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Employee benefit trends for 2024 and beyond

March 7, 2024

After a number of turbulent years full of unexpected events and unforeseen situations, the idea of making predictions about the future can seem like a fool’s game.

But even in changing times, businesses must set out strategies and plans that will allow them to thrive not just in the here and now, but over the medium and long term too.

In the area of employee benefits, for example, companies need to co-ordinate an offering that reflects ongoing changes in the priorities of the current and future workforce. And while many might think they are on top of this challenge, evidence can be found to the contrary.

One study points to around six in ten employees being either unhappy, unsatisfied or simply unbothered by their benefits package. These findings make for uncomfortable reading in the context of separate research among employers, where almost three-quarters (72.7%) said they thought the benefits they offer meet the needs of employees.

The mismatch in these figures hints at the need in some cases for a recalibration of benefits to align them more closely with workforce expectations. But in 2024, where should employers and HR teams invest their time, money and energy in a bid to support the long-term retention and recruitment of employees in an unsettled talent pool?

Here, we look at the forces shaping benefits offerings and how they might continue to change in the future to support the evolving wishes, needs and ambitions of staff.


While creases continue to be ironed out of hybrid working models, the underlying notion of greater flexibility in work looks set to stay – and might already be considered a baseline expectation. For many, it is the catalyst for an improved work-life balance, and there are those who are willing to forego pay rises or leave their job in order to have greater personal control over where and when they must fulfil their work obligations.

The departure from an entirely office-based model, where workers are expected to be present 9-5 from Monday to Friday, is also having a knock-on effect for other benefits. Season-ticket loans, for example, no longer have such appeal when employees are not faced with the demand for an upfront payment of an expensive annual train pass.


The catch-all nature of this word summarises the broad desire among employees to be supported by their employer across all aspects of health, from physical to mental and even financial. In its report – The Future of Employee Benefits: 2030 – Zurich says this is one of the key pillars employees will increasingly expect from a ‘human-first’ approach to benefits.

Crucially, Zurich predicts this approach will be embedded within the employee experience rather than separated out into isolated perks. For example, programmes to promote good mental health, manage stress and anxiety, and support caregivers and women affected by the menopause could all form part of a joined-up, personalised and proactive approach to employee wellbeing.


Particularly among younger workers, showing support for social causes and acting with sustainability in mind are not only important personal priorities – they are values expected of their employer. Indeed, 71% of respondents to one study said they would research a potential employer’s values and ethics prior to joining the company.

Whether through encouraging electric car ownership or allocating volunteering days, there are plenty of ways that employers can deliver on the promise of purpose in an authentic way. However, with 24% of companies admitting that their values largely don’t align with candidates’ expectations, there is a sense of there still being more to do for employers in this area.

Financial rewards

It might be tempting to think that the growing emphasis on wellbeing and social purpose within the workplace means less value is being placed on financially led benefits. One study of 18 to 34-year-old workers puts paid to this idea, however, with respondents placing ‘increased pension contributions’ and ‘private medical insurance’ at the top of their benefits wish list.

Perhaps the fact that such ‘traditional’ financial rewards consistently continue to be prioritised by workers shows that little has changed when it comes to employee benefits. But dig deeper and it’s also clear there have been some seismic shifts in attitude among employees in a post-pandemic, cost-of-living conscious world. Indeed, rounding out the top five of most desirable benefits were ‘paid mental health leave’, ‘employer contribution to energy costs’ and ‘discounts on high-street shops’.

These two sides of the same coin show how companies today must balance ongoing priorities with changing trends if they are to meet the ever more demanding requirements of the employees of tomorrow.


The information contained within this communication does not constitute financial advice and is provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such information. Vintage Corporate or any of its associated representatives shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the content of this communication.