Guy Clarkson

     UK Mid-Market Sales & Growth Leader


With Covid-19 bringing uncertainty and unprecedented challenges for businesses, employees and HR teams, it has never been more important to utilise benefits packages to their fullest.


Businesses need to support their employees in the moments that matter, and in these unprecedented times it has never been more important to share relevant and educational content with employees about the benefits available to them.


There are opportunities to leverage technology to do this, not least in promoting benefits like employee assistance programmes and virtual GPs – benefits businesses may already have in place – that could really come to the fore during these strange and potentially challenging times.


Maintaining the integrity of communications has become even more important too with many of our clients creating new Covid-19 specific areas on their employee benefits site, specifically to help employees deal with these new circumstances. This can include pulling together different content around physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, social wellbeing or financial wellbeing, and it’s also a great way of calling out provider specific messages. We’ve seen a great response from many providers in terms of how they can support employees. These, again, may be benefits you’re already offering – communications can help making it clearer to members how their policies can support them.


We encourage employers to keep communicating with people, and, whether you have employee benefits software or not, pulling together as much concise and relevant content as possible. This can be difficult when the situation is so fluid and moving so quickly, but it is worth the effort and will have a positive impact on your employer value proposition


Business as usual


Despite the unique challenges and pressures that HR teams are currently under, it is important to continue as many ‘business as usual’ processes as possible to avoid any mistakes or omissions in relation to your monthly administration processes.


For example, processing leavers and joiners into the business, and making sure the right employees are covered by the right benefits, is just as important as ever.


For those companies who already use employee benefits software there should be little to no impact due to these being scheduled, automated processes, freeing up HR teams to focus on other challenges and objectives.


Finally, it’s important to consider the potential impact of Covid-19 on wider benefits and policies. For instance, employers need to decide if and how they will offer flexibility for employees to carry over annual leave from the current period into the next one.


Determining the longer-term and wider approach will of course remain a work in progress as the situation continues to evolve, and will vary company by company. However, starting to plan and think about these areas now will leave you in a better place in the weeks and months to come.


If you would like to talk to someone about any of these issues, contact Guy Clarkson on 07789 030514 / guy.clarkson@mercermarshbenefits.com.


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