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Employers using specialist teams to evaluate ESG credentials of employee benefits partners

Press release 14 November 2023.

Sixty-four percent of employers say it is now either a priority or important to them to work with employee benefits companies that have a strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance­­) policy, according to data1 from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.

Of these, 43% stated that they have a specialist team to evaluate the ESG credentials of potential employee benefits partners. This figure has risen from 19% just 12 months ago, demonstrating the significance that organisations now place on, not only their own ESG policies, but also those of the suppliers they are considering working with.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “In today’s corporate world, ESG is far-reaching: ensuring good stewardship of nature, society and people penetrates every level. This includes which employee benefits partners an employer chooses to align itself with, as this encourages good ESG practises in other organisations too.”

Other measures used by employers who take the ESG credentials of their employee benefits partners seriously are:

  • 42% ensure that the potential partner has a published ESG statement that covers the expected areas ­­­
  • 33% use a scoring matrix to make an assessment

Katharine Moxham continued: “When tendering for new business, benefits providers should prepare for more scrutiny from employers and their intermediary partners. Although many employers require a published statement of ESG intentions, this is now more likely to be a starting point for discussion and one of many factors that are carefully considered, not the only measure as it once perhaps was.”

Recruitment and retention

Ensuring an employer has sound ESG credentials is also important from an employee perspective:

  • 44% of employees say it is a priority or important for them to work for a company that has a strong ESG policy
  • 39% of employees also say that it is a priority or important that the partners and suppliers their employer chooses to work with, also have a strong ESG policy.

Katharine Moxham concluded: “We’re likely to see increasing numbers of employees demanding more of their employers and their employee benefits partners in the future.

“It is clear that ESG must be lived and breathed throughout benefits provision as it should throughout an entire organisation.”

  • Ends –
  1. The research was undertaken by Opinium from 9-22 January 2023 among 503 HR decision-makers at UK businesses and 1,212 employees at UK businesses.

For further information please contact:

Ali Cort 
SMUK Marketing and PR 
Mob: 07887 484247

Katharine Moxham
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508

Notes for editors

About GRiD

Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their well-being and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.

GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.

GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.

Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham

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