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BUSINESSES ARE CONTINUING TO INVEST IN STAFF BENEFITS

In the run up to the festive holidays, most of our clients take stock of the past 12 months and make strategic plans for the coming year.  Top of the list for many successful Cheshire businesses is staff retention - and how to maintain or improve it.

Most employers plan to continue their investment in workplace benefits, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). A survey of 568 HR practitioners found that 97% of organisations intend to maintain or increase expenditure on employee benefits in the next two years.

Afford Bond Partner, Paul Edwards said: "Many businesses plan to increase investment in areas such as professional development, health and well-being, and financial benefits. Our role as business advisors and accountants is to guide and advise, in particular, on any tax breaks which are also available to facilitate these plans."

Additionally, many businesses say they expect to invest in a formal work-life policy in 2019, including benefits like flexible working and shared parental leave arrangements.  The survey found that in 2018, the five most popular benefits across all sectors were:

- pension schemes (trust or contract-based)

- paid leave for bereavement

- training and career development

- childcare vouchers

- occupational sick pay

Charles Cotton, senior reward adviser at the CIPD, said: "Despite recent economic and political uncertainty, employers are committed to investing in their employees and their future. It's encouraging to see the benefits that have been earmarked for further spend in the near future relate to people development and well-being."

"Spending in these areas always helps corporate performance and business growth," said Paul Edwards, "and with careful planning and accounting advice, many businesses reap more than just excellent staff retention."