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What Are Employee Benefits?

Simply put, employee benefits are non-cash elements which form the wider reward package. You need to look at yours because employees don’t just consider the salary you are offering them when they are thinking about accepting a new role. These additional employee benefits, which form part of the overall reward package, can often be what sets you apart from another employer.

Although they are non-cash to your employee, they do have a financial value and carry a cost to you as the employer.

Employee benefits are a great way to prove your desire to care for an employee’s wellbeing. You may also choose to use them to motivate employees to achieve key goals. Employee benefits may improve employee engagement with your business, however, this isn’t always the case.

Within smaller businesses, employee benefits offer you an excellent opportunity to retain staff, especially if you can’t afford to increase salaries across the board. Some businesses find that the more individual and quirkier the benefits, the more they appeal to employees.

Essentially though, salary alone is unlikely to entice the best candidates to accept a role in your business. People are looking at the whole package and it’s important that you find a way to keep up with your competitors.

Holidays & Time Off

There are legally required levels of paid holiday that your employees are entitled to. However, this is an excellent area to develop an appealing element of your rewards package.

For example, some organisations now offer unlimited holidays as employee benefits. As incredible as that may sound, research shows some employees in those organisations are taking fewer holidays than when they were allocated a set number of days.

There are also statutory requirements for other types of time off including maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave. The legal requirements are low which offers another opportunity to increase benefits in order to retain your top talent.

Pensions

These days all business with one or more staff are required to provide a workplace pension  Any business that was started after 1st October 2017 is required to have this available as standard.

It’s highly likely that a pension is the most expensive benefit an employer has to pay. Over time, this expense will increase because, as an employer, you are required to provide higher levels of contributions. You are also required to send out statutory notices to your employees to ensure they know about their rights concerning pensions.

Company Sick Pay

Company Sick Pay is one of the employee benefits that is payable in addition to the statutory payment required by law. As a result, it is often used to reward years of service for the staff member’s loyalty. This means that, in many small businesses, Company Sick Pay is a luxury.

However, it could offer you a significant competitive edge over other companies and, therefore, might be a tempting benefit for you to consider. You need to think it through carefully as there are lots of pros and cons.  It could help to avoid presenteeism – take a look at my blog to find out more.

Healthcare

Staff wellbeing is a vital aspect for employers to consider. Providing private healthcare can be surprisingly affordable for business owners. Costs can vary considerably and will depend on the level of cover you choose to offer. Employee benefits surrounding healthcare you could choose from include;

  • Private medical insurance
  • Life assurance
  • Permanent health insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Employee assistance plans
  • Dental insurance

It’s well worth shopping around if you’re considering offering any, or all, of these as a benefit to your staff. Many companies also offer fringe benefits in addition to the basic policies.

Flexible Working

Research has shown that flexible working and supporting employees to achieve a positive work-life balance can be a persuasive employee benefit.

There is the statutory right for an employee to request flexible working. However, if you can offer a degree of flexible working as an additional benefit you could significantly enhance employee engagement.

Company Cars/Car Allowance

Many moons ago, a company car was one of the most popular employee benefits. More recently though, this reward has become less attractive due to the tax implications of having a company car. However, a more attractive benefit may be offering a car allowance to employees who need to be mobile for their work.

Reward Platforms

Reward platforms are one of the growing and affordable employee benefits solutions. Ideal for small businesses, they offer something for everyone.

Perkbox is the UK’s fastest-growing employee engagement platform. It assists businesses to attract, retain and reward top talent by offering exclusive perks that add value to any lifestyle. However, it is definitely worth shopping around as there are now lots of reward platform schemes available. Some may be more appealing to your employee demographic than others. If you want to support similar small businesses in this way, take a look at My VIP Card.

Summary

If you’re thinking about adding more employee benefits to your package, it’s worth doing some research to find out what your employees want as benefits. For example, offering everyone a gym membership that many won’t use is a waste of valuable resources.

You should also consider making sure benefits align with your company’s goals and objectives. It’s not all about big, expensive benefits either. Maybe just start by giving an employee an extra day off on their birthday. It’s a small cost but can have a great psychological impact. Let’s be honest who wants to work on their birthday!

Contact me to find out how a simple employee benefits survey discover what your team wants and which of your current benefits they are making use of.

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