Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

21st Jan, 2022

Christy Houghton
Christy Houghton
Job Title
Social Media Content Executive

According to Reed’s recent survey, many of the benefits that professionals are receiving aren’t in line with those they necessarily want. Businesses will need to understand what professionals are looking for from their employer to stay competitive in the job market.

This list will explore which benefits are most desirable for qualified social workers this year:

Paid time off/annual leave

With caseloads especially demanding since the pandemic started, professionals are looking for better work-life balance and the time off to maintain their own mental and physical wellbeing.

Once the majority of the UK reopens to full capacity, people will want to take time off to go on holidays or out with friends and family. Allowing your workforce more paid annual leave days will reward them for their hard work over the last couple of years. This, in turn, will boost morale among workers and allow them to recharge and become more productive.

Although our survey suggests that over 80% of workers receive annual leave, the fact that more than two-thirds find it to be highly attractive means that additional annual leave would be welcomed by many.

Health insurance

Just over half of respondents said they wanted health insurance and that it was one of their top-five most desired benefits. This has a great return on investment, because a happy and healthy workforce will perform better and value their organisation more.

Employers who show they care about their workforce are more likely to retain their employees, and those who build a reputation for supporting their staff will attract a larger number of the most talented candidates. With many prioritising their mental and physical health post-pandemic, it has become important to offer a robust health insurance package for staff.

Performance bonus

48% of respondents found this to be a top-five priority; the reception of this benefit almost matches the demand.

The additional workload brought on by the pandemic can leave workers feeling stressed and potentially lacking in motivation. Performance bonuses are a great tool for rewarding workers and showing recognition for their hard work. This will help them feel valued by their employer, prompting greater longevity within their organisation.


Since the pandemic created a shift in people’s priorities, it’s understandable that social workers are now thinking about their retirement plans more than ever. It seems there has been more consideration of the future, with 44% of respondents considering a pension higher than the required amount to be a highly attractive benefit.

Annual salary increments

Only about 37% of respondents receive this benefit, but 45% of workers found it to be a top-five priority.

With the UK inflation rate recently reaching 5.6%, many are looking for greater salary increments to match it, especially since workers know they become more valuable every year and want a salary that reflects that growth. Employers should take this into account and provide more opportunities for progression and development for greater workforce retention and attraction.

The few benefits that were widely received but least desirable to professionals include company mobile phones, brand discounts, and vision insurance. Investing more into the top five benefits that people want will help business leaders create a more alluring benefits package to jobseekers and employees.

Download our 2024 salary guides now for more data and insights - including regional breakdowns of the most popular QSW roles.

Reed salary guide 2024