.

The prospective legislation on parental leave is also driving organisations to adopt family friendly policies with 57 pr cent of respondents reporting that their organisations offer parental/domestic leave and nearly a quarter saying this has been introduced within the last 12 months.

There is evidence of a newer trend of perks designed to help employees with the practicalities of balancing work and life. These range from dry cleaning facilities (available in 12 per cent of respondents' organisations) to food shopping services (8 per cent) and film/video rental facilities (2 per cent).

Companies are also helping out with some financial services for employees. A total of 25 per cent of organisations surveyed offer financial planning, 10 per cent offer personal car insurance and 3 per cent offer pet insurance. Stress helplines are growing and are available in 39 per cent of respondents' workplaces, with 5 per cent of the sample saying they have been set up in the last year, and health screening is available in 43 per cent of members' organisations.

Significant numbers of employers are also offering staff the options of career breaks (40 per cent of those surveyed) or sabbaticals (24 per cent).

However child care remains an area where few employers offer on-site options with only one in ten surveyed having a workplace nursery and 2 per cent offering the provision of after-school care.

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