HR in Law and Aon Employee Benefits Survey 2019 says 94% of law firms recognise their role in financially educating staff

  • 69% of firms are looking to implement financial wellbeing initiatives within 18 months

  • Wellbeing strategies have increased by 17% since 2017

  • 89% of firms agree or strongly agree that the employer is responsible for influencing staff health and changing behaviours

  • Mental and physical health are most popular areas covered in a wellbeing strategy

LONDON (10 April, 2019) – New research from HR in Law and Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions (NYSE: AON), shows that employee wellbeing is increasingly important within law firms as they work to align financial wellness, wellbeing and benefits strategies. The HR in Law and Aon Employee Benefits Survey 2019 highlights that 94% of law firms believe they have a role in financial education beyond pensions guidance, while health and wellbeing has risen up the agenda with 60% of firms having a wellbeing strategy – up from 43% in 2017.

This year’s survey draws upon the responses from 96 law firms across Silver Circle, Legal 100, regional, national, US and global firms, providing benchmarking information and insights.

The survey also shows that 89% of firms agree or strongly agree that the employer is responsible for influencing employee health and changing behaviours. Forty-eight percent of firms have a specific budget for their health and wellbeing programme, with 9% of those who do not, intending to within the next 12-18 months. Of those firms which have a health and wellbeing programme, the majority of spend and resource is currently split equally between education and prevention, and access to treatment. Detection of ill-health and early intervention are not currently high areas of focus, however 49% of firms are planning to focus on these within the next 12-18 months.

Silver Circle firms are leading the way with 100% of respondents having a wellbeing strategy, followed by the Legal 100 with all of them either having a strategy in place or plans to implement a strategy in the next year.

Mental and physical health are currently the most popular areas covered within firms’ health and wellbeing strategies, at 98% and 93% respectively, followed by financial (64%) and social (52%).

Financial education is becoming a key focus for many firms, with 94% believing they have a role in financial education of staff beyond pensions guidance. Twenty-three percent have a financial education programme in place, while 69% of firms are looking to implement financial wellbeing initiatives within the next 18 months.

David Dolding, client services director, Aon, says:

“This year’s survey overwhelmingly showed us that employers are, quite rightly, focusing on mental health as the number one priority. There is so much evidence showing that financial stress can lead to mental health issues. The question to ask is whether employers can be doing more to help their people with financial education, so they are treating the cause rather than the mental health symptom.”

Rob Hind, chairman and director of HR in Law, says:

“Research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that one in four of us are likely to suffer from a mental health condition at some point in our lives and this increases among employees in the workplace1. Meanwhile, according to The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, over half of UK employees say that money worries affect their performance at work2. It is encouraging that, slowly but surely, the stigma around mental health is starting to subside and that many law firms are aiming to support their employees.”

HR in Law promotes excellence among HR professionals working in the legal sector. Its focus is on helping members to work to the highest standards as well as supporting learning, hosting networking events and running the annual HR in Law Awards and Conference.

The biennial survey shows insights across employee benefits; Workplace Savings (DC) auto-enrolment impacts, the impending increase in minimum pensions contributions, matching enhanced shared parental leave and a shift in trends and opportunities linking to wider benefit and communication strategies.

https://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/

https://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/money-worries-in-the-workplace/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/money-and-mental-health/#.XG6Q5c_7R-U

For a copy of the HR in Law and Aon Employee Benefits Survey 2019, click here.

Kay Phelps