Employee Benefits

What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits are additional incentives to an employee’s regular salary.

They offer a way to attract and keep people, contribute towards improving well-being and encourage required behaviours, achievements, values and skills. Most employers want to offer benefits to their employees, but do not know which to choose. Budget, number of employees, and similar factors can play a role in your decision. By building an attractive employee benefits package, you can attract and retain quality employees, improve employee health and morale, and gain certain tax advantages.

Why use our employee benefits services?

The right employee benefits create value for employees and employers alike. We know there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Companies have different needs and don’t necessarily have the time, skill set or scale to work through a thorough planning process. Our client’s benefits are regularly reviewed and adapted accordingly in line with any changes to their business.

The right benefits can help you to:

  • Recruit the best talent
  • Retain key staff
  • Maintain a motivated and happy workplace, thereby increasing profits
  • Support work/life balance

Businesses can offset some of the cost through:

  • National Insurance savings through salary exchange benefits such as pension contributions
  • Corporation tax relief against allowable business expenses
  • Employees buying extra holiday
  • Having an organised and monitored scheme that is well presented will reduce time spent by the HR department or office manager releasing their time to spend on other business needs

Common Employee Benefits:

  • Workplace pension scheme

    A necessity for businesses to provide their employees, however it is far from a simple box ticking exercise. Employers have legal obligations such as paying a minimum amount of pension contributions (on time), reporting to The Pensions Regulator, communicating with their employees, keeping records etc. Legal duties aside, ongoing governance and suitability reviews of the pension scheme should happen at least annually too, including reviewing the investments. Please see our workplace pension page for more information.

  • Group life assurance

    An essential benefit that can have huge ramifications for beneficiaries. The impact of someone dying could have huge financial impact, life cover can make a big difference. It could leave behind a legacy that covers the cost of a home, bills, children’s education etc. A vital benefit for employees.

  • Group income protection

    Long-term sickness and injury could mean employees are unable to return to work for a considerable amount of time. This affects employees financially, mentally, physically and socially. It is important for employees to have the long-term security that they will be supported.

     

    For employers, having a long-term absentee can mean a drain on production and budget. Group income protection can allow employee’s salaries to be covered and employer National Insurance and pension contributions to be covered too. You can free up payroll to hire a fixed term replacement if needed or divert resources to upskilling existing staff to step in.

  • Group critical illness

    Serious illnesses such as cancer and heart attacks affect so many people. When an illness or disease of this magnitude strikes, it can leave a devastating impact. 

    Group critical illness can allow financial security to pay for treatment, amendments to the home or cover unexpected bills.

  • Private medical insurance

    The NHS is the pride of our nations and does incredible work. With the strain on waiting times and accessibility to treatment plans and diagnosis, going private can speed the process up in some cases, allowing them to return to work sooner in a healthy state.

  • Healthcare cash plan

    One of the most tangible benefits you can offer employees. The cash plan provides cash back for trips to the dentist, eye appointments, physiotherapy, health screenings and private medical insurance excesses. Children are usually included as standard under the policy at no extra cost.

    These plans tend to be lower cost than private medical insurance and highly flexible to suit your workforce needs.

  • Travel insurance for business

    Essential for any company requiring its employees to travel for business, within the UK or outside. It could cover someone who has travelled and found themselves snowed in and unable to travel back home therefore requiring hotel stay or flights being cancelled.

    This cover can extend to leisure use as well as business allowing your employees to be insured wherever they go at any time, within policy limits.

  • Cycle to work scheme

    A highly tax efficient scheme allowing employees to buy bikes and relevant equipment. It allows employees to spread the cost of the bike and accessories over a period of time. Employees must use their bike to travel to work no less than 50% of the time.

    The employer can set a limit on how much the scheme is willing to cap the total costs per person or company wide. E-bikes are becoming very popular but can be costly as well as high-end road / mountain bikes. The flexibility allows an employer to design a scheme that works for them and their employees.

  • Electric car leasing scheme

    Green modes of transportation are the future of travel and the government have allowed electric car leasing to enjoy certain tax advantages.

    From reduced benefit in kind percentages to salary exchange schemes. There is a push from manufacturers to deploy electric vehicles, encouraged by favourable government subsidies, ensuring more variety and supply.

  • Employee assistance programme

    Designed to support employees and their families virtually, over the phone or face to face. It’s designed to support employees mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing all year round. 

    The programmes are well developed and have a wide pool of resources to support many situations, whether it’s to help managers deal with employees going through a difficult time or legal matters on a neighbour dispute.

  • Bespoke employee benefit handbook

    You can have a full suite of employee benefits but unless employees understand what they are, how it works for them and how to use them – it means nothing. 

    An often tried and tested way of making sure you have one resource for employees to learn all about their benefits is to have a handbook. Something we can design with you and build that is continuously updated and engaging.

  • Bespoke communication strategies

    Engaging employees is crucial and should be integrated into your health and wellbeing strategy. Whether it’s stating what a benefit is, speaking with individuals coming up to retirement, describing to employees how the pension works etc. it is important to understand what the relevant topical areas are. 

    How you go about communicating this can be very varied, from onsite presentations or 1-2-1s to virtual webinars. A blend of styles is usually the right way to go about it with structure and a well thought out plan which is something we can help you with.

  • Shopping discounts from a range of retailers

    A popular benefit often seen tagged onto many benefits. With a crossover of these shopping discount sites, it can be hard for employees to know where the best place to go is. Some specialist shopping discount sites allow for employers to ‘load’ employees wallets to spend on anything they like. A great way of providing a token of appreciation to employees and allowing them to use the money in the way the want to.

  • Book Consultation

    To book your initial consultation (no cost or obligation), please fill in the form below with your details and one of our financial planning experts will be in touch.

    “His vast knowledge and approachability were exactly what we were looking for in a financial advisor and we are so happy that we found someone with this to offer and more.”
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    Employee Benefits FAQs

  • What is the best way to build my benefits package?

    Start with a strategy. What is it that you, as a company, value and what do your employees value? What is your employee demographic? What will mean more to one group of employees than another? What is your budget? How will you engage with your employees? What are the tax impacts?

    Some key areas to discuss to form a strategy can be known as four pillars: mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing. This way you can understand how benefits impact in all these areas and start to formulate a cohesive plan.

    Once the plan starts to take shape and a budget is known. Key areas can be identified, and benefits shaped to compliment your plan. Putting in place solutions without a defined objective or plan can mean some benefits will have little impact or appreciation.

  • What are the four major types of employee benefits?

    1) Financial security

    There are three core employee benefits in this area:

    1. Group life assurance
    A benefit that secures the financial future for beneficiaries of an employee who dies.

    2. Group income protection
    Securing long-term income should an employee be unable to work long-term due to illness or injury.

    3. Group critical illness
    A financial lump sum on the diagnosis of a serious illness to help cover the cost of treatment, amendments to the home or other unexpected costs.

    All three benefits cover different scenarios and can have a significant impact on the financial security of an employee. If set up and communicated effectively, employees will really value these benefits.

    2) Healthcare

    This could be in the form of a cash plan, dental plan or private medical insurance. Covering the everyday tangible health costs to the high impact less frequent needs.

    Healthcare is something that affects everyone in some way and generally it is more likely we will need to use a medical facility. Employees who are given the time and financial support for regular dental, optical, physical and mental check-ups are likely to remain healthier and develop a close belonging to an employer.

    Healthcare can be costly; therefore it is crucial to have a well thought out plan and focus on what the healthcare schemes are designed to deliver. It could be anything from a modular approach to a fully loaded benefit.

    3) Retirement

    Anyone who has needed to work will go through this at some stage in their lives. It is not a cliff-edge event which once dealt with is done forever. Retirement, or more importantly, retirement planning is essential from the moment anyone receives their first pay.

    A good retirement means something different to everyone and employers can help lay the foundations for employees to develop their own plans and meet their objectives. A quality pension scheme is the best way to begin coupled with retirement planning support from a firm who has an excellent track record of delivering this. Planning at an early stage will drastically increase the chances of a successful retirement, whatever that may look like.

    Equally, contributing the right and affordable amount into a pension at the earliest point can have a drastic effect on the retirement goal. For many starting out in working life, they could be looking at 35 to 40 years before being able to access a pension, another way of looking at this is the timescale for growth of the pension. The shorter the timescale, the less time to build pension provision.

    4) Financial education

    An important staple of our client employee benefit plan is to provide financial education to employees.

    Financial education can cover managing debt, how to save effectively, retirement planning, estate planning, saving for a home etc. There are many topics to cover and generally a link between employee benefits provided to staff helps drastically improve engagement and buy-in to the employer health & wellbeing plan, ultimately leading to greater employee loyalty.

  • How can you budget for Employee benefits?

    There are different ways to budget, and it can depend on the type of employee benefit you roll out. Some have tax advantages that often lead to savings that can be redeployed to other benefit costs.

    There are two tangible ways that can be useful when starting out on budget planning. The first is to consider a percentage of payroll, this way you can link this directly to the cost of each employee. The second is a cost per year, which could be flat across the board or vary depending on the level of employee. This way, you can obtain a feel for how the budget may look.

    Tax efficiencies should come into play, such as corporation tax relief or savings on National Insurance contributions.

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