The 2024 edition of the Leading Employers meta-study for the UK has unveiled a significant public sector presence, with 20% of the organisations on the final list being publicly funded. This annual study is dedicated to identifying companies that demonstrate overall top-notch employer qualities.

The study, now in its third year in the UK, observed schools and universities (4.8%) leading the public sector representation, closely followed by Government Agencies (4.4%). Additionally, Health Care & Hospitals and Social Services were also prominent, occupying fourth and ninth places, respectively. Altogether, these sectors account for over 16% of the organisations recognised as outstanding employers.

Similar trends have been noted in other countries, such as Germany, where the study conducted last October also identified a significant number of top-performing employers in the public sector, particularly in Education, Public Administration, and Health & Social areas.

Lindi Utter, CEO of the Institute for Research & Data Aggregation, which conducts this annual study, remarked: “We are not entirely surprised about this development. In volatile times employees tend to look for job security. The public sector has always been a steadfast employer, notwithstanding some obvious downsides in e.g. benefits and salary compared to the private sector. In our study we established a positive evolution of public companies on talent management and employer branding. For instance, in a sector such as Health Care & Hospitals the labour market forces public organisations to be on pace with private competitors when looking for talent.”

Since 2017, the Institute of Research & Data Aggregation has been determining the top 1% of employers each year across different markets. Utter further explains: “Our aim has always been to bring more transparency to the jungle of existing employer seals and certifications. With our research we want to create the most comprehensive and holistic picture of employer qualities to make the final outcome, a list of Leading Employers, as reliable as possible.”

In the UK study, private sector companies in the Legal, Staffing & Sourcing, and Consulting fields also featured prominently among the highest-performing branches.