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Tech and finance sectors strong on employee benefits, survey finds

24 Aug 2021

A Morgan McKinley survey found that Ireland’s IT, financial services, life sciences and energy sectors perform strongly when it comes to employee benefits.

According to Ireland-headquartered professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley, workers in the IT, financial services, life sciences and energy sectors are typically offered more benefits than those working in education, agriculture and engineering.

The recruitment firm surveyed 1,551 workers across 22 industry sectors and 30 counties in Ireland in a bid to find out the types of benefits employers were offering.

The survey found that the top benefits offered by employers are pensions, paid sick leave, the opportunity to work from home, bonuses and incentives, and health insurance.

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Only a small percentage (1.1pc) reported that they receive childcare support from employers in Ireland. While paid maternity, paternity and parents’ leave are also offered in many sectors, they are only offered in the short term.

Trayc Keevans, global FDI director at Morgan McKinley Ireland, commented that this perhaps would change now that more people are working from home during the pandemic.

“One of the more surprising insights from our survey was that the provision of childcare support in the form of childcare vouchers was the least offered benefit. The struggle for parents to balance careers and caregiving was an issue even before the pandemic. There is now a real opportunity for employers to achieve a better balance in the workplace through the inclusion of childcare support in their benefits offering.”

Pensions were the most common benefit offered, with 73.6pc of employees in receipt of some form of pension from their employer. This percentage increased to 84.9pc for financial services workers, 83.4pc for those working in the life sciences sector and 81.9pc for employees working in IT.

Around two-thirds of employees surveyed said they were entitled to paid sick leave and just over half said they were offered company-sponsored health insurance. This percentage rose significantly for employees in the IT sector (82.4pc), as well as the life sciences (77.3pc) and financial services (71.4pc) sectors.

The opportunity to work from home was more frequently offered to workers in IT, telecoms, business process outsourcing, financial services and education. Overall, 69.9pc of employees reported that they would like to be offered a mix of remote and on-site working in the future.

The survey found that educational support was something employees value highly. The financial services sector performed best in terms of educating its employees, with just over 60pc of those surveyed being offered further education.

Whether or not a company offered employees further education also depended on where the company was headquartered. More than half (57.6pc) of employees working for US companies reported being offered educational support, whereas 26.1pc of employees working for German companies and 32.8pc of employees working for Irish companies received the same.

A quarter of employees surveyed received some sort of stocks or shares from their employers, and this again depended on where the company was headquartered. Over half of US company workers in Ireland were offered a stock or share scheme, compared to to 34.8pc of employees working for German companies, 23.3pc of employees working for UK companies and 9.1pc of employees working for Irish companies.

Keevans said that many employers amended the benefits they offered to staff due to the pandemic, noting that workers have come to expect more autonomy.

“Employers have responded and revised their benefit strategies, with one out of four employers surveyed confirming that they have amended their benefits offering because of Covid-19. As a result, flexible and hybrid work models are anticipated to proliferate in 2021 and are likely to endure.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” she added. “Tailoring personalised benefits and rewards can be a highly effective way to attract and retain talent while making the world of work a more enjoyable, creative and productive place for employees – who are, after all, an organisation’s greatest asset.”

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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