Survey reveals employee benefit gender divide

Only 4% of employers provide income protection as an employee benefit

Survey reveals employee benefit gender divide

Office workers in Dublin | Photocall file photo

A new survey has found a gender divide when it comes to employee benefits.

Women in the Irish workforce get less in pension benefits and bonuses, but more in flexible working hour benefits than their male counterparts.

The study, carried out by Aviva, looked at benefits currently offered by Irish employers and those sought by workers.

It found that 21% of millennials (under 35) would choose flexible hours as their first preference employment benefit, which is significantly more than their older counterparts - with 17% of 34 to 50-year-olds and 16% of those aged 50+ choosing this option.

It found 30% of employers are providing flexible working hours as more millennials seek this as a 'perk of the job'.

The most common benefit provided to employees is a pension contribution.

Some 45% of employees report that their employer provides this.

Other benefits include flexi-hours (30%), an annual or performance bonus (24%) and canteen subsidies (20%).

Only 4% of employers provide income protection as an employee benefit.

Over one-quarter of employers do not provide any benefits outside of wages.

Health insurance and income protection

Commenting on the findings, Karen Gallagher of Aviva said: "The findings support the widely held contention that women have fewer financial provisions than men - particularly when it comes to pensions.

"There's also a very real and obvious gender divide when it comes to employee benefits - with men appearing to seek and receive more financial extras than women.

"The only area it seems in which women get more in terms of benefits is around flexible working hours."

It also found that workers are, to a large extent, unaware that they themselves are responsible for the financial implications of work interruption due to illness.

Just 15% of employers pay health insurance contributions, and only 4% pay income protection premiums.

Aviva said the findings point to a growing trend; whereby the modern mobile workforce is looking for a greater degree of flexibility from employers when it comes to where and when they work.

The survey of 393 employed adults was carried out via Behaviour & Attitude's online panel, Acumen.