Almost all (94 per cent) small- to medium-sized Canadian employers offer a benefits plan, according to a new survey by Humi.

The survey, which polled the organization’s employer clients, found slightly more than a third (42 per cent) of respondents said they’re paying for the full cost of benefits premiums. However, when it comes to crucial benefits such as family leave, just under two-thirds (64 per cent) of employers said they don’t offer a maternity and paternity leave policy above the minimum Employment Standards Act requirement. Among the employers that indicated they provide some sort of top-up, almost half (49 per cent) said it was just slightly above the ESA requirement at 10-25 per cent.

Read: Small businesses increasing wages, benefits to attract talent: survey

Offering benefits is key these days as “the demand for talent [has] skyrocketed,” said Simon Bourgeois, Humi’s chief executive officer and co-founder, in a press release. “The dial has been turned up with regards to recruiting process speed and hiring packages. It’s not just about salaries anymore. Canadians are recognizing the value of work-life engagement, a better and more robust compensation package and the value of feeling like they belong.”

Only 39 per cent of respondents reported they had a remote work policy before the coronavirus pandemic, while that number more than doubled to 80 per cent once the pandemic started. Meanwhile, a majority (84 per cent) of survey respondents said they plan to return to the office either in a full-time or hybrid capacity. Another 22 per cent said they’re considering moving to a four-day workweek.

Notably, just over two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents who indicated they’re excited to go back to the office said it was solely due to seeing their co-workers again. And while 18 per cent said they offered “flexible Fridays” in summer 2021, only 12 per cent of those respondents said they’ll continue to offer it going forward.

Read: More Canadian employers topping up maternity leave benefits than parental leave benefits: survey