Canadian employers are investing in innovative financial, physical and mental-health benefits to drive their attraction and retention efforts, according to a new survey by Mercer.

The survey, which polled more than 300 employers, found 59 per cent said they’ve invested in employee discount programs, followed by budgeting and other financial wellness education and support (51 per cent) and financial coaching (36 per cent).

When it comes to mental-health benefits, respondents said they’ve invested in education on eliminating workplace stigma and raising awareness of self-care (64 per cent), virtual therapy (57 per cent), mental-health training for managers (49 per cent) and online assessments and resiliency training (48 per cent).

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To support employees’ physical health, employers have invested in programs such as ergonomics assessments (60 per cent), telemedicine to support physical wellness (55 per cent), fitness subsidies (45 per cent) and stand-alone integrated health and well-being platforms, including incentives and challenges (28 per cent).

Respondents said they’ve also invested in more inclusive offerings, such as fertility benefits (32 per cent), gender affirmation coverage (18 per cent) and adoption and surrogacy benefits (roughly 10 per cent). However, fewer than 10 per cent said they provide child or elder-care programs and few employers said they provide coverage for non-traditional medicine.

Just a third (33 per cent) of employers said they provide health assessments and fewer than five per cent said they offer coverage for genetic testing, such as nutrigenomics, as a health screening tool.

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