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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

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Jul-13 14:15:41

Thanks for all the comments.
Pleased to say iwantavuvezela has been selected as the winner of the £100 giftcard. Well done.

sealight123 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:42:45

I work at the the University of Leeds and it has great benefits that allow me to be a employee and a mum. Not only do I have allocated sick days and compassionate leave (touch wood I never need either to be used) I also get carers leave days, specifically for when I have emergencies with my daughter and need to care for my daughter. One example is when we were over run with snow this year, my daughters nursery had to close for the day so I used a carers leave day to look after my daughter as no other childcare was available. They also give the choice of having childcare vouchers but I found working tax credits a better solution for my family. My workplace is full of families, mums, dads, grandparents, which makes them understanding when it comes to balancing work and home. Amazing job, amazing people. smile

I work for the LA, DH works for a large company with a good union/benefits package. We are very lucky to be well covered. I think we may be in a minority though.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 08-Jul-13 12:39:31

I work for a british growing retailer.They do have a small benefits scheme but they dont tell us what they are?There is no information there to tell us what they are.We can pay for a health insurance scheme,but again they havent formally told us and there is noone to ask to be honest.There is a poster for childcare vouchers which has disappeared so noone uses this.We dont get sick pay,if you dont go in you dont get paid.You cant use your holidays as sick days(well this is what that they say)We get a lot of stick for asking to be flexible with hours even though Id say around 50% of us have school age and under children.People have been told if they cant work the hours they shall be worked out of the company in the past.So in effect if I van't do the hours because Im the main carer I have the worry I will lose my job.

Namechanger012345 Mon 08-Jul-13 04:04:02

My employer is one which when I took the job I assumed would be very good for benefits (large international employer in the City). They do offer a good maternity package however unfortunately I got pregnant when I had not been working there long enough to benefit from it! They do childcare vouchers, fairly decent pension... Flexible working hours are in theory possible but in reality very likely to be difficult, although to be fair I haven't actually had to request anything so can't say for sure how they would handle a request for that.

daisybrown Sun 07-Jul-13 23:07:00

Work for a local authority so I have nothing to complain about benefit wise. Never be afraid to raise your voice if something seems unfair.

Meglet Sun 07-Jul-13 21:37:29

I work for a medium sized company.

No flexi time despite no need for me to be at my desk at a certain time, not needed for phone calls or meetings (unless planned a few days ahead). I'm gearing myself up to go into battle with them about it as the rigid hours get in the way of looking after the children (I'm a LP).

I do get sick pay, think it's 3 months full pay.

They have recently said they were going to stop random days of unpaid leave, which I have used a couple of times when the kids were sick. I asked about this but apparently it's too much faff for HR to do the paperwork for odd days leave hmm angry. They do seem to go out of their way to make it family un-friendly.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 07-Jul-13 20:38:33

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 smallish not for profit company. Most employees have flexi hours, and many access their right to apply for flexible working. So I work part time to suit my lifestyle and so allow me to spend time with my child.

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?

I'm entitled to six months full pay and six months half pay for sick leave. They also give us a cash back scheme to access things like physio etc.
Plus they offer OH and counselling services.

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?

No. Only my holidays are pro rated. I still get every other benefit that full time employees get, for example child care vouchers, a good maternity/adoption leave package.

Smudging Sun 07-Jul-13 08:08:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oblomov Sat 06-Jul-13 15:11:32

Sick pay at Directors discretion. No pension, yet .
Income protection? I can't even get it for dh, privately, because he hasn't been on his position for 2 years yet. Nightmare.

Self-employed
I have only what I provide/arrange for myself in terms of holiday pay, sick pay, pension and income protection! I can work as flexibly as I like though -as long as I put the hours in!

stephgr Sat 06-Jul-13 02:11:28

I work for a small firm with no benefits except death in service and childcare vouchers. Flexible working would be great and income protection would be good too.

Blu Fri 05-Jul-13 23:32:32

We do do childcare vouchers. Very useful. But we didn't use a scheme - the company just pays a portion of the nursery fees direct. It cuts out the expense of the actual vouchers as managed by a voucher provider.

Blu Fri 05-Jul-13 23:31:01

I work for a well established grant-funded not-for- profit orhanisation that is a regd, charity.

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

Not a beneifit package, but flexible working to a very flexibe degree. But that is the nature of the work anyway. I have a hige amount of freeedom in m working hours, but obligations to work lots of evenings and weekends. But I am able to make it work very well for me.

~ 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?

No, not at all. No perks of that nature.

~ 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 don't work part time, but p/t employees in my organisation are entitled to the same conditions as anyone else. But there are no benefits! No employers contribution to pension, and statutory minimum for everything.

Low salary, in relation to seniority, years of experience and budget and responsibility managed, but that's the nature of the work.

PutThatDownNow Fri 05-Jul-13 23:10:50

Public sector. Flexible working which made such a difference when DC were small. Childcare vouchers. Good sick pay and maternity pay and pension. At the moment.

janekirk Fri 05-Jul-13 23:08:58

Have a choice of working hours but I can't change them too often. Employer is very understanding when it comes to things such as the kids falling ill. Good sick pay scheme and retirement benefits as long as I pay in to the scheme.

New career: teacher!

~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities?
Not as such. There are many part-time teachers, but daily teaching hours are not flexible and the hours are long.

~ 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?
No - standard statutory 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?
What benefits?! There are no 'employer-provided benefits' beyond the pension scheme.

I'm going to answer twice - once for my old career and again for my new one.

Old career: utility industry

~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities?
Technically yes, but many women who did go part-time later lost out in restructurings. Senior management took a dim view of it. Sexist, yes!

~ 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 was a generous sick pay scheme (six months full-pay, six months half-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?
All financial benefits were pro-rata for part-time folks. All else was exactly the same.

Snog Fri 05-Jul-13 19:06:33

~ Does your employer provided benefits package entitle you to flexible working to help make it easier for you to carry out caring responsibilities? No
~ 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? For a limited time I would get full salary, then half salary, then nothing - but could potentially b
~ 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? no

CheeryCherry Thu 04-Jul-13 22:30:57

Yes I am allowed to work part time, for which I am very grateful. I do get 6 months sick pay after being there 2 years, then 6 months half pay.But I get no additional benefits, no income protection, and a very poor pension. Good thing I like my job!

littlemonkeychops Thu 04-Jul-13 21:29:59

I work for a medium-large private company.

I work part time but was very lucky to get it agreed, the culture is to not really allow it. I don't think i get less benefits for being part time (illegal surely?!).

I have private healthcare and death in service cover for 3x my salary.

No idea what sick pay or longterm sick benefits i would be entitled to.

zipzap Thu 04-Jul-13 21:22:20

I do bits and bobs of freelance work which means that we tend to look at it as a bit of a bonus these days rather than income we need to rely on and it therefore has zero benefits attached. Once the children are older I'm hoping to get back into work although I suspect the benefits (notably pension) will be lots worse than they were when I left a few years ago.

DH works for a large multinational and can choose from assorted benefits including buying back some extra holiday, extra pension contributions, family health and dental plans and critical illness. Some stuff comes automatically not sure where the exact line lies between what everyone gets, what is dependent on his grade and which are the extras he chooses (or doesn't). I just know that he does buy back some extra holiday each year which is great.

And while he doesn't work flexibly per se, he does work from home and often ends up having work meetings at weird times of the day and night as he works on teams that have members in the US, China and India amongst other places. So he is able to work a bit flexibly unofficially in lieu - one week he might have some late night meetings that don't start until 11pm so he doesn't feel too bad about starting at 10am one day the next week in order to go to a parent's assembly to watch the dc say.

nerysw Thu 04-Jul-13 21:21:12

I work for a council and get benefits such as flexi-time, the chance to go part time after having children and childcare vouchers.

Charlene1 Thu 04-Jul-13 20:17:46

I would love to work from home or flexiwork, but I'm not allowed in my job. sad Managers and sales reps can though. Pension is good though as you get free life insurance worth 3.5 times salary for death in service, and you get 5 fully paid sick days a year. No income protection though.

carabossse Thu 04-Jul-13 16:29:44

Private sector worker here. I think the main issue is that it feels like employees are less likely to have employment security - due to things outside the employee's direct control e.g. globalisation, redundancies due to changes in corporate strategy etc. So relying on your employer is fine when things are going well but if you lose your job, your safety net (life assurance, critical illness etc ) can disappear too .

Making use of opportunities for flexible hours and working from home helps. In my industry though there's a lot of unnecessary business travel - not for client meetings, just internal meetings that could be handled in other ways without meeting face to face.

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