What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits, simply put, are all the perks that employees receive other than monetary payments. Some benefits are mandatory according to legislation, such as pension contributions, paid parental leave and paid holiday. In recent years the number of small and medium businesses going beyond statutory offerings have increased considerably.

Employee benefits are an exceptionally valuable tool for small and medium businesses, and can boost employee wellbeing in your business. The right benefits package is proven to have a huge impact on the talent you attract, and employee retention and loyalty.

This factsheet highlights some of the most popular employee perks for small and medium businesses. When deciding on your employee benefits package, there isn’t one rule that fits all - you can make your benefits package as unique as you like! advo can help make this happen. For more information, get in touch today.

This page is intended as a guide only. For best advice regarding anything listed in the following guide, contact our employee benefits team today.

I want to offer employee benefits, but I just don’t have the time. Can advo help?

Yes! We can guide you in choosing the right employee benefits for your business, creating a package which is 100% tailored to you. As well as expert help from our employee benefits advisors to help you create the right package, we’ll support you in the medium and long term, too. This includes renewing benefits, helping with any benefits-related questions, queries and concerns, as well as any claims throughout the year. Another key area of employee benefits is ensuring your employees are engaged with the benefits you provide. advo can assist with the promotion and communication of your employee benefits to help engage staff and promote overall wellbeing.

To create a unique employee benefits package for your business and employees, get in touch today.

What employee benefits should I provide?

There are a whole host of excellent employee benefits which can help your employees with overall wellbeing, mental and physical health. Some benefits also help to boost financial wellbeing – for example, providing a financial safety net in the event of long-term illness or injury. The following few paragraphs summarises some of the most popular and effective employee benefits.

Employee benefits that provide for illness or injury

While you cannot prevent employees from becoming ill, healthcare benefits can help with a fast diagnosis and prompt treatment, helping your employees return to work more quickly. This in turn reduces absence costs and boosts productivity.

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance is where we started the business over 20 years ago! PMI continues to be one of the most popular employee benefits in the UK. With NHS waiting times at an all-time high, quick diagnosis and readily available treatment is as important to the employer as it is to the employee. This is particularly relevant for small and medium businesses where staff shortages due to illness can impact business performance. Providing employee benefits such as PMI allows fast access to diagnosis and treatment - allowing for a quicker recovery and return to work.

Return to the top of this page

Income Protection

If an employee can’t work due to a long-term illness or injury, income protection pays a percentage of an employee’s salary every month. Group income protection can be set up in different ways with the employer able to choose when they want the policy to kick in, and how long they want it to last for – for example, 2, 3 or 5 years.

Many people are unable to rely on savings in the event of an illness or injury that prevents them from working, so having the right income protection cover gives financial peace of mind. Income protection as employee benefit can also be a powerful tool for attracting new staff, and covering costs for employees on long term sickness.

Return to the top of this page

Dental Insurance

Dental plans are inexpensive and easy to administer. Access to a good dental plan plays an important role in supporting your employees health, and are among the most popular staff benefits. Giving employees the incentive to visit the dentist means issues can be picked up before they become painful and costly to resolve! We can recommend a range of group dental plans to suit different needs, with varying levels of cover to choose from. This employee benefit has been of increasing popularity in recent years, due to the costs of dental treatment and lack of NHS providers.

Return to the top of this page

Cash plan

An increasingly popular employee benefit, cash plans are low cost to the employer and high value to employees. Providing treatment for everyday benefits such as optical and dental, they are easy to use with a pay and claim back system. Several Cash Plans now cover the cost of Private Medical Insurance excess payments, making them an ideal choice to run alongside traditional medical insurance. This benefit is a great option for smaller businesses, who may not have the budget for higher cost employee benefits like private medical insurance.

Return to the top of this page

Health screening

Health screening effectively means regular health checks for your employees. These can be arranged onsite, at medical centres or vouchers can be provided for staff to visit their local pharmacy. Varying in price dependent on the complexity of the screening, these are a must for many employers and can help to highlight health issues before serious complications arise. Many employee benefit providers are recognising the importance of prevention being better than cure, therefore screenings are becoming a key focus area.

Return to the top of this page

Critical Illness Cover

In the event of being diagnosed with one of a number of critical illnesses, an employee would receive a lump sum payment. Often neglected, critical illness cover can be a crucial employee benefit in the event of a diagnosis. Many employers overlook this benefit; however, it is highly valued by staff and could set you apart from your competitors.

Return to the top of this page

Employee benefits that provide for death

Life Insurance

To be able to provide loved ones with financial security in the event of a death is important to everyone. A very low-cost non-taxable benefit, Life Insurance is a good option for small to medium business who have stricter budgets and attracts high staff appreciation. Life assurance policies often include smaller fringe employee benefits such as support with bereavement and probate.

Return to the top of this page

Employee benefits that help to boost wellbeing

Retail discounts

Retail Discount Portals are a low-cost way of providing employees with a more personal benefit. This type of employee benefit is easy to use, easy to set up and very low maintenance throughout the year.

Return to the top of this page

Employee Assistance Programmes

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides access to support for a number of life and mental health related issues. Dependent on the level of cover chosen, some EAP’s include access to a set number of face-to-face counselling sessions for employees suffering from general mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. They also provide support for more general life issues such as money, relationship and legal issues.

EAP’s are very low-cost employee benefit making them ideal for small and medium businesses. They are popular amongst both employees and employers due to their low cost and ease of usage for employees. Due to their low cost, EAP’s are often tagged on to other employee benefits such as Medical Insurance, Cash Plans, Group Income Protection and Death In Service.

Return to the top of this page

Travel Insurance

An important employee benefit for small and medium businesses with staff who travel regularly. Choose from Business and / or Leisure, Winter Sports and even include additional Personal Accident cover. International Health cover for expats is also available with advice and guidance from our expert employee benefits advisers.

Return to the top of this page