Important employment benefits overlooked by employers in the GCC

Important employment benefits overlooked by employers in the GCC

The most common benefit offered by employers in the GCC is a company car/car allowance, despite ranking as only the eighth most important benefit to employees when considering a new role.

The Hays 2020 GCC Salary & Employment Report, which surveyed over 6,800 working professionals during Q4 of 2019, found a number of discrepancies between the benefits being offered by employers and expectations of employees.


Child education allowances and flexible working are the two single most important benefits to employees, as stated by over half (51%) of those surveyed. However, only 13% of employers offer both of these as part of a standard employment package and instead, a company car/car allowance and life insurance are the two most common benefits provided by employers.

“We are seeing more and more misalignments between employer offerings and employee requirements. While employers must be realistic – they cannot afford to offer every available benefit to employees, we would recommend they review their benefits packages on a regular basis,” says Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays in the Gulf region.

When it comes to flexible working, 27% of employees stated it would improve their work-life balance, particularly working from home and flexitime, yet almost two thirds of employers (65%) do not offer it as part of a standard employment package.

“As the world of work evolves, people’s needs change and if employers are not receptive to this, they could risk losing some of their top performers.”

Staff retention considerations

Aside from benefits, the report also found employees to be dissatisfied with the career development opportunities provided by their employer, with 55% stating that there is no scope for career progression within their organisation.

“This is a worrying statistic given that career development was the single biggest reason why almost a third of working professionals in the region have moved organisation for each of the past three years,” says Chris.

From an employer perspective, the report found managerial/leadership skills to be the greatest skills shortage faced by employers.

“This seems ironic given the lack of opportunities working professionals say they are facing to develop in their career and it is clear that more can be done by employers to address this while at the same time overcoming skills shortages in the future.”

“The one thing we can say to employers is that if you are not providing employees with relevant benefits and not developing them either, then you are guaranteed to lose many of your employees to other organisations who do.”

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