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Are your family's finances protected by your employer provided benefits package? Add your thoughts and you could win a £100 giftcard - NOW CLOSED

(92 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 10:57:54

According to a new report commissioned by leading financial protection provider Unum, today's employees are more likely to fall into financial difficulty than they were 30 years ago. The report suggests that this is partly down to the fact that employee benefits - designed to provide financial protection - have failed to keep pace with the changing UK workforce which now has more women and older workers plus more workers who are disable or suffering a long-term illness.

In fact, the report identifies that people with caring responsibilities - such as mothers with children - are one of three groups that are most 'at risk' of being left financially exposed owing to an employer provided benefits package that isn't fit for purpose.

So, Unum are asking you:

What employer provided benefits you are entitled to, and how could your employer provided benefits package better support you as a modern employee with caring responsibilities?

For example:
~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities?
~ Does it entitle you to income protection so that if you become ill you have the best chance of getting better quickly - without having to worry about losing your monthly wage - so as not to impact on your caring responsibilities?
~ Are you entitled to fewer employer provided benefits because you work part time, and does this impact your ability to carry out your caring responsibilities?

Add your thoughts to this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer picked at random will win £100 giftcard from One4All (which can be spent at 17,000 outlets nationwide)

For more information, visit the Unum pages on MN.

Thanks, MNHQ

ratbagcatbag Mon 01-Jul-13 11:48:38

I work for a big multinational corp that started in the uk.

We are allowed flexible working but it is dependant on your area and management as well as your role. Traditionally it's a very male dominated company,but I've never had issues and have always been given off with pay in an emergency without question. Again depends on your manager.

I'm currently on maternity leave and get 18 weeks full pay which appears to be quite good smile

Sick pay etc depends on length of service, I've been there 14 years this year and get six months full pay,my DH who's been there 30 plus years gets two years full pay. However it has been known if your sick pay is about to run out, if you return for one week,you're then entitled to sick pay starting from the beginning again.

Finally flexi day times are very much the norm, so long as core hours are covered which are 9:30 to 3:00. So I tend to do 7-3, others 8:30 to 4:30 etc.

I find them a very good employer, the only thing I'd be happier with would be a nursery on site, I don't mind it not being subsidised, but it would be fab to have it that close.

ratbagcatbag Mon 01-Jul-13 11:49:03

You should now close the discussion so I win the voucher grin

CMOTDibbler Mon 01-Jul-13 12:29:19

I work for a moderate sized company (200 in UK, 5000 worldwide) who are US based which is incredibly male dominated, especially in management roles.
Maternity pay is stat minimum, flexible working is very much at the direct discretion of your direct manager (but many roles are very specialised so finding another part timer would be impossible). No corporate flexibility things at all. All benefits are pro rated for part timers, inc car allowance.

We do get great sick pay though.

DH works for a very large multinational, and they have a flexible benefits package which allows you to buy extra holiday days if you wish to, and choose from a portfolio of items such as health care. He got really good sick pay and superb support services when on long term sick leave.

One thing I've noticed is that theres a lot of talk about helping employees manage their caring responsibities for young children, but nothing about caring for elderly parents. Mine have had a series of crises lately, and though HR are sympathetic I can get no help at all apart from being allowed to take unpaid leave if I need

I work full time for a large organisation. Flexi is the norm, so i can pretty much dictate my own hours.

No income protection scheme as such, but sick pay is full pay for 6 months, then half pay for 6 months.

Special Leave can be granted on approval from HR, but thats normally for family funerals etc.

If my manager were not so keen on my working from home, I would struggle when my mum is ill. She childminds for me. My DS is 12 now, and the policies only apply to dependants under 5 yo.

BornToFolk Mon 01-Jul-13 13:48:30

I work for a large mulitnational corporation in a part time, support type role. The benefits package that we get is flexible so you can choose which benefits you get, up to a certain value (depending on your role, salary and length of service) It includes the car scheme, medical insurance, pension etc.

Childcare vouchers are included in this benefits package

~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities?

We're entitled to request flexible working but not necessarily to have it approved! There are lots of conditions, i.e. flexi-working is not allowed. You have to stick to an agreed working patter. I changed my hours when my DS started school to be part time. I'm also a parent governor at DS's school and I'm allowed paid time off for governor duties.

~ Does it entitle you to income protection so that if you become ill you have the best chance of getting better quickly - without having to worry about losing your monthly wage - so as not to impact on your caring responsibilities?

Erm, I had to look this up to find out what I am actually entitled to!

Sick pay at 100% of usual income is up to 26 weeks (after 1 year's service)

Income protection is provided as a fixed benefit but it looks as though it only kicks in after a year...Personal accident benefit is also included. Critical illness and personal injury insurance are also available as options but I decided against those as I have private critical illness/injury insurance.

~ Are you entitled to fewer employer provided benefits because you work part time, and does this impact your ability to carry out your caring responsibilities?

Well, the benefits package is related to salary so as my salary is pro-rated for being part time, so are my benefits. I don't feel that it benefits on my caring responsibilities though as the reason I am part time is to look after my son. None of my benefits are directly related to my son. I could claim childcare vouchers but as I understand it, I'd still be able to claim up to the full amount (£243), even thought I'm part time?

firawla Mon 01-Jul-13 13:54:11

my dh work does give health care for him and the family, i would like him to be given more flexible working hours

EeTraceyluv Mon 01-Jul-13 14:30:26

I work for a tiny charity where I am the CEO - which implies a 6 figure salary (if only grin ) We have no kind of employee benefit scheme at all, although I am able to work moderately flexibly, I do 4 days a week which are generally mon-fri but can vary that if needed. My dh works for the police and again, there are very few benefits offered to him. he was allowed a week paternity leave when dd was born 7 years ago, and childcare vouchers when she was at nursery, but apart from that there is really nothing. We are, I guess 'unlucky' to be working in sectors that are targeted for cuts.

ThePskettiIncident Mon 01-Jul-13 15:49:41

I work for a very small company. We get nothing more than the statutory minimum which is frankly awful. I wish there was more incentive for employers to provide better benefits packages and support for staff.

Saying that, they are very flexible about family related absence and try to pay people if off sick on an ad hoc basis. They would never do it for longer term illness though and it's a huge worry as a single parent.

There is only one large employer in the area, so no competition for small businesses to up their game.

Since having children it's become much more important to safe guard my finances. I feel very vulnerable in terms of health and finance, but I can't afford to take out income protection insurance on top of ll the other bills.

Catmint Mon 01-Jul-13 16:52:22

I work for a national charity.

Flexi for caring responsibilities: yes, but balanced against business need.

Good cover for sickness, do you mean contractual sick pay? This used to be 6m full 6m half. Has now been cut to 3m full, I think.

Benefits for part timers: everything that can be pro rata is.

JedwardScissorhands Mon 01-Jul-13 16:56:52

Flexible working

No income protection for illness, but death in service cover.

Part time benefits are the same, obviously payments are pro rata

tanfastic Mon 01-Jul-13 17:04:11

I work for a small law firm. We have no benefits package and are just grateful to have a job now that legal aid is going down the pan.

I have a laid back boss who is family orientated so is fairly flexible. No sick pay or anything of that kind. If I got seriously ill I'd be buggered basically.

MaxinePeakedistrict Mon 01-Jul-13 17:10:22

I'm at home but Dh works for a global co and has a generous benefits package. I've been seriously ill over the last couple of years and he has been able to work from home occasionally, join me for operations and other hospital visits - his boss is very flexible.

We get subsidised private health care but it's still pretty expensive.

His package is generous with regard to his own possible ill-health or if he had to retire early - no complaints there. I think we pay for extra life cover for us both and critical illness cover for him as the main wage earner.

They're pretty good as a whole in trying to take care of their employees but fall down on the overwork and stress angles. A handsome package doesn't compensate for staff cuts leaving remaining staff overloaded.

I'm a self employed storyteller, my work is extremely flexible, but the pay is minimal erratic, we rely on DH's income for household bills.
DH has great employer benefits, 3 months full pay for sickness, then 75% in perpetuity, BUPA provided, flexitime for hospital appointments.
He works from home when necessary, though I do a lot of work from home so the main issue isn't a lack of adults at home, more usually there are too many!
We also have decent savings and a "cushion" of mortgage overpayments we can draw on for a few months in a pinch.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 01-Jul-13 18:24:09

I work for a FTSE 100 company.
Very good choice of benefit packages to suit all workers. You can salary sacrifice a lot of them like buying extra holiday , denplan and lots of insurances.
I get free PPP health care and six months full sick pay , six months half.
I'm very lucky - got nothing at my last business, a large American corp.
My hours are pretty flexible but I work a lot of them !

poachedeggs Mon 01-Jul-13 18:25:28

Small business. Very few benefits although informal agreement on sick pay. Otherwise the minimum. As a result I spend a huge amount on personal income protection.

I work part time but as there are no benefits I get the same as everyone else!

manfalou Mon 01-Jul-13 19:11:24

I work (soon to be workED) for a private day nursery as the preschool supervisor, 40 hours a week over 4 days but 42 hours in total as everyone gets half hour for dinner unpaid. We get NO benefits package... NO sick pay... if you're off for a lengthy period of time you basically get pushed out of the place. There is absolutely no flexibility in working hours (which at 7:30am until 6pm) and as a result of this my child went to work with me at 7:15 and didn't get home until 6:20pm. I got NO discount for being a member of staff and taking my child there. Im currently on maternity leave with my 2nd child.. again no maternity package apart from government SMP. I won't be returning.

whattodoo Mon 01-Jul-13 19:13:32

I work part time for a small charity.

Flexible working is available, but no other real employee benefits other than that which are statutorily given.

To be honest, I wouldn't expect anything more from a small charity. Flexible working is the most valuable benefit to me.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumpstarter Mon 01-Jul-13 19:31:01

~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities?

I work for a large national charity. There isn't exactly a benefits package. I think if I die in service my family are paid a lump sum which would probably pay for my funeral.

They have always been as flexible as is operationally possible for me as a parent.

~ Does it entitle you to income protection so that if you become ill you have the best chance of getting better quickly - without having to worry about losing your monthly wage - so as not to impact on your caring responsibilities?

There is sick pay. It lasts for a limited amount of time. I'm not sure what the difference is between income protection and sick pay.

~ Are you entitled to fewer employer provided benefits because you work part time, and does this impact your ability to carry out your caring responsibilities?

I get pro rata holidays, and am not entitled to all bank holidays. This is very annoying, as I do not choose these days off. I use all my holiday entitlement during the school holidays, and then any leftover bank holidays and time off over Xmas when the office is closed is unpaid, or if the manager has got his act together and feeling generous, I have occasionally got discretionary. This means a slight pay cut right at the back end of the year when you can afford it least.

I was ripped off a few years ago over the pension scheme. I joined when I started. Then I was made redundant after 5 years. Then they asked me back 2 months later, but I was not allowed to rejoin the pension scheme. I am well pissed off about this.

FannyFifer Mon 01-Jul-13 19:35:24

I work for a large care company, luckily i am on a permanent part time contract as everyone else is on zero hours contracts, don't get sick pay or any other benefits whatsoever.
Had to fight for my job after maternity leave, involving union etc.

FannyFifer Mon 01-Jul-13 19:35:39

I work for a large care company, luckily i am on a permanent part time contract as everyone else is on zero hours contracts, don't get sick pay or any other benefits whatsoever.
Had to fight for my job after maternity leave, involving union etc.

Bumpstarter Mon 01-Jul-13 19:37:49

Hmm. Do I get paid for dependent sick? I am not sure. I need to check this. My boss told me to put it down as holiday or I wouldn't get paid, but no way am I wasting my precious holiday entitlement on my child's illness!

FannyFifer Mon 01-Jul-13 19:44:12

I work for a large care company, luckily i am on a permanent part time contract as everyone else is on zero hours contracts, don't get sick pay or any other benefits whatsoever.
Had to fight for my job after maternity leave, involving union etc.

EldonAve Mon 01-Jul-13 19:51:20

I work for a small company
I get childcare vouchers but that's the limit of any employee benefits provided

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