The employee benefits industry and benefit practices following the 2008 recession : an Irish context

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Balogun, Rasheed A
Issue Date
MBA in Business Management
Dublin Business School
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Like most other areas of HR, employee benefits are not immune to the catastrophic effects of the recession. In a bid to keep up with business strategy HR managers have implemented several plans, categorized in this study under ‗Hard‘ and ‗Soft‘ employee benefit policies, which range cost reducing initiatives such as cutting benefits, to employee motivating and retaining tactics such as introducing ‗quirky‘ and ‗fun‘ benefits in order to mitigate the impact of the recession on employees. This study also aims to shed some light on the employee benefits industry in Ireland and highlight the main benefits offered by Irish employers. To create a snapshot of the Irish employee benefits industry it was necessary to i) set the scope and boundaries of what could be considered as an employee benefit, ii) understand who the main players in the employee benefit industry are, iii) map out the possible service lines. The available employee benefits service lines were categorized into two major types (Simple service line and extended service line). Following this an actor abstraction was also created showcasing the typical actors involved in the employee benefits industry, that is, the Employee, Employer, Benefit Consultant, Benefit Technology Provider, and Benefit Supplier. Next a search to find out the main benefit offerings provided by Irish firms was carried out. It was found that the Pension, Healthcare benefits are the most offered benefits and could arguably be the declared as the benefits employers bank on to attract, retain and motivate its employees. Meanwhile, it was suggested that employee benefits may not be as important to Irish employees anyway as they are more appreciative of the fact that they are in employment than anything else. Author keywords: Employee benefits, recession, HRM, Ireland