Employee benefits, schemes and programs can be a very cost-effective way to incentivise your staff and also enjoy tax benefits for your organisation. From health insurance, childcare vouchers and shopping discounts, there is typically a bigger saving for the more employees your add to a scheme.
Employee Benefits Schemes
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What Are Employee Benefit Schemes?
Employee benefits are non-wage compensation that employers can add to supplement the salary that they pay their employees. Employee benefits range from private health insurance to critical life cover to phone insurance. This can include employee benefits schemes, programs, solutions, employee motivation schemes, employee retention schemes and strategies, and work life balance strategies.
How Much Do Employee Benefits Schemes Cost?
The EAPA has revealed that the price of an Employee Assistance Programme can vary from £3.50 to £8* per employee, per year.
The cost of insurance-based employee benefits depends on the type of benefits you want, the size of your company, and how much cover you want to give your employees. Whilst providing health insurance or life insurance may start at £5 to £8 per employee per month, this can be cheaper overall for the more employees you add.
What Are Examples of Employee Benefits?
- Eye care vouchers
- Private dental
- Hotel stays
- Free food or drinks at work
- Gym membership
- Health screening
- Childcare vouchers
- Retirement benefits
- Profit sharing
- Unlimited holiday allowance
- Pet-friendly provisions
- Company cars
- Lunch allowances
- Financial advice
Do Employee Benefits Programs Help Attract Talent?
Yes! A report from the Society for Human Resource Management showed that employees rank benefits as one of the top 3 considerations when searching for a new job, among a good work/life balance and opportunities for career advancement.
Do Benefits Start on the Employee’s First Day?
They can, but not every benefit has to begin on an employee’s first day at a new job. It depends on the employer. For example, employers can decide that health insurance benefits only come into effect after the employee has been working for the company for at least 30 days.
Do Employee Benefits Programs Increase Retention?
Yes! Employee benefits make a huge difference in employee retention. Recruiting skilled staff is difficult, but keeping them in their roles can be even harder, especially due to the current climate of job hopping. Most workplaces offer some form of employee benefits for this reason.
The cost of paying benefits to your employees is much lower than the cost of finding someone new every time an employee leaves for a more appealing job offer. In fact, the loss of productivity coupled with recruitment can cost more than £30,000 per employee*.
Can Benefits Vary From One Employee to the Next?
While you can technically give different benefits to different employees, you need to be very careful that this policy is not discriminatory. For example, it would make perfect sense for full-time employees to receive certain benefits that are not open to part-time employees. However, segmenting employees based on more arbitrary differences could count as discrimination.
Which Employee Benefits Are Employers Legally Required to Provide?
Employers legally must be able to provide the following benefits for all employees:
- 28 days annual leave (inclusive of bank holidays)
- Workplace pension contributions of 3% of earnings
- Statutory sick pay
- Family related leave and pay
- Maternity and paternity
- Shared parental, parental, antenatal care
- Parental bereavement leave
- Unpaid dependents emergency leave
- Time off work for jury service
Are Employee Benefits Taxable?
Sometimes. Most employee benefits will require employees to pay tax on those benefits. Employers will also become liable to NICs (National Insurance Contributions) on expenses and benefits that have not already been taxed via payroll.
However, not all employee benefits are taxable. “Trivial” benefits worth under £50* are not taxable, and neither are certain types of larger benefits depending on the specific policy that the employer opts for.
What Are Some Tax-Efficient Employee Benefits?
Some types of benefits are more favourable in terms of tax or NI treatment. These include:
- Employer’s pension contribution
- Share schemes (such as share incentive plans)
- Some childcare benefits
- Various small gifts
- Some suggestion scheme awards
- Car parking facilities
- Items needed for work (eye tests, uniforms, etc.)
- Some health or life insurance