Toronto, ON – Few Canadians working full-time with an employee benefits package report that they have access to cancer support services, and a majority feel it is the employers’ responsibility to include these services as part of their benefits, according to a new Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of North Strategic.
Cancer support services advise individuals on their diagnosis, test results, treatment, and other challenges when dealing with cancer. Almost two thirds (64%) of fully employed Canadians with benefits report they, or someone close to them, have been affected by cancer, but four in ten (46%) don’t know if they have access to cancer support services through their employee benefits package. Furthermore, four in ten (38%) report they do not have access, with only less than one in five (17%) reporting they have access.
When asked whether they have adequate access to cancer support services, one-half (49%) report that they don’t know, while over one in three (36%) report they do not have adequate cancer support services. Only one in six (15%) report they have these benefits.
Two thirds (65%) believe that cancer support services are a valued component of an employee benefits package, while over one in ten (13%) do not express this sentiment, and one in five (22%) don’t know. Not surprisingly, respondents who report that they or someone close to them have been affected by cancer are more likely to report that cancer support services are a valued component of an employee benefits package (70%), compared to those who did not report being affected by cancer (56%).
Although the majority report they do not have access to cancer support services or don’t know if they have access, over one-half (57%) believe that employers have a responsibility to include cancer support services as part of an employee benefit package. Just under two in ten (19%) do not believe employers have this responsibility, and over one in five (23%) don’t know.
A majority (57%) of employed Canadians also believe that the inclusion of cancer support services in an employee benefits package is a good way to retain employees and attract top talent. Over one in ten (13%) do not believe including these services is a good way to attract and retain employees, and three in ten (30%) don’t know. In addition, of those who believe cancer support services are a valued component of a benefits package, just under three in four (73%) also believe that their inclusion is a good for employee retention.
Although the general trend indicates that fully employed Canadians with benefits are unaware of their access to cancer support services, and that it is an employer’s responsibility to provide these services, there are some interesting demographic differences to note among this population:
- Canadians with incomes of less than $30,000 are more likely to report that they do not have access (53%) or do not have adequate access (52%) to cancer support services through their employee benefits package, ahead of middle income Canadians who earn $30,000 to $60,000 (38% and 37%, respectively), and higher income Canadians earning over $60,000 (37% and 35%, respectively).
- Canadians aged 35-54 (68%), and those aged 55+ (70%) are more likely to feel these services are a valued component of a benefits package in comparison to younger Canadians, aged 18-34, (59%).
- Similarly, those aged 55+ (68%) and 35-54 (59%) are more likely to believe including these services in a benefits package is a good way to retain and attract top talent, compared to younger Canadians (51%).
- Regional differences show that residents of British Columbia (41%) are least likely to believe that their employer has a responsibility to include these services in an employer benefits package, compared to Albertans (53%), Quebecers (59%), Ontarians (60%), Atlantic Canadians (63%), and Saskatchewan/Manitobans (67%).
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted between January 28 and February 4, 2013, on behalf of North Strategic. For this survey, a sample of 1,002 full-time employed Canadians with an employer benefit package from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all Canadians who are employed full-time been surveyed. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
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