RBC Insurance says a poll of more than 1,000 working Canadians conducted in April found that the majority would take a job with good benefits over another job that pays more but does not have a benefits plan.

The finding comes as businesses face the hurdle of attracting and keeping their workers amid record-high labour shortages. The company says 68 per cent of those surveyed would opt for a good benefits package over higher pay for the same work.   

Although the majority of those surveyed said they still have positive feelings towards their employer, an increase of eight percentage points since 2019, they add that nearly half of younger working Canadians said their employer’s benefits plans have not adequately met their health and wellness needs in the past year.

More, they say close to 50 per cent of new long-term disability claims at RBC Insurance for younger employees are mental health related.

“The pandemic has seemingly opened the door to a better understanding of individual mental health needs,” the company states. “Among RBC Insurance group plan members, for example, nearly half (49 per cent) of new group long-term disability claims for employees between 18 and 35 are related to mental health in 2021, which is trending upward since 2019.” 

Julie Gaudry, head of group benefits with RBC insurance says it was no surprise to see employees prioritizing health and wellness needs alongside other job considerations. “With the broader recent trend of people leaving their roles as a result of job dissatisfaction, businesses must consider the value of benefits to better support employee mental and financial health.”