One-quarter of small businesses consider offering benefits

Most offer health plans, not savings plans: Manulife

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of small business owners and managers in Canada believe taking care of employees makes them work harder for the company. And more than one-half (55 per cent) of owners and managers believe offering competitive health benefits is a crucial element in attracting and retaining top talent, according to Manulife Financial's Small Business Research Report.

Despite widespread recognition benefits are of value to employers and employees, 42 per cent of small business owners do not offer those benefits, although 27 per cent have considered it, found the survey of 1,005 small businesses.

While 58 per cent of respondents offer a health benefits plan, fewer provide or offer various types of retirement or other savings programs for employees, such as profit-sharing plans (25 per cent), group RRSPs (20 per cent), special executive plans (18 per cent) or an employee pension plan (15 per cent).

The Manulife Financial Small Business Research Report explores six main themes that impact the day-to-day life of a small business owner: professional support network; employee productivity and focus; top talent retention; controlling costs; access to capital and growing revenue..

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