Employers in Singapore lag behind Asia in supporting employees in an emergency or in time of need, according to Mercer Marsh Benefits

  • Over 17,500 employees surveyed in 16 markets globally, with more than 1,000 from Singapore.
  • Only 58% of employees in Singapore say their employers will support them in an emergency or time of need, compared to 67% in Asia.
  • Almost half of employees in Singapore find it useful to have a benefit that assists them with adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle – higher than 43% in Asia.
  • In Singapore, 40% of employees below median household income are not confident they can afford healthcare.

Singapore, 16 May, 2023 – Leading health and benefits consultancy Mercer Marsh Benefits, a business of Marsh McLennan, has released its 2023 Health on Demand Report, which has revealed that employers in Singapore fare lower than Asia when supporting employees in an emergency or in time of need. Employees also want employers to take an active stance on issues related to women, diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental, and more, which are aligned to company purpose and values.


The 2023 Health on Demand report surveyed over 17,500 employees in 16 markets across the globe, which includes more than 1,000 employees from Singapore, about their health and well-being priorities, so that employers can better address their employees’ needs. In Singapore, 40% of employees report feeling stressed in their everyday life. This is lower than the Asia and global average of 44% and 47% respectively. Work pressures (58%) and toxic culture (41%) were identified as the top two factors that employees in Singapore believe have the potential to cause burnout.


Addressing polycrisis and societal concerns

Ongoing macro-economic, environmental and political disasters have characterized the 2020s, and these issues have also impacted employees in Singapore and their families. Top on the list of concerns is still the pandemic for employees in Singapore, followed by economic downturns and war. However, they are not confident that their employers would support them through an emergency or crisis – 58% say their employers would support, compared to 67% in Asia. Organization’s HR and Risk departments are encouraged to work together on crisis scenario planning, which helps to mitigate risks related to employee well-being and enables companies to provide better and faster support to their employees.


The report also revealed that employees expect their employers to take an active stance on societal issues. For example, 49% of employees in Singapore (vs 43% in Asia) find it beneficial to get help with adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle. In the report, 54% stated that it is important for their employer to support women’s issues, 52% believed in the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and 51% felt their employer should focus on environmental sustainability. To build trust and credibility, employers must ensure their external messages on what they stand for align with the support they offer to employees.


Closing health and risk protection gaps

Employees are more likely to thrive when their basic needs are met. However, health and risk protection gaps persist amongst employee groups such as low-income or part-time workers. In Singapore, 19% of employees above median household income are not confident they can afford healthcare. This figure jumps to 40% for employees with below median household income. And while 62% of employees above median income have access to medical coverage benefits through their employers, only 54% of employees with below median income have the same access.




Neil Narale, President of Mercer Singapore, said: “The Health on Demand report has uncovered significant gaps between what employees in Singapore want and what the employers are providing. Organizations should strike a balance in providing support for employees that address their macro concerns as well as societal issues – this will require employers to lean in and actively seek employee input. We also urge employers to review the viability, applicability, accessibility of benefits across all demographics and income levels, and ensure that vulnerable employees receive equal access to benefits and have their unmet needs met. It’s time employers prioritize a more inclusive health and benefits strategy to support the entire workforce.” 


About the 2023 Health on Demand Report

The 2023 Health on Demand Report was fielded in October-November 2022, and surveyed 17,531 employee respondents in 16 global markets about their priorities when it comes to health and well-being. The resulting report captures the voice of the employee to inform discussion around employee health and well-being needs, including the relationship between providing benefits and enabling employees to thrive, benefits that are suitable for the environment in which employees live, and benefits aligned with company purpose to support the wider health of society.


About Mercer Marsh Benefits

Mercer Marsh Benefits provides clients with one source for managing the costs, people risks, and complexities of employee benefits. The network is a combination of Mercer and Marsh experts working across more than 150 countries to develop local solutions drawn from global expertise.


About Marsh

Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. With over 45,000 colleagues operating in 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data-driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over $20 billion, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading businesses: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer and Oliver Wyman. For more information, visit marshmclennan.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 85,000 colleagues and annual revenue of over $20 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit mercer.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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