COVID-19: Firms must empower employees


FNB Chief Executive Officer for Employee Benefits, Elize Giese

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE country’s leading finance house has urged employers to help employees achieve financial resilience in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa.

This follows the realization some employers still have the misperception that employee benefits solutions are the exclusive domain of large corporates.

Elize Giese, Chief Executive Officer of Employee Benefits at FNB, said the belief was misguided.

“While a compelling employee benefits offering has long been recognized as a strong drawcard for attracting the best talent, the impact that COVID-19 had on many employees in South Africa highlighted the fact that offering your employees benefits that go beyond just a monthly salary.”

She said it was imperative today as it was an essential business requirement.”

Giese pointed out that the evolution of employee benefits, particularly over the past few years, meant delivering on this business and moral responsibility was within reach of most businesses, even small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

She said the situation needed to be addressed, with the introduction of appropriate employee benefits solutions as part of SME overall remuneration structures.

As employees increasingly felt the financial brunt of COVID-19, many of them had nowhere else to turn for help but their employers.

Giese said a well-structured employee benefits package, aligned with the identified needs of employee groups, was the ideal way of avoiding additional financial pressure on employee and employer alike in the future.

She stressed on simplicity, communication and a needs-based design as non-negotiable components.

“Simplicity is arguably the most important characteristic that any employee benefits solution should have, both in terms of ensuring that employees fully understand the benefits they receive and making sure that the administrative burden of offering the scheme is minimal for the employer.”

Giese used FNB’s app-based communications platform as a prime example of this type of supportive and accessible employee benefits communications offering.

Members who are also FNB clients have instant access to a comprehensive view of their entire financial situation, including their bank, credit, insurance and savings balances as well as balance in their retirement fund investment.

– CAJ News

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