Increased financial support and benefits that promote better wellbeing top the list of younger employees’ wants for 2024, according to new research from employee benefits technology company, Zest.

The most desired benefits for employees aged 18-34:

Rank Benefit
1. Increased pension contributions (27%)


2. Private medical insurance (26%)


3. Paid mental health leave (24%)


4. Employer contribution to energy costs at home (21%)


5. Discounts on high street shops and brands (20%)


5. Workplace savings scheme (20%)



The most popular benefits highlight the growing demand from younger employees for employers to better support their finances, and overall wellbeing, as younger people in particular continue to struggle with rising living costs. Around seven in ten (67%) admit that the cost of living crisis has changed their outlook on what is important to them and the same proportion (67%) would like more financial support from their employer.

With a rise in hybrid working, more ‘traditional’ company perks such as assistance with travel costs are of lesser interest. Ranking among some of the most unpopular benefits was a season ticket loan (4%) and less than one in ten (8%) now want a cycle-to-work scheme.

On the contrary, wellbeing benefits are on the rise – 31% of younger employees say that they want more wellbeing benefits, again higher than the average of 24%. According to other research, a quarter say their mental wellbeing has never been worse because of money worries, increasing to more than a third (36%) of 25-34-year-olds.* The link between poor finances and poor mental wellbeing could explain why a quarter (24%) of 18-34-year-olds now want paid mental health leave – higher than the average of 18%.

As younger generations increasingly populate the workforce**, listening to their needs is critical. 57% of this demographic now say that benefits packages are the most important thing they look for in employment, and 62% say that they would leave their current job if someone offered them benefits elsewhere.

With three in ten (29%) businesses being unable to raise salaries in line with inflation, employee benefits are a key way employers can support young workers in other ways beyond salary.

 Matt Russell, CEO of Zest commented:

Never has the need for effective benefits packages been more apparent. With many businesses unable to raise salaries during the cost of living crisis, benefits provide a way to support employees with their finances and overall wellbeing, both of which are being affected by the crisis.

Matt Russell, CEO of Zest




Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.