How Much Do Employee Discount Schemes Cost To Set Up?

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Employee discount schemes are a great addition to any businesses employee benefits package. They can help to show a workforce that they are valued and that as an employer you are willing to go that extra mile.

There has never been a better time to implement one either. The cost of living continues to rise and people are having to stretch their income further. This makes discounts an appealing benefit for employees.

But how much does such a valuable benefit such as this cost? We’ve put together the below guide to help you understand exactly what a discount scheme is and how much it costs to put one in place.

What Are Employee Discount Schemes?

Put simply, an employee discount scheme helps your staff to save money. It can give them unmatched buying power on everyday essentials across a wide range of retailers.

As an employer, you can partner with specific brands to offer discounts. With this approach you need to be confident that the retailer is desirable in the eyes of your staff. You also need the time and resource to be able to set everything up.

Alternatively you can join an online employee discount platform. This is the most popular option. It gives your employees access to unbeatable savings which can be used online or in store.

Common Types Of Retailer On Discount Schemes

Online platforms offer a much wider range of retailers. This can be an advantage as it means that regardless of the interests and preferences of employees, there are savings for everyone.

Categories Of Retailers

🛒  Supermarkets

Most big chains including Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.

👖  Fashion

Hundreds of high street retailers like ASOS, Nike, Debenhams, Go Outdoors, Selfridges, H&M and more.

🎭  Entertainment

All major cinemas, theatres, heritage sites and experience day companies.

🏠  Home & garden

B&Q, Halfords, Hobbycraft, IKEA, Cherry Lane, Emma Bridgewater and many more.

🍏  Health & wellbeing

Brands such as Boots, Decathlon, CyclePlan, etc.

✈️  Travel

Providers like Virgin, Travelodge,, Railcard and JustPark.

🍕  Eating out & takeaway

Everything from Just Eat and Graze to Costa and Pizza Express.

💻  Technology

Retailers like Currys and Argos, as well as brands like Apple and Canon

Why Set Up An Employee Discount Scheme?

Not all companies can afford to give employees pay rises. Employee discount schemes are a cost effective way of helping to make an employees income go further. With savings of up to near £2,000 available it is the next best thing.

Benefits Of A Discount Scheme

There are many benefits to setting up an employee discount scheme, besides great savings.

They can help to show your workforce that you value them as an employer. A by-product of this is that employees can become more engaged, loyal and motivated.

This all adds up to a more productive and happy team which in turn can help to improve employee retention.

For employees, being able to make savings of this scale can have a really positive impact. It can help to:

  • Relieve stress caused by money worries
  • Improve mental health
  • Improve financial wellbeing.

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How Much Does An Employee Discount Scheme Cost To Set Up?

It’s clear that discount schemes have a lot to offer both employers and employees. But how much budget will you need to set one up?

Below we’ve run through the key costs you need to be aware of before putting a scheme in place.

Employee Discount Scheme Set Up Costs

Unlike salary sacrifice benefits such as pensions, employee discount schemes have no set up costs. This is one reason why they are such a cost effective benefit.

Once you’ve found the right provider, all you need to do is let them know you want to go ahead and they will do the rest for you. Setting up a discount scheme is pretty straight forward and can be done relatively quickly. This is why you don’t have to worry about any set up fees.

Advice Costs

Employee discount schemes are one of the easier employee benefits to set up, yet it still has challenges. To get the best platform for you and your employees, you need to do your research. This can take time and can often be confusing with so many options available.

Because of this it’s worth speaking to an employee benefits expert like one of the team at Drewberry. An adviser can identify a scheme that meets your specific needs. They can also highlight features you might not even be aware of.

The cost of expert advice will vary. However it is worth considering to make sure you get the best value for money. Not only this, you will save time and resource not having to research schemes yourself.

martyn coates, employee benefits consultant at drewberry

If you need help setting up an employee discount scheme or any other employee benefit just pop us a call on 02074425880 or email

Martyn Coates
Senior Employee Benefits Consultant

What Are The On Going Costs For An Employee Discount Scheme?

Although there are no set up fees, you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee for an employee discount scheme. This cost will vary depending on the certain factors such as:

Employee Numbers

The majority of discount platforms charge per employee, per month. For example if your monthly fee is £10 per employee and you have 10 employees, your total monthly cost will be £100.

This means the bigger company you are, the higher your monthly subscription fee will be

Employee Discounts Available

Another influencing factor is the benefits you want to offer your team. If your aim is to keep your expenses low, your team are generally going to receive less beneficial discounts.

Some providers have several tiers to their employee discount scheme. Choosing the top tier will offer more generous discounts, across a wider range of brands, but this will come at a higher cost.

The more you’re willing to pay, the more generous the discounts for staff are going to be.

The Platform You Choose

Most employee discount schemes are flexible and allow you to add extra benefits and rewards as and when you need to. Some even come with additional functionality such as HR capabilities.

The benefits you opt for and the features you choose will all affect the price you pay.

Is There A Cost To Employees?

The entire goal of an employee discount scheme is to save your employees money. Therefore there shouldn’t be a cost for them to participate in the scheme. Any overheads like these should be absorbed by the employer so that it truly is a benefit to employees.

The discounts are available to help reduce the costs of purchases employees are already making.

How Much Can Employees Save?

Discounts vary in value and some present higher savings than others. Regardless of salary, staff members have the potential to save thousands of pounds a year.

Some supermarkets offer discounts of up to 7% as part of corporate discount schemes. For an employee who spends the national average of £103 on the weekly shop, they could save £374 every year.

Those figures account for just one type of employee discount. If employees make the most of others their annual savings can quickly stack up. This can have a major impact for your staff.

Discounts for other types of retailer can be even more generous than supermarkets. For example, employees could save up to 12% on dining out, up to 25% on fashion purchases, and up to 15% on travel.

Example Savings For Employees

To help give you a better idea of the savings on offer to your employees we’ve put some examples below.

Example Savings


Monthly Spend

🛒  Food & Groceries


🍔  Eating Out


👖 Fashion


🚘   Motoring & Fuel


🍏  Health & Fitness


🏡.  Home, Garden, Pets & DIY


🍿  Days Out & Experiences


✈️   Travel


💄  Beauty & Fragrance


💐  Gifts & Flowers


Total yearly saving

£1,710 😮

*Discounts calculated from the My Drewberry savings calculator

How To Choose The Right Employee Discounts Programme For Your Budget

Choosing the right platform for you and your staff can be difficult. This is especially true if you need to satisfy a large number of employees.

Fortunately there are some great tips that can help you identify the best scheme for your staff:

  • Research –  Ask for feedback and find out what discounts and structures staff desire most. Knowing this will help you narrow down your search when looking at the different employee discount schemes available.
  • Look for flexibility – Find employee discount schemes that are flexible. This will allow you to easily make changes as and when you need to and ensure staff satisfaction.
  • Quality of employee discounts – Always research the range and quality of discounts to ensure they offer real value.

How much do employee discount schemes cost per employee?

When you’re looking for an employee discount scheme that really works for you and your staff, cost is clearly a consideration.

For the most cost-effective solution, it’s smart to choose a flexible platform. This will give you the freedom to tailor your benefit based on your budget and requirements. This helps every business to create a meaningful scheme that fits their unique criteria. It also means that if your budget changes later on you can add or remove discounts/features easily.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of employee discount schemes will vary. At a minimum, it’s worth being prepared to spend around £5 per employee per month. If you want staff to have access to more, you can expect the cost to go up. Some platforms charge as much as £10 per employee, per month.

Compare 5 Best Employee Discount Schemes 2022

To help you find the right discount scheme for your budget, we have listed some of the best providers below

When researching keep in mind what you want a scheme to offer as well as the discounts your staff would want.

  • My Drewberry
    This flexible, easy to use online portal offers an all-in-one employee benefits platform. Its employee discount feature gives staff access to hundreds of discounts for different brands. You can also easily add and manage other benefits such as Group Income Protection, Group Health Insurance, Death In Service and your corporate pension.
  • Perkbox
    Offers employees access to a range of discounts. It also has other benefits relating to overall wellbeing, recognition and engagement.
  • Reward Gateway
    One of the largest all-in-one employee engagement platforms on the market. Reward Gateway offers discounts for over 900 different retailers. It offers it’s discount scheme as part of its wider employee engagement platform.
  • Staff Treats
    Is a simple platform and offers employees discounts on groceries, leisure activities, travel and more. Offers a tiered pricing system starting from just £2.50 per employee, per month.
  • People Value
    Provides some of the best discounts on an easy to use platform which can be personalised to your company.

Compare Employee Benefits Quotes and Get Expert Advice

We’ve helped many UK businesses to enhance their employee benefits schemes. We’ve also helped many set them up from scratch.

Being a leading team of employee benefits consultants we know the market inside out. Because of this we can help ensure you get the best benefits for your employees and company.

So whether you just want to offer employee discounts or implement a fully comprehensive benefits package we’re on hand to help.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

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