Individuals are becoming more aware about the importance of mental health after the Covid-19 pandemic, opening up opportunities for insurers and employee benefit providers. GlobalData surveys show that both employees and employers understand the importance of people’s mental health in the workplace. In addition, the Association of British Insurers launched a bespoke mental health training programme in April 2021.
Our 2020 UK SME Insurance Survey asked respondents to rank possible benefits by importance and found that 21.8% of SMEs consider providing mental health and wellbeing benefits to be their number one priority, second only to financial security. A further 24.7% ranked it as the second most important benefit.
Another question on what employees and employers (for their employees) felt was the key benefit also highlighted the importance of mental health. Work-life balance was the top benefit for both parties and was considered more important than finance-related benefits such as pensions or bonuses. 28.5% of employers and 30.8% of employees felt that work-life balance was the most important benefit, placing it significantly higher than the second-placed benefit.
Furthermore, a small percentage selected soft-support services as the most important benefit – 8.9% of employers and 5.8% of employees.
Our survey data shows that mental health is a highly valued aspect of employee benefits by both the employer and employee. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made employers and companies more aware of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Long lockdowns and periods of mental strain and stress, as well as financial concerns for some, have further raised the significance of this issue. This indicates that any further emphasis that insurers place on it in their products will be beneficial to them, as the consumer interest is there.