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Canadian, US workers demand non-health benefits in tight job market

‘Gone are the days when basic health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans were good enough to attract people to the workforce’

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Workers are becoming more demanding as employers across the world struggle to attract talent in a tight labor market.

A new Ceridian survey revealed that a majority (83 per cent) of Canadian and US workers are seeking non-health benefits from their workplace. Most (82 per cent) said they would be more loyal to their employers if modern benefits, such as on-demand pay and flexible work arrangements, were offered.

“Gone are the days when basic health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans were good enough to attract people to the workforce,” Seth Ross, general manager of Dayforce Wallet and consumer services at Ceridian, said in a press release. “The market is demanding that employers step up and start offering modern benefits like on-demand pay to meet the needs of their workforce.”

The new demands are especially popular among the millennial and gen-Z population as many of them enter the workforce. The bulk (82 per cent) of those between the ages of 18 and 34 said they expect their current or future employer to help support their financial security.

“As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it’s clear that many North Americans, especially the younger population, want employers to support their financial well-being,” said Ross.

Part of the reason why is because rampant inflation has left many workers struggling to make their payments. Over half (54 per cent) said they had trouble covering their expenses between pay periods over the last six months. That jumps to 88 per cent for the millennial and gen-Z cohort.

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Presently, most (86 per cent) of the younger cohort said they have access to one or more non-health benefits. Still, almost a third (32 per cent) indicated that their benefits package does not meet their expectations. If their current workplace was to offer more financial wellness tools, however, more than eight in 10 (82 per cent) said would be less likely to look for a new job.

On-demand pay seems to be one of the most sought-after benefits among younger employees. A majority (63 per cent) of workers who do not have it said they would be less worried about their finances if they did. A further three in four (78 per cent) said it would affect their decision to choose an employer.

A separate Ipsos Group SA study last year found that a majority (68 per cent) of working Canadians would pick a job with a good benefits plan over another job that pays better but does not have a benefits plan.

As a result, leading companies have begun implementing non-health benefits to remain competitive in the job market.

Lund Food Holdings Inc. is offering its employees on-demand pay to help ease their financial distress. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Casey Enevoldsen, vice president of employee experience at Lunds & Byerlys, said in the press release. “Not only that, but by giving our team members the flexibility to get paid after each shift, we have gained a significant competitive edge against other employers in the market.”

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Noella Ovid, with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

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