The proportion of UK firms using IT contract staff has jumped in the past year to 65% from 53%, according to a survey of employee benefits trends from Computer Economics.

The survey also found that flexible working is extremely common in the IT services industry, with 88% of IT services employers making use of home-based working arrangements, against cross-sector average of 77%.

Other findings from the report – ‘Survey of employee benefits and additional payments 2008’ – show that the proportion of organisations offering flexible benefits schemes to IT staff is 43%, with the most common tradeable items in such plans being holidays, private medical cover and childcare vouchers.

Among IT managers and directors, however, certain core benefits are even more widely available, with 98% of IT directors and 94% of IT managers having private medical cover courtesy of their employer.

And two-thirds of IT managers receive a company car or a cash-for-car allowance at an average annual value of £6,435.