Three-quarters of young workers willing to jump ship for better benefits

'Knock-on impacts of tightening labour market have flexible and tailored employer-provided benefits desired by many'

Three-quarters of young workers willing to jump ship for better benefits

Canadian workers are ready to walk out the door for better benefits.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of 13- to 34-year-olds and 69 per cent of 35- to 44-year-olds in particular are prepared to leave their current employer for another that is offering what they would consider to be better benefits, reports RBC Insurance.

The top three desired benefits are ones that provide support for mental health (88 per cent), a health spending account (80 per cent) and options to add additional coverage (79 per cent) to better meet personal or financial objectives.

Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of workers said they are currently looking or plan to look for a new role in the second half of 2022, up from 28 per cent six months ago, finds a separate report from Robert Half.

“Given our collective experience since March of 2020, it’s not surprising to see a range of worries and stressors reported by working Canadians” says Julie Gaudry, head of group benefits at RBC Insurance.

“The knock-on impacts of a tightening labour market have made flexible and tailored employer-provided benefits desired by many – and clearly a draw, particularly for younger generations.”

Mental health declines

These results are aligned with how younger workers are feeling, according to the survey of more than 1,000 workers conducted in April. Among them, 61 per cent report lower levels of overall well-being – down three points since 2021 – and 58 per cent report a decline in mental health – down five points since 2021.

Employees suffering from burnout and mental health problems is the top reason they are quitting, according to an earlier study.

Canadians with employer-provided benefits are significantly more likely to rate their job satisfaction (64 per cent, six points higher), overall level of well-being (64 per cent, 10 points higher), physical health (62 per cent, eight points higher), mental health (60 per cent, seven points higher) and financial health (55 per cent, 17 points higher) higher than those without benefits, finds RBC.

As many employers start to call their staff back to the office, the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) is calling on all Canadian companies to provide at least $1,500 for employees’ mental health benefits.

The value of benefits

Since employee benefits plans started to rise to prominence in the 1940s, they have become an increasingly important tool for employers to have a competitive edge, says Simon Wong of the Baker Tilly Canada Cooperative.

“They attract top talent and minimize the cost of employee turnover by giving employees access to comprehensive coverage at reduced group rates with no medical underwriting,” he says.

“Essentially, employee benefits are an effective way to promote healthy outcomes for your workforce, and increase employees’ financial peace of mind, which naturally leads to higher morale and increased engagement and productivity.”

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