Media - Press Releases

Employees hold the cards as businesses face fight to retain staff

Monday 1st November 2021

  • Nearly a third of the UK workforce (29%) has changed employer, or desire to, since the start of the pandemic
  • 40% of which said a better benefits package would attract them to a new employer
  • 20% of employees list poor mental health support during the pandemic as a leading reason for leaving

New research from leading employee benefits provider Unum UK finds almost a third (29%) of UK employees have either moved jobs or are looking to do so since the start of the pandemic.

Of those that remain in their roles – almost 1 in 10 (8%) want to hand in their notice, with two-fifths (40%) of the youngest workers aged 18-34 saying they’re already in a new job or are planning to seek a new one.


What is being dubbed as ‘The Big Quit’ comes at a particularly challenging time for employers. In Q3 2021, there were 1.1 million job vacancies in the UK — the highest number since records began in Q2 2001.

Unum’s research of employees’ attitudes to work and the employer support captures many of the reasons why people are seeking a job change.

Of the people who had left their job or are planning to do so since the pandemic began:

67% said a better salary would attract them to a new employer

  • 40% said a better benefits package would attract them to a new employer
  • 20% were unhappy that their current employer didn’t support their mental health sufficiently during the pandemic
  • 18% felt their current employer handled the switch to hybrid working poorly — or did not permit it at all.


Mark Till, CEO of Unum UK commented: "Attracting and retaining staff is at the heart of every good business, and our research shows that employee benefits play a crucial role in the war for talent. Having highly valued benefits and wellbeing support, including mental health provisions, is paramount for businesses to be seen as the ‘go to’ employer in the market.”