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Smaller businesses in the UK are failing to promote employee benefits to staff despite recognising the value of benefits in retaining and motivating their workforce, according to new research for Pure Benefits.

The study among businesses employing 11 or fewer staff found more than half who offer benefits to staff don’t actively promote their benefits as they do not have the time or budget available.

Smaller businesses also struggle to source employee benefits such as life insurance, income protection and private medical insurance for staff, according to the research.

Government data shows there are around 1.07 million micro-businesses with fewer than 10 staff across the UK. The study found keeping and motivating staff are the two biggest reasons for having employee benefits, as the biggest challenges faced by micro businesses are employee retention and engagement and managing profitability.

According to research by Grass Roots Employee Solutions, 39% of small business workers are receiving no benefits, compared to 24% in larger enterprises. However, 82% of smaller business employees saying that benefits would encourage them to stay in their jobs.

The research revealed on average, the smaller the company you work for, the less likely you are to receive benefits. For example, in businesses with up to 10 employees 53% received no benefits. Compare this to businesses with 50 to 250 employees and this figure drops to 27%, and companies with over 250 workers only 24% received no benefits.

Recruitment and training costs make staff turnover expensive, plus it is normal to have a period of decreased productivity when someone leaves, making it vital to ensure existing employees are happy and engaged at work.

Stuart Gray, founder of Pure Benefits said: “The research shows that the majority of these micro businesses do their employee benefits research online.

“It makes sense that all the info they need should be readily accessible online, with options to quote on the spot and the freedom to look at different coverage options without having to go through a complex process.”