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Voice of the Employee

Research by MetLife has found Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is responsible for rising expectations among employees, who believe managers owe them a greater level of ‘social responsibility’. The employee benefits provider’s Re:me report found this included an expectation that employers take a far more holistic approach to accommodating the personal circumstances of their staff.

The data showed 71% of employees felt companies needed to have a greater role in their overall welfare, wellbeing and happiness. Three-fifths (61%) expected their employer to make additional allowances for their personal circumstances specifically because of the pandemic.

Worrying for employers, the research revealed that a quarter (25%) of respondents admitted their employer’s response to Coronavirus had either ‘somewhat or significantly weakened’ the trust between them.

Commenting on the research, Adrian Matthews, employee benefits director at MetLife UK, said: “Employees have become acutely aware of their own health and that of their family and those around them.

“Our research has found that 72% of UK employers now feel that the relationship has changed, as do 62% of employees, with employers and employees needing to now reset their relationships.”

Matthews explained that the changing relationship between employers and employees is also being carried into what employees are now expecting from their benefits packages.

He added: “The shift to working from home has naturally allowed colleagues and employers to have a greater insight into personal lives and home working set ups. But it’s the benefits and support employers offer post-Coronavirus that are going to become much more central to employees lives. We expect benefits such as income protection, critical illness and health screening expected to rise to the fore.”

The data confirmed that the larger the company, the greater the employee expectation that managers give more social responsibility to staff.

It found the expectation staff had that their bosses make allowances for their personal circumstances was 62% among SME employees, rising to 64% for enterprise-sized companies and 69% for larger mid-sized companies.

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