Employee Benefits

Have you thought about the benefits of benefits?

Employee benefits are the little perks that go beyond salaries. Research has shown that offering additional benefits to your team can make a big difference.

“Employee benefits are no longer seen just as a retention tool. Research finds that what makes an organisation’s employment proposition attractive depends on an employee’s individual circumstances” CIPD 2024

From health insurance to a more generous annual leave allowance there are a wide variety of options for you as an employer to keep your team happy and loyal.

Why should you offer more?

We get it. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting businesses, especially SMEs hard. Responsibilities on employers are increasing, and alongside the seemingly ever escalating costs of electricity, gas and other overheads, it can seem like everything is an outgoing.

The thought of giving more on top can just seem too much.

As employers you want to pay your team well, be a competitive employee and make sure everyone is happy at their work, but you have to be realistic. Give too much and you may run the risk of being unable to sustain your business.

It’s not (always) about the money.

Think about where you are as a business and the team that you have. How long have they worked for you? What do you know about them? What do they value most?

It’s not about the money. Well not always.

Knowing that you are thinking about their welfare, challenges and also their motivation and engagement in the job goes a long way to making a good working relationship and a happier team.

What can you do?

To help you think about your team and what they may appreciate we have listed some employee benefits here. Some are obvious, some will require investment from you but others are free or  may require a time commitment to implement.

The key point we are making is that by showing your appreciation to your team and making even small gestures to improve the employee experience, you will reap rewards of a more engaged team.

  • Health Insurance: Providing private medical cover for your employees is one of the most requested of Employee Benefit. With lengthy waiting times across the UK this can not only provide peace of mind and much faster appointments and treatment.
    • Life and Disability Insurance: Financial protection for employees and their families in case of emergencies.
    • Life and Disability Insurance Pricing Guide for Northern Ireland .
    • Life Insurance: Starts at £5/month for £100,000 cover for a 30-year-old non-smoker​.
    • Disability Insurance: 1-3% of annual salary; e.g., £50,000 salary = £40-£125/month​
    • Factors Influencing Costs: Age, health, occupation, coverage amount, and policy riders.
  • Dental plans: Providing private dental cover for your employees is relatively inexpensive but something that many employees find another bill that they cannot afford themselves
  • Annual leave: Providing an over the minimum requirement for annual leave allocation. Some employees may prefer additional time off
  • Employee Assistance Programs: EAPs help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing. By signing up to a provider who gives access to these services you are helping your team with their overall health & wellbeing.
    • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Pricing Guide
    • Starting Cost: £10-£30 per employee annually​.
    • Comprehensive Programs: Can cost up to £100 per employee annually.
    •   Factors Influencing Costs:
      • Company size
      • Range of services (e.g., counselling, legal advice)
      • Level of coverage
  • Training Programs: Opportunities for employees to develop new skills. These don’t have to be directly related to their current role. It could be First Aid Training or an Open university course such as Data Analysis which may help you and your business as well as providing a more enriching job role..
    • There are a number of training programs that don’t costs the earth and many that are free run by local education providers or government schemes.
    • See www.nidirect.gov.uk or www.Nibusinessinfo.co.uk for information on further skills or courses that may help them develop in their roles Get in touch with Evolve to find out about the training programmes we offer
  • Trivial Benefits:  one-offs or random acts of kindness in the form of gift or voucher for example of up to £50 which you, as employer can claim the tax back on.
  • Subscription Services: Free or discounted access to music or movie streaming services. These can be discounted with bulk buying or often free with new products. Using Apple products- give your EE access to the free 12 month Apple TV as a perk
  • Office Perks: If you have premises providing tea and coffee facilities is expected, but how about an excellent coffee machine and a fresh supply of biscuits is one step better.
  • Don’t forget the homeworkers: Are they providing their own refreshments? A coffee subscription once a month is a nice gesture to show they are part of the team.
  • Discount Cards: Savings at shops and restaurants, like those from Perks
    • Perks Directory Card Pricing Guide
    • Cost: Typically £4-£10 per employee annually​.
    • Benefits: Access to thousands of discounts on groceries, dining, travel, entertainment, and more​.
  • Nights out
    • Socialising as a team is important and a great way to show your appreciation.
    • Hospitality Box: Enjoy events at your local arena (e.g., Belfast Giants games).You can hire these out for less than you might think.
    • Tickets to a local venue or sports event
  • Salary Sacrifice Schemes: You can register for a variety of these for your employees and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. In fact you generally can save some money on NI contributions. Salary sacrifice involves the employee giving up a portion of earnings each month in return for a non-cash benefit. Some of the most common examples:
    • Cycle to Work Scheme
    • Purchase of an Electric Vehicles
    • Gym memberships
    • Tech Equipment

Keeping it legal

  • Fair Treatment: Ensure fairness and non-discrimination in all practices. If a benefit isn’t being offered to all – why is that? Should it be? Is there an equivalent?
  • Compliance: Adhere to laws regarding employment terms and pension requirements. Benefits such as these are not in place of adhering to minimum wage for example.
  • Behaviour: Work events are an extension of the workplace, ensure everyone knows this.
  • Equality and Diversity: Much sure you aren’t excluding anyone, consider alcohol consumption as not everyone partakes. Don’t forget about people on leave from the workplace , for example, on maternity leave.
  • If in doubt reach out to us

Tips for Employers

  • Review and Update: Regularly check and update benefits to ensure they are cost-effective and valuable.
  • Communication: Make sure employees are aware of and understand their benefits.
  • Flexibility: Offer customizable benefits so employees can choose what suits them best.

A comprehensive benefits package is key to keeping your team happy and committed. By meeting legal requirements and adding extra perks, you can make your workplace stand out. Keep your employees informed, consider their needs, and have fun with the process! Providing great benefits should be as exciting for you as it is for your employees, so don’t feel pressured to overdo it.

Get in touch with EVOLVE today to discuss how you can retain your Employees.

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