The Gulf is seeing a concerted shift in employers moving from offering a pure-pay model to an emphasis on total rewards for staff, recruitment giant Aon has said.
According to its latest GCC Allowances and Benefits survey, there is a notable increase in the prevalence of benefit offerings for employees, seen as a positive indicator for the region in attracting and retaining the right talent.
While in previous years organisations were spending more aggressively on their cash allowance packages, the results this year show an increase in benefits being offered to employees across the region.
The enhanced end of service benefit (EOSB) has also become a more frequent offering among employers, with figures more than doubling from 17 percent in 2017 to 35 percent in 2018, according to Aon.
The prevalence of other benefits have also registered strong growth with life assurance up 12 percent, accidental insurance up 20 percent and long-term disability also up 20 percent compared to last year.
Aon said this growing trend is reflective of organisations aiming to optimise their costs and their total reward offering, whilst customizing it to the needs of their workforce.
Other survey findings included the fact that paternity leave is becoming increasingly common among the best employers in the region while maternity cover is the most prevalent treatment covered under medical benefit to all employee groups in the GCC.
The survey also showed that standard working hours for the region clock in at 48 hours, with a range spread of eight hours per week.
Typically, the maximum number of working days for annual vacation is 25 days and most organisations allow deferral of annual leave from one year to the next.
It also showed that the most prevalent allowances offered to executives, management and professionals are housing allowance, transport and children’s education assistance
Two thirds of companies also provide relocation allowance to employees at the executive, management and professional levels, compared to just over one third (34 percent) for support staff.
Christopher Page, CEO, Talent, Rewards & Performance, Aon Middle East and Africa, said: “The results of this study are particularly interesting, as they demonstrate how organisations are looking at and leveraging allowance and benefits structures to secure and retain the right talent with the right skillsets to help drive their business objectives.
"This is extremely important for the region, which is focused on promoting and nurturing local talent to support the growth vision of the GCC nations. The study also points at the shifting trends in the allocation of allowances and benefits, which will serve as a referral point for industry best practices.”
Arun Taneja, rewards consultant, Aon Middle East & Africa, added: “The shift from just pay to total rewards is a welcome step by organizations in the region, which also meets the aspirations we are seeing amongst young talent who are seeking challenging yet rewarding career opportunities.”For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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