A Guide to Employee Benefits Schemes

It goes without saying that employee benefits are a common incentive given to employees within a business. They are often used by organisations to attract and retain their top talent. They are an incredibly undervalued tool that can improve wellbeing…

Robyn Whelan, author of guide to employee benefits schemes

Blog1st Mar 2024

By Robyn Whelan

It goes without saying that employee benefits are a common incentive given to employees within a business. They are often used by organisations to attract and retain their top talent. They are an incredibly undervalued tool that can improve wellbeing and aid in fostering a prosperous and positive work culture.

The power of implementing employee benefits can often be overlooked when you’re combatting other challenges and trying to scale your business. In the short term not having them might lower costs for your business but in the long term, it may prove to be a hinderance to your growth and the success of your organisation.

What are the benefits?

A challenge affecting most businesses no matter the sector is attracting and retaining top talent. It’s not just about getting an individual in the door. It’s all about getting the right people for your roles and your business. A good employee benefits package can help you to achieve that. A report found that 69% of employees are likely to stay with an employer with a good benefits package while 68.2% said they were more likely to take a role if a good package was being offered. Having a comprehensive benefits package will also help you to build an attractive employer brand- creating a narrative that you’re an organisation that cares for its employees.

Its more than just a nice to have- employee benefits can advance your workforce and your business.

The cost of hiring, onboarding and going through that process a couple of times is high. You also need to factor in the loss of productivity, the time to train someone new and the knock-on effect this can have on your workforce. Employee benefits are linked to high employee wellbeing. The importance of wellbeing in the workplace is only going to get higher and higher on the agenda for organisations. Organisations where employee wellbeing is taken care of often see stronger job satisfaction, higher productivity, and even lower absence rates.

So, how do you understand just how important employee benefits are and you know that you have to have them. Where you start and what do you go for?

There’s no shortage of different types of employee benefits that you can implement. You could offer any and all but that wouldn’t make sense and it would be like adding petrol to a fire. Your scheme needs to be tailored to the needs of your employees.

Speak to them about what benefits they would like. Doing so is twofold. One- you’ll be able to carefully cultivate a package that meets the needs of your people. Two- employees will feel genuinely cared for and appreciate being asked for their opinion throughout the process.

What benefits should you look to include?


Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) can play a powerful role. They are a benefit that can provide your team with support and also practical advice. They aim to support physical, mental, and financial wellbeing. This can either be online or confidentially over the phone. Access to these services typically occurs 24/7 so employees have access to this support when they need it most.

Often speaking about wellbeing is a challenge for employees but creating a safe space in which they can access information and receive support about issues ranging from workplace discrimination to anxiety or debt will help to create a happier more well workforce.

Enhanced parental leave

For this benefit- there is a statutory minimum organisation must apply. You can however choose to provide more.

Women are entitled to a year’s maternity leave. During this period, eligible mothers will get 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay. This equates to 6 weeks at 90% of full earnings and 33 weeks at statutory maternity pay.

With paternity leave you are entitled to two-week paid leave once the baby is born.

Shared parental leave is also an option- this is shared between both parents and consists of 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay. This will be shared between both parents.

There are no legal requirements to offer enhanced leave or pay. However, doing so will help to demonstrate that you’re a family friendly organisation that people won’t be punished for wanting to grow their family. Whilst this is an exciting time for new parents, the financial burden can provide unnecessary stress. Enhanced packages not only give you a competitive edge against your competitors, but they also show that you care and are likely to result in anyone returning from leave feeling less stressed.

Flexible working

Flexible or hybrid working has become something of a buzz word in recent years. However, post pandemic the work life balance has become increasingly more important to employees and employers and one tool that helps is to have that is flexible working.

Flexible working can take many different forms. This may range from being able to finish later after an appointment or starting earlier because you have evening plans, working a four-day week because that suits you better or offering your employees the opportunity to create individual working patterns that help you to thrive and be your most productive. Flexible working can also allow your people to work where they feel the most comfortable.

Not that it has to benefit you too. But from an employer perspective flexible working can:

  • Improve loyalty.
  • Create a good employer brand.
  • Support your reputation.
  • Empower your workforce.

Physical health is really important. Organisations that show they care and want to protect this will help in boosting their employees mental and physical health. This might be a local gym or somewhere located close to your office. It Is important to ensure that such a benefit is not only an inclusive one but is also one that caters to staff of all ages, life stages and fitness abilities.

Private medical Insurance

This is often a sought-after benefit as it entitles your employees to have private medical treatment if they fall ill or sustain an injury. Health insurance not only has a positive impact on employee wellbeing, but it also can help reduce absenteeism and attrition within your company.

It’s no secret that the NHS is currently under strain and stress. As waiting times increase an estimated 20% of employees have made a reduction in their working hours to wait for treatment on the NHS. This percentage is likely to rise in the coming years. When employees have the choice of going private through work it can help them to feel cared for and in turn reduce the number of hours employees are off sick.

If a happy and healthy workforce is your aim, then implementing private medical is a good way to go.

While creating an employee benefits programme can be daunting you don’t have to do it alone. Alongside our colleagues at AAB, we can help you to create a bespoke employee benefits scheme. From initial conversations to finding the best benefit deals around. We’ll spearhead your project and deliver a scheme you can be proud of.

If you have any queries about setting up an employee benefits scheme, our specialist employee benefits team are on hand to provide you with advice and support in creating a bespoke scheme. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with Robyn WhelanRhianne Stewart, or your usual contact.

By Robyn Whelan

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