Having an impactful benefit package has evolved into a critical strategy for companies looking to distinguish themselves in a competitive landscape. While a good salary remains attractive, today’s job seekers increasingly prioritize additional perks and a sense of security when evaluating prospective employers. A well-rounded benefits package not only speaks to a company’s dedication to its employees’ well-being but also resonates with the changing expectations of today’s workforce. This approach positions a company as not just an employer but a partner in the growth and satisfaction of its staff.

So where to start? In this article, we first look at your basic benefit requirements as a UK employer, set out by law. Then we’ll talk about how to turn it up a notch and look at some of the benefits you could offer to make your business really stand out to top talent!

Let’s start with a quick look at the legally required benefits. As you know, in the UK, certain benefits are mandated by law, but there’s nothing that makes a company look less appealing than listing legally required benefits on a job advert!


Mandatory Benefits in the UK

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): Employers must provide SSP to employees who cannot work due to illness.

Paid Annual Leave: Full-time employees are entitled to at least 28 days of paid annual leave, which includes the 8 UK public holidays. Part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata amount of this leave.

Minimum Pension Contributions: Employers must automatically enrol eligible employees into a workplace pension scheme and make minimum pension contributions on their behalf.

Minimum Wage: Employers must pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW) based on age and employment status.

Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption Leave: Employees who are expecting or adopting a child have the right to take time off work. This includes maternity leave for mothers, paternity leave for fathers and partners, and adoption leave for adoptive parents. Eligible employees are entitled to statutory pay during their time off.

Shared Parental Leave: This allows eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay between them following the birth or adoption of a child.

Parental Bereavement Leave: Employees who have lost a child under the age of 18 or who have had a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy are entitled to two weeks of statutory leave, known as parental bereavement leave. They are also entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay.

Statutory Redundancy Pay: If an employee is made redundant and meets specific criteria, they are entitled to statutory redundancy pay, calculated based on age, length of service, and weekly income, up to a specific limit.

Time Off for Public Duties: Employees have the right to take time off work for specific public duties, such as being a magistrate or serving on a jury.


Going further: Attractive Voluntary Benefits

To recruit and retain top talent, it is imperative to go above and beyond the mandatory legal benefits and provide perks that significantly elevate the quality of life for employees. Working with as many different clients as we do, means we’ve seen a wide range of attractive benefits and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites here to get you thinking about what your business could offer.

Private Health Insurance: It’s one of the most looked-for benefits by jobseekers and for employers, providing private healthcare coverage demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and can significantly reduce absenteeism.

Flexible Working Arrangements: There has been a huge rise in companies offering flexible hours, remote work options, or compressed workweeks and the reward is paying off for both employees and employers with improved work-life balance, higher productivity levels and lower staff turnover.

Professional Development: Investing in employees’ growth through training, workshops, and educational opportunities showcases a commitment to their long-term success and improves the skill sets inside your business.

Additional Paid Holiday: Increased holiday allowance is one of the easiest perks for most businesses to add and it can be done in a number of ways. Through offering a larger holiday allowance as standard or additional paid holiday days based on years of service, or through a scheme where employees can buy or sell a set number of days from their allowance.

Birthday and Christmas leave: Giving your employees an extra day’s holiday for their birthday is a great gesture. However, giving your employees the days off between Christmas and the New Year is a grand gesture!

Cost of Living Aid: When costs go up, people are often forced to cut back on certain expenditure which has become part of our everyday modern lives. Consider creating a COL benefit where the business makes a contribution to the cost of essential aspects of modern living such as an employee’s home broadband cost or phone bill. We’ve seen some companies even extend this to Netflix and Spotify subscriptions.

Bonuses: There are lots of options for businesses that want to recognise and celebrate employees who surpass their goals. Performance bonuses can be linked to individual, team, or company objectives, fostering a culture that champions achievement at every level. Team-based commissions share a commission based on collective achievements and sales incentives can include cash rewards, gift cards, or even luxury items for top performers. These incentives and bonuses can significantly boost morale and motivate your teams.

Recognition Programs: Establish a formal recognition program where exceptional contributions, progressive ideas, or consistent hard work are acknowledged with rewards or gift vouchers.

Childcare Support: Childcare vouchers or on-site childcare facilities can alleviate the stress of working parents, allowing them to focus on their responsibilities.

Gym Memberships and Wellness Programs: Whilst it’s become a fairly standard offering for employees, it’s still a benefit that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Today businesses are recognising that now everyone wants to or can use a gym membership so it’s important to look at ways to expand this offering, through other wellness options. You may want to think about providing reimbursements for wellness-related expenses such as fitness classes, yoga memberships, or mindfulness apps to contribute to employees’ overall well-being.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): There’s been a rise in recent years in this particular benefit as companies look to offer employees access to confidential counselling and support services that can help them navigate personal and professional challenges. It’s a benefit that goes a long way to fostering a supportive work environment.

Paid Volunteer Time: Granting employees a certain number of paid hours each month or year to volunteer for causes they care about demonstrates your company’s commitment to social responsibility. We’ve seen many companies also use this perk as a way to bring their teams together as well as demonstrate commitment to their social responsibility.

Remote Work Setups: Providing employees with a budget for setting up a comfortable and efficient home office can improve remote work experiences and productivity. Consider creating a budget for essential tech such as extra monitors, ergonomic keyboards and laptop stands. We’ve also seen companies offering a financial contribution towards home office chairs and desks.

Education Reimbursement: We live in a world where anyone can access a range of courses to improve their skills and knowledge. Supporting ongoing education by reimbursing employees for courses related to their field benefits them and strengthens your team’s skill set.

Parental Leave Enhancement: Extending parental leave beyond the statutory requirement can help new parents better balance work and family responsibilities.

Transportation Subsidies: A win for employees and the environment! Offering subsidies for public transportation or ride-sharing services will help staff save on commuting costs and reduce environmental impact.

Stock Options: What better way to get employee brand buy in? Allowing employees to own a stake in the company helps to align their interests with the company’s success and enhances their sense of ownership.

Sabbaticals: Offering extended paid time off after a certain number of years of service can allow employees to recharge, pursue personal interests, or travel.

On-Site Services: We’ve all seen massages and food trucks on a list of company benefits before but think about ways that you can really stand out here. Popular conveniences such as dry cleaning, car washes, or haircuts on-site are great options for saving employees time and making their work-life balance more manageable. Why not go further with on-site flu shots, Mammography or Biometric screenings?

Pet-Friendly Workplace: The term used is always ‘pet-friendly’ but we don’t expect you to be homing cats, dogs and rabbits for 8 hours a day. It’s probably best to pick just one type of well-behaved pet! If you have a lot of pet-owning employees but not a pet-friendly environment, consider offering pet insurance or extra time for staff to attend to their furry friends during the work day.

Technology Allowance: This is another perk, gaining popularity as employees see it as a way of enhancing their work and personal lives. Create a payment plan for staff to purchase personal devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

Putting together an enticing benefits package takes some work, it’s easy to just stick with the existing mandatory benefits required by law but elevating your offering with appealing voluntary benefits can distinguish your company in a fiercely competitive recruitment landscape. Recognise that job seekers’ expectations are evolving and necessitate a benefits strategy that resonates with their aspirations and values, cultivating a happier, more motivated workforce. 

Your benefit package serves as a reflection of your company’s values and analysis of why employees choose to stay or depart a company reveals the absence of compelling benefits plays a pivotal role. These benefits not only serve as incentives but also enable employees to excel in their roles within a fantastic workplace culture. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for building and retaining a motivated and high-performing team.