Employee pay and benefits

We explain what employment benefits are and how to manage them in your business

Offering employee benefits can have a huge impact on your business.

They can improve staff happiness, help to draw in new talent, and help to define company culture.

Without offering perks, your staff are more likely to feel unmotivated and unhappy at work, which could lead them to find new jobs.

But what are employment benefits, and how do you decide on the employee benefits package for your business?

What are employee benefits?

Workplace benefits are things you offer your employees on top of their usual wages. They can be financial or non-financial.

Law requires some benefits, such as paid time off and pension schemes. However, most people refer to the rewards volunteered by employers when discussing employee benefits in the UK.

Why you should offer employee benefits

Work benefits are more than just add-ons to your employee’s pay packet. The right set of perks can have a significant impact on both your staff and your company.

There are many reasons you should offer employee benefits:

Improve employee wellbeing

Many company benefits are focused on improving staff wellbeing. You can help to improve the mental wellbeing of your staff by providing rewards that help them achieve a better work/life balance.

And perks such as free lunches or fruit in the workplace can help their physical wellbeing too.

Increase productivity and engagement

A good work/life balance helps to prevent burnout. You will get the best out of your employees if their wellbeing is looked after and they feel valued at work.

Increase staff retention

It’s expensive to hire new staff. Research shows that the average cost of replacing an employee is more than £30,000. By making changes that improve staff happiness, you improve staff retention and reduce the chance of your workers looking for another job.

Attract new talent

As well as keeping your existing employees, company benefits in UK businesses can be a huge bonus to potential new hires.

Most people quit their job as they’re unhappy in their current position. If your perks show a commitment to treating your staff fairly, you can expect more people to want to work for you.

Define company culture

Company culture refers to the values of your organisation. You should state these values explicitly in your employee handbook, however, a well-defined benefits package will help to reinforce them.

The benefits you decide to offer can help to create a positive company culture. For example, offering free lunches gives staff an opportunity to sit and eat together.

Alternatively, offering flexitime or creating a remote work policy allows workers to find the schedule that works best for their lives.

Save money

Implementing working benefits can sound expensive. All of these add-ons on top of paying salaries.

However, you can actually save money.

Non-financial benefits such as flexible working, career development opportunities and good performance management won’t cost you anything. And with the right benefits package, you won’t need to compete with higher salaries being offered by your competitors.

How to manage pay and working benefits

Financial rewards are the most common types of perk offered to employees. And there’s more to that than just offering workers a large salary.

Your pay strategy can include variable earnings like bonuses, overtime or performance-based pay reviews.

UK pay policies need to meet legislative requirements. Equal pay laws protect the right of men and women to be paid the same for equivalent work. National minimum wage rules apply to all workers over 16. There are also special regulations for senior management reward policies.

But money isn’t everything. As people start to think more about work/life balance and their own wellbeing, the right work perks can outweigh a higher salary when picking a new job.

As long as your wages meet the legal requirements, you can improve staff happiness by offering other employee advantages.

What are examples of employee benefits?

Company benefits come in all shapes and sizes. From bonus pay to Friday drinks.

In most cases, we can split perks into four categories:

  • Benefits at work: training opportunities, additional holidays or free lunches.
  • Lifestyle benefits: flexitime, childcare or remote working arrangements.
  • Health benefits: health insurance, wellness programs or discounted gym memberships.
  • Financial benefits: pension schemes, paid parental leave or salary benefits.

What are good benefits for a job?

Now that you know the different benefits available, it’s time to define the perks you’ll offer to your team.

The best work benefits UK employers can offer are those that improve staff wellbeing and allow your people to better enjoy their lives.

Different perks will be better received by different people, and you’ll need to decide what works best for your business.

A good way to do this is to decide on what you think your employees will benefit most from. Remember the four categories that most perks fall into; career, lifestyle, health or financial.

If you think your team will benefit most from a better work/life balance, consider perks that will help with that.

It’s helpful to create a staff engagement survey and find out what they would like to see before making a decision.

Get help with pay & benefits today with BrightHR

There’s a lot to consider when putting together your pay strategy. And even more if you’re planning on offering benefits.

A well-defined perks package will keep your staff happy and motivated. But if you get it wrong, you can end up spending money on rewards that go unused.

Book a free demo of our BrightWellbeing EAP service to boost morale and start making positive changes to your employee’s wellbeing.


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