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More firms offering paternity leave but staff prefer pensions

Paternity leave is the fastest growing perk in the UK but pensions remain the favourite employee benefit, according to research by Virgin Money.

It says over 51 per cent of employers now offer paternity leave compared with just 24 per cent a year ago.

But it warns employers looking to water down their pension provision that an employer-funded pension is considered the most important employee benefit by 86 per cent of employees although such schemes are only offered by 49 per cent of employers.

Health insurance is provided by 25 per cent of employers while 22 per cent offer life insurance as an employee benefit.

Spokesman Gordon Maw says: “Historically, our study has shown that paid paternity leave was among the most important benefits for workers. Therefore, it is great to see employers acting on behalf of the employee to close the gap, even if it took legislation to force their hand.

“Pensions remain top of the most wanted list for workers and the number of employers who offer staff a pension has risen by 8 per cent in the last year. But we believe some form of pension compulsion is the best way of ensuring people have enough money for their retirement. As the case of paternity leave shows, Government intervention can be a force for good in the workplace.”

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