Flexi hours and bonus schemes for employees take backseat to PMI

An increasing interest in personal health and well-being means staff now value private medical insurance above many other employee benefits, Bupa's Health of the Nation survey reveals.

The major annual survey of the general public's attitudes and behaviours regarding health and lifestyle, found that private medical insurance (PMI) comes second only to a pension as a desirable employee benefit. More than half of employed people questioned would be more tempted by a job which offered PMI above one that did not.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed also agreed that employers should take more responsibility for their employees' health and care needs – up 4% in two years.

Approximately three in five people think that tax incentives should be given to encourage people to take out private medical insurance. There is also a growing interest in health checks with over 60% of employed people now keen for their employers to provide these checks.

Ann Greenwood, director of business markets, BUPA Health Insurance, said: "Attitudes to personal healthcare are changing with people keen to have more control of their healthcare options rather than leaving it to chance.

"Alongside this, employers are coming under increasing pressure to improve productivity, reduce absence and manage a workforce that is not only getting older, but is also affected by lifestyle-related health issues like obesity and smoking."