Employee Perks: What Employers can Offer

Benefit packages can enable employees to plan for retirement, help them in the case of unexpected events (illness or injuries) but can also help save money on day-to-day expenses or provide them with a better quality of life. These employee perks can come in many forms, not just the conventional ones you may think of.

Employers have a lot to gain from offering employee perks too, as this helps attract new talent and valued skills as well as keeping employees happy, engaged and committed. Employee perks are becoming much more common as more companies realise the advantages of having such a plan in place.

There are many employee perks that employers can offer. Here are a few of them.

Company Cars

Employers can provide company cars for their employees. Usually, employers will have certain National Insurance and reporting obligations for:

  • Company cars used for private journeys
  • Fuel used for private journeys
  • Cars adapted for an employee with a disability

Pension

Both large businesses and SMEs are now required to enrol all employees into a pension scheme. In most schemes, both employers and employees contribute and put a set amount in the pension account each month or each year.

Private Healthcare

Private Medical Insurance (PMI) pays for the cost of treatments for a variety of medical problems. Employees should check their policy as not all conditions may be covered by their insurance. Employers can decide which pre-existing conditions are covered, as employee perks with regards to healthcare can vary. Private healthcare benefits can also include more specific insurance such as dental or optical insurance.

Childcare

Childcare benefits are usually provided through salary sacrifice. Employees will give up part of their salary in return for vouchers that can be used to pay for a nursery, preschool or nanny up to the child’s 15th birthday. If employers provide a workplace nursery, employees can choose to sacrifice part of their salary to enjoy this non-cash benefit.

Holidays

There are different ways employers can choose when it comes to providing holidays to their employees:

  • Holiday or vouchers that can be exchanged for a holiday
  • Letting your employee arrange the holiday or arranging it yourself
  • Pay directly for the holiday or the employee pays for the holiday and you pay them back

What employers need to report and pay will depend on how they choose to provide holidays.

Bonuses as Employee Perks

Employers can choose to give out bonuses to reward good performance or for some special occasions such as Christmas bonuses. For these kinds of employee perks, employers have tax, NI and reporting obligations for cash & non-cash bonuses. For items given away, what you need to report and pay will depend on the items given.

There are many other types of employee perks you could implement (gym membership, workplace ISA…). The most important thing for employers is to check if their benefits are exempt or not and report them and pay tax as needed.

Employees should clearly be made aware of what employee perks are available and what the policies are for each of them. All employees should be able to access the same benefits. Contact us if you need help with your employee perks schemes, we can assist you in implementing a scheme and making sure it is compliant.

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