91% of UK Healthcare Workers Are Missing Out on Maximising Vital Financial Support

New research from Sodexo Engage reveals that only 9% of UK healthcare workers report utilising their workplace benefits to their full potential. As the cost of living (CoL) continues to soar, this indicates that a significant number of individuals are not capitalising on crucial support that could help their pay go further.

The report, titled “The Mountain of Lost Benefits: A Spotlight on Healthcare” explores the perspectives of healthcare employees and HR leaders regarding benefits and the actual value of a benefits package. Sodexo Engage has uncovered a notable disparity between leaders and employees, with 28% of surveyed healthcare HR professionals admitting to a lack of understanding regarding the benefits employees really need.

When Sodexo Engage asked healthcare workers about their preferred benefits, retail discounts or cashback (25%) emerged as the most popular choice, followed by occupational sick pay (22%), and financial wellbeing-related benefits (16%). It is evident that this group is primarily focused on maximising their wages and making them go further.

Interestingly, when healthcare employees were asked “Which of the following benefits do you find most financially beneficial?”, a notable fifth (20%) of respondents chose subsidised food and drink. This figure stands in contrast to the cross-industry average of 14%, highlighting the higher priority placed on this benefit within the healthcare sector. Additionally, over a quarter (27%) expressed that subsidised food and drink should be included in a “standard, must-have package”, compared to the average of 17%.

This sentiment was echoed by healthcare HR respondents. More than a quarter (27%) said employees specifically request subsidised food and drink in the workplace, as opposed to the average of 18% across all industries. Considering the recent rise in food prices and the fact that many healthcare workers consume multiple meals while on shift, this outcome is not surprising.

Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, comments, “healthcare workers clearly know what benefits they want, but it appears that they are not fully making use of what is on offer to them. Our research highlights a strong emphasis on tools that enhance financial wellbeing, indicating that the cost-of-living crisis is a prominent concern for many. However, with numerous individuals reporting a lack of utilisation, I would urge them to explore the benefits their employers provide and consider how these can help.”

The survey also revealed connections between benefits and employee satisfaction, highlighting the impact on retention.

Several noteworthy findings from healthcare workers include:

• The vast majority (70%) of employee respondents said benefits packages are important or very important when thinking about whether to accept a job offer.
• 80% said they feel more loyal towards their employer when their employer is supporting them.
• 78% said they feel more motivated to work when their employer is supporting them.

We know our Care Assistants do an incredibly important job for our clients, and we like to do all that we can to ensure that they are adequately compensated. Measures we currently have in place are a £200 a month car allowance for all staff who drive, this can be spent on anything necessary to keep their car running such as MOT, service, repairs etc – this is not inclusive of the mileage that staff are also paid.

We’re also incredibly proud to pay well above the NLW and we have clear and transparent pay rates and career prospects.

In addition to these measures, we like to reward staff for their hard work by selecting a Care Assistant of the Month in each region we provide care, every month. These members of staff are gifted a high street gift card as a gesture of thanks for their dedication to our clients.

We know that the cost of living crisis is affecting many people in a number of different ways, and we like to ensure that we are doing as much as possible to help our staff where we can.