Most UK workforce want private healthcare from their employer, according to research from specialist recruitment firm Robert Half.
The recruiter’s 2024 Salary Guide which commissioned research among 500 employers and 1,000 employees across finance, HR, operations/administration, marketing and tech departments, found 51% wanted private healthcare insurance at work, with 62% wanting private dental insurance.
Respondents are drawn from a sample of SME and large organisations from public sector, private and publicly listed businesses across the UK.
A further 57% of staff were interested in health and outpatient insurance, while more than a third (35%) would like mental health resources or employee assistance programmes.
Hospitalisation insurance was also particularly high in demand in the UK, with 59% of workers wanting this in 2024.
“Building a culture of care can help your employees in the event that they are not able to perform their job due to accident or illness is fundamental,” Robert Half said.
“Insurance policies that replace all or some lost salary generate goodwill and a faster return to work, critical in an environment of rising economic inactivity due to long-term sickness that is prevalent in the UK.”
The data also compares the UK to its European counterparts.
Across other European destinations, appetite was lower, with just 48% of those in France and 46% in Germany indicating that they wanted this insurance.
However, the data also showed while almost two-thirds of UK residents want dental insurance, just 42% of those in Germany wanted access to this benefit.
Steve Sully, regional director at Robert Half, said: “The NHS issues and subsequent concerns around access to healthcare treatment is clearly playing on the minds of the UK workforce.
“This latest data shows a growing trend in people turning to their employers to provide private dental and healthcare benefits.
“Firms must be mindful of the perks and benefits that resonate with existing and future workers if they are to attract and retain the staff they need.
“We’ve seen a trend of pay increase demands over the last year due to a combination of the rising costs of living and worker shortages, but this isn’t a sustainable means of sourcing staff.
“Employers are needing to be more creative about benefits packages to compete for top talent and, as the workforce is clearly showing, private healthcare, alongside mental health support, are a priority.”