Employee benefits – key for your business!

Published on 18 May 2018

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In an ever competitive marketplace, recruiting and retaining the best talent can be crucial to the initial and ongoing success of your business.

Where once a generous salary was the biggest draw to any given employer, the emphasis is now very much towards the overall employment benefits that are available.

With 47% of UK respondents in a recent survey saying they would prefer better benefits to higher wages and 66% of staff interviewed for the Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report 2015 revealing that they would stay with an employer that offered good benefits, it is clear to see why this is fast becoming a key focus for employees and employers alike.

Google has long been viewed as a model example of how utilising employee benefits can be used for attracting top talent, resulting in the global company being highly ranked in Forbes best places to work consistently since 2009. Whilst free meals, flexible working hours and gym facilities might not work for your business, it does illustrate what can be achieved when employee benefits are taken seriously.

Workplace pension scheme

In the UK, following the Pensions Act 2008 and the introduction of automatic enrolment legislation, employer contributions into a qualifying workplace pension scheme are now mandatory. There are, however, varying levels of contributions that can be applied depending on the employer’s commitment, ranging from the minimum terms to substantial contributions within the pension annual allowance. With every employer now having a suitable pension scheme in place and new businesses implementing them under their duties start date, the level of contribution will be an important element to an individual’s choice of employer.

Health and well-being benefits

Moving on from pensions, providing ill health benefits is also highly valued. It is estimated that the cost of sick leave to UK employers is £29 billion per year. Recognising this, many employers have the provision of a company paid Private Medical Insurance policy for the benefit of their staff, providing them with reassurances that, should they become ill, they will have access to the right treatment, often within shorter timeframes than the NHS can accommodate. This provision can safeguard the health and security of the workforce, allowing them to return to work quicker when ill, reducing absenteeism, and ultimately improving the businesses revenue. Additionally, this cover can also be made available to family members and dependants.

Using the same principle that a happy and healthy workforce are more productive, many businesses are also now providing employee assistance plans. These give support to the workforce in times of hardship, stress, bereavement and depression, amongst other areas.

Even smaller benefits can make a difference such as child care vouchers to help working parents or travel subsidies to help those with longer and more difficult commutes.

Whilst assisting the workforce with health and well-being matters, the death of an employee is also of great concern. Death-in-service life cover would provide a lump sum pay-out, typically as a multiple of salary, if an employee dies whilst in employment.

Benefit from a happy, healthy and secure workforce

The introduction of a strong, relevant, and well communicated employee benefit package will clearly have a cost implication to any business but should be strongly considered now more than ever. This is no longer viewed as an added bonus and demonstrates clear commitment to both existing and future employees. This gives the business the ability to attract and retain the best talent, improve employee productivity, and minimise employee turnover by creating a happy, healthy, and secure workforce.

If you would like to know more about employee benefits and how Kreston Reeves Financial Planning can be of assistance, please contact Daniel Robertson at daniel.robertson@krestonreeves.com or on +44 (0)330 124 1399.

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