November 06, 2020


In the current and ongoing furlough world the employment market is at a crossroads, whereby there remains a need for urgent skills and talent with an increasing need to upskill and/or change careers. IT and digitisation has been accelerated by the pandemic with business agility being put to the test. The care sector is a growth area and continues to be of interest to investors in the UK and overseas. With the retail, leisure and travel sectors severely affected by the pandemic and releasing employees the care sector could be a sector which reapplies their existing skills to different roles. Cross skilling into the care sector demonstrating the right values could be an excellent career choice for many people seeking alternative careers currently and in the future. With the care sector constantly evolving the next generation of carers will be getting used to the accelerated digital environment enhancing the care service and unlocking new upward career paths. As the world of employment changes, to be an employer of choice in the care sector means having the ability to adapt to employee needs. Employees are seeking key areas within their employment package:
  • Job security
  • A career path
  • Benefits
  • Fitness & health benefits
  • Life insurance
  • Pension incentives
Health and wellbeing is becoming, more than ever, an area for an employer to focus on when considering staff retention. The goodwill that this brings also results in employee recommendations which is always a sign of a well-led business. This in turn results in stronger employee engagement, consistency of care and good to outstanding KLOE’s with particular emphasis on Well Led and Safe. As we move through the pandemic waves, by using benefits available to them employers can increase staff morale and motivation to stand resilient. Community giving, as seen by care homes providing pack lunches for children during the recent half term, is another way to show case your care offering to current, future staff and residents (ensuring that infection control is managed at all times). Protecting their futures and those of their families will continue to be an increasing area of importance for current and future employees and as a snap-shot, Paul Holt, a Chartered Financial Planner within Albert Goodman Financial Planning, gave his thoughts on this: Pensions For most employers, a Workplace pension is the traditional route to address retirement savings for employees. Pensions have always been a way to gain greater employee engagement with the ability to build pension benefits over and above the statutory state pension. Pensions have also been an established way of supporting future succession planning for staff. However, it is important to think about each employee as an individual. Younger staff will have different needs to those in their thirties to fifties and those nearing retirement. Having the ability to offer more bespoke packages is one clear way to add value for staff and their financial wellbeing, with pensions being more personalised to the individual’s needs. Pension contributions made by the employer are treated as a trading expense with the ability for corporation tax relief and reduced National Insurance. Similarly, the employee also benefits from the prospect of reduced tax and National Insurance costs. Life Assurance The provision of a lump sum will provide peace of mind for employees in that should they die, their loved ones will have a degree of greater financial security. This benefit could be extended to that of critical illness which will provide a lump sum in the event of a serious ill health condition arising. Life assurance is something that many employees now expect to see as part of their remuneration package. For larger employers, a group life assurance policy; otherwise known as a Death in Service scheme, can make provision for staff on a block basis. However, there is scope to allow life assurance benefits to be more personalised using tax advantageous arrangements such as Relevant Life Plans (typically used in the context of bespoke planning for senior staff members). It should also be recognised that pension arrangements, Death in Service schemes and Relevant Life Plans can, subject to the appropriate planning and advice, have the prospect to remain outside of the individual’s estate at point of death. This could help when addressing a potential future inheritance tax cost. Creating a solution Using both pension and life assurance benefits as part of an employee’s total remuneration will allow the employer to create a benefit package to both attract and retain staff. Using these key areas will also allow for better integration with staff, ensuring that the benefits offered reflect the employee’s intrinsic value to the business whilst comparing favourably with the open market. The best advice I can give is for you to speak to a suitably qualified chartered financial planner who will guide you through the options available. Albert Goodman specialise in this area and our team will listen to your needs, designing a life and pension benefit package that your employees will truly value.


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