Following my adverse comment on the latest “research” from the non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), a kind commenter brought to my attention something the TPA might find hard to appreciate: a genuine piece of research, the May 2011 Employee Benefits survey, generously sponsored by Alexander Forbes. You can browse the data for free [.pdf].
This survey is important for several reasons, not least that it contains responses from 439 organisations, only 15% of which are in the public sector, and of which 87% employ more than a hundred people. So when it comes to benefits packages, the research can claim to be a wide-ranging and almost certainly representative cross section of UK business.
So how does this relate to the TPA’s “research” from last week, which was no more than a Freedom of Information (FoI) fishing expedition directed at the BBC and S4C? Well, the TPA were attempting to demonise the Beeb for including Private Health Insurance (PHI) in the remuneration packages of around 2% of employees, and PHI is one of the benefits reported on in the Employee Benefits research.
Scrolling down to Page 13, it can be seen that, of the organisations surveyed, 26% offered PHI to all employees as a core benefit, and a further 42% offered it, also as a core benefit, to some employees. That’s a total of 68%. So the BBC offering PHI to just 2% of its employees puts the Corporation very much in the mainstream.
The Employee Benefits survey – which is proper research, unlike the TPA’s variant, which is slanted to fit a conclusion that has already been reached – tells us that, out of a sample of hundreds of organisations, most offer as a core benefit something that the TPA is trying to suggest is excessive or wasteful if offered by the BBC to just 2% of its staff.
It also tells us much about benefits packages generally, including information on a wide range of other benefits that the TPA have been quick to criticise, when public sector organisations offer them. So the Employee Benefits survey is highly likely to feature in future posts.Especially where the TPA is concerned.