During the past six months, 20% of employers have cut back on employee benefits. And if the economy doesn’t improve, 32% say they’ll do the same in the next six months.
Since 2008, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been tracking the impact the recession has had on employee benefits and pay. From Nov. 8, 2010 through Jan 13, 2011 it studied nearly 400 employers.
The results paint a bleak picture of what the economy’s already done to employee benefits — and what it’ll do if things don’t turn around soon.
As you could’ve guessed, healthcare coverage has been — and will continue to be — the benefit victimized the most (by far).
Here’s what the 20% of employers who said they’ve scaled back employee benefits in the past six months have cut:
- Healthcare coverage for employees (91%)
- Healthcare coverage for spouses and dependents (89%)
- Company-paid relocation programs (55%)
- Employee leave accruals and balances (54%)
- Pensions (47%)
- The amount of leave employees can carry over from year to year (46%)
- Employer match to retirement plans (44%)
- Paid time off — including sick, vacation and personal days (38%)
- Flextime benefits — like telecommuting and compressed workweeks (33%)
If things don’t turn around economically
Should financial challenges continue to plague the U.S. and global economy over the next six months, benefits cuts will run even deeper.
For the 32% of companies that say they’ll make cuts over the next six months if things don’t get better, here’s what’s going to get whacked (many for a second time):
- Healthcare coverage for employees (85%)
- Healthcare coverage for spouses and dependents
- The amount of leave employees can carry over from year to year (72%)
- Employee leave accruals and balances (65%)
- Flextime benefits (62%)
- Paid sick time (62%)
- Paid time off — including sick, vacation and personal days (61%)
In addition 25% of employers plan to freeze worker wages if the economy doesn’t rebound. That’s on top of the 39% of companies that said they’ve already done so.
Info: A PowerPoint of SHRM’s study results can be downloaded from here.
Is you company planning to make similar cuts to benefits or pay? Let us know in the Reply box below.