When we think of employee benefits, it’s easy to think of some of the more desirable things that businesses offer, like duvet days, bonuses and company cars. As shown by the CIPD’s handy benefits guide, though, some of the more mundane perks that companies offer are classed as benefits too, often without us realising.
Take annual leave, for example. Although employers are required by law to give employees a certain amount of paid leave, this is still classed as a benefit. Likewise, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave and parental leave, although all required by law, are classed as benefits too.
Many companies, of course, offer more than the minimum amount of leave required across all of these and you could argue that this is where it becomes a benefit – at least compared to competitors that offer less.
Pensions are another benefit mandated by law, with companies having to enrol employees into the new workplace pension by April 2017. Again, though, many companies choose to offer above and beyond the minimum required, as a means of being competitive in the job market.
Healthcare and risk
There are a variety of benefits companies can offer to look after the health of employees or to protect them financially in the event that something goes wrong. Health insurance is the most obvious of these, but they also include things like dental insurance, life insurance and legal insurance.
Company cars or car allowances are typically offered by businesses for which travel plays a major role. Fancy company cars in particular provide an opportunity for companies to project a sense of success, with the subsequent benefit for employees being a nice set of wheels to drive around in.
There are a host of other possible benefits that employers can offer, often related to the industry in which they operate. Travel companies may offer hotel or flight discounts, for example. Less industry-specific benefits, meanwhile, include childcare provision, gym memberships and, of course, the cycle to work scheme. There are lots of reasons the cycle to work scheme is worth considering , not least the potential savings for employers and employees.