The 10 Best UK Employee Benefits To Offer Your Staff

We help businesses of all shapes & sizes reward their staff 🚀
Get My Quotes
10 mins

A good employee benefits package can play a big part in the success of any UK business. However, given that 25% of UK employees are not satisfied with their benefits, it’s an area ripe for improvement.

There are so many employee benefits to choose from. So, how do you know which ones are worth the cost and will make a real difference to your business? This guide covers the best employee benefits and perks workers value from their employer.

Why Are Employee Benefits So Important?

Besides the obvious benefits each solution offers, a top employee benefits package:

  • Improves workplace morale
  • Reduces stress and associated staff absences
  • Boosts productivity
  • Helps set the tone for your company’s internal values and ethos
  • Reduces staff turnover through better retention rates
  • Makes recruiting top talent easier.

Stress and low job satisfaction are becoming pervasive trends within the UK workforce. In our recent Employee Benefits survey, 53% of employees cited work to be their main cause of stress. Ignoring statistics like this could end up being costly for organisations.

Stress And Work Performance

It’s well known that stress can have a detrimental effect on mental and physical health. As an employer, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to help your employees combat stress.

Left alone, it could lead to bigger problems, such as depression and anxiety. This can have a knock on effect to an employee’s work performance. It can lower motivation, morale, and productivity. It could also end up being quite costly if it results in long-term sickness.

A comprehensive employee benefits package can go some way in helping your staff work through these issues.

Best Paid Employee Benefits Offered At UK Companies

There are two main types of employee benefits:

  • Paid benefits (largely insurance products)
  • Perks and benefits that are low-cost or even free to offer (for example, flexi-time).

Group Personal Pension

An auto-enrolment Workplace Pension is mandatory in the UK. Employees and employers must make minimum contributions to a pension scheme. Beyond this, there is still a lot you can do to make your group pension a valuable employee benefit.

According to our latest workplace pension survey, 41% of employees listed additional pension contributions as one of the most important employee benefits. And, 56% said that pension provisions were an important factor when considering a new employer.

When executed correctly, a workplace pension evolves from a mandatory requirement to a benefit your workforce will value the most.

To set up the best workplace pension for your business, you should give real thought to the following questions:

  • What level of contribution do you want to provide?
    Do you provide the bare minimum or do you go above and beyond? What is competitive in your industry? What message do you want to send your workforce about the importance of retirement?
  • What is the best workplace pension provider for the business and your employees?
    Which provider offers the best terms? What are the charges? Fund choices? Are there specific retirement needs? Will it integrate with the rest of your business?

Another thing to think about is if your current employees actually understand their workplace pension? If an employee does not understand something, they won’t value it. In recent survey findings, 41% of staff said they don’t understand corporate pensions. We find this too often the case with workplace pensions and half the battle is good communication.

Whether it be retirement webinars or 1-2-1 financial education, helping staff to understand the importance of saving for tomorrow makes all the difference.

Besides finding our clients the best group pension, much of our work is providing the tools and support to deliver great communication to educate employees. We also aim to increase their engagement with their workplace pension.

Corporate Health Insurance

At the end of December 2023, NHS data revealed 7.6 million people were on NHS waiting lists in England. Around 3.3 million of these have been waiting more than 18 weeks.

If a worker had to wait 18 weeks for treatment with a debilitating health condition, this would have a considerable impact on their life. Your business could also face difficulties. They may need time off sick, for instance, or not be able to work to their full capacity due to their condition.

It’s here company-paid Private Health Insurance can support your employees.

What Is Business Health Insurance?

Group Health Insurance gives your staff access to top-notch healthcare in private UK hospitals. This lets them bypass NHS waiting lists for eligible acute conditions. They therefore get treated faster and may go back to work sooner.

Death In Service Cover

Many households would struggle financially if a wage earner passed away. Yet, only a third of adults have Life Insurance. This would leave the majority of families in difficulty.

That’s why company-paid life cover (also known as Death In Service Insurance) is a valuable perk for uninsured Brits. 26% of whom said Life Insurance is a benefit they’d like.

Cost is a big barrier to the uptake of individual Life Insurance. Offering group cover, therefore, not only shows your employees you care but also takes a weight off their shoulders. They have peace of mind knowing their loved ones have financial protection without having to pay a penny.

What Is Group Life Insurance?

Group Life Insurance pays out if one of your workers sadly passes away while under contract with your company. You set the payout amount, which is normally a multiple of each worker’s salary.

A typical payout is between 2 and 4 times their salary. However, cover for up to 15 times earnings is possible with some insurers.

The policy pays out into a company-owned trust. From there, it’s distributed to the employee’s family, sidestepping any inheritance tax issues on the payout.

The family can use this payment to cover funeral costs, pay off loans or meet everyday expenses.

Group Income Protection

Nearly half of UK adults told us money worries are a significant cause of stress. This makes financial concerns one of the biggest stressors workers face. In fact, 1 in 5 employees said they wouldn’t survive longer than a week on their savings if they were unable to work.

Employers can help by making employees feel more financially secure. One way to achieve this is by introducing some form of comprehensive sick pay, so staff know their income won’t just drop off a cliff if they’re unwell.

This might include a set number of days / weeks of full pay, over and above the limited Statutory Sick Pay the government requires employers to offer.

But for further protection, you could consider offering Group Income Protection Insurance.

What Is Group Income Protection?

Group Income Protection pays out if an illness or injury prevents staff from working. This can be a vital lifeline for those without savings or any other means of supporting themselves if they’re ill.

If an employee is too ill to work, Group Income Protection pays out a monthly benefit (a proportion of their wages) to support them.

Employees can claim for 1, 2 or 5 years or, alternatively, you can buy a policy that covers them until retirement.

Group Critical Illness Cover

The risks of developing a serious illness during your working life is higher than you might think.

For example, according to Cancer Research UK, nearly 1 in 2 people born in the UK in 1961 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Meanwhile, the British Heart Foundation says that more than 100,000 hospital admissions in the UK each year are due to heart attacks. That’s a heart attack every 5 minutes.

What Is Group Critical Illness Cover?

Group Critical Illness Insurance pays out a tax-free cash lump sum if one of your staff is diagnosed with a critical illness. The top 3 claims on such policies are for cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.

The payout is typically between 1 and 5 times an employee’s annual salary.

Most policies cover around 12 critical illnesses as standard. Some have the option to add 20-25 additional illnesses for an extra premium.

Additional Services

Most policies come with a range of additional benefits on top of the core cover, including:

Most importantly, most of these can be used whenever. The employee doesn’t have to be in the middle of a claim. As such, they can be a powerful tool for businesses to support their team’s health and wellbeing.

These can help staff address niggling issues before they become full-blown health concerns needing treatment, time off, or a claim.

Need Help?

We have a team of expert employee benefit consultants who provide independent advice. They compare all the leading group insurance providers in the UK for you, including Aviva, AIG, Bupa, AXA, Legal & General and Vitality.

If you’re looking to set-up an employee benefits package or want to review any existing schemes, give us a call on 02074425880 or email

Compare Top 10 UK Providers

Takes approx. 60 seconds
Verified by Norton Symantec icon
 Or Call Us

Best Cheap / Free Benefits And Perks For Your UK Business

As well as paid insurance policies, there is an array of low cost or even free employee benefits to consider. Despite the low cost, these benefits are still valuable to staff. They can become a core part of your overall proposition and make a real difference to your team.


Many employers are adopting flexible working, also known as flexi-time, allowing staff to have more say over their working hours.

Flexible working is one of the fastest growing workplace trends. It’s only accelerated since the mass shift to remote work during the pandemic.

Considering the cost of introducing flexi-time is zero, it’s one of the best perks to start with.

Increased Holiday Allowances

All employers are legally obliged to offer staff at least 5.6 weeks paid annual leave. Many companies are actually attracting top talent by increasing their holiday entitlement.

Large corporations, such as Netflix and LinkedIn, offer unlimited holiday. This is to encourage employees to take regular time off to recharge.

While this might not be suitable for every business, there are some excellent benefits to giving employees more holiday. Some companies offer Holiday Trading where staff can buy or sell their holiday allowance.

Why Increase Annual Leave?

One of the downsides of a limited holiday allowance is that many workers adopt the habit of saving their allowance in case they make plans later on.

This means at the end of the holiday year, many with holiday allowance remaining will try to use it up all at once.

From a business perspective, these absences, usually taken by several workers at once, result in a significant loss in productivity.

For employees, saving up their holiday instead of using it during the year means they aren’t getting the regular breaks they need to relax outside of work. Having unlimited holiday, or simply more holiday, could reduce such situations.

Childcare Resources

For parents, one of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a full-time job is arranging childcare. This is partly down to a lack of services.

But cost is also a major barrier. In some instances, the cost of childcare can result in a financial loss if both parents work full time, as opposed to one parent staying at home. Many find leaving the workforce costs less than paying for childcare.

Employers offering childcare resources can relieve some of the stress associated with this. You could provide:

  • On-site childcare facilities
  • Directories and information for local childcare options
  • Reserved places at local nurseries for staff to use in emergency circumstances.

What you’re able to offer will depend on your business. Larger companies are better suited to offering on-site nursery facilities, for instance. While a more affordable option for smaller businesses could be to offer more flexible working, so parents can better manage work with their childcare schedule.

Even something as simple as providing information about local childcare options can reduce some of the stress involved in arranging childcare.

Employee Education

32% of employees told us that a lack of career progression in their job role is a top reason for their unhappiness. For those looking for a new job, 37% cited career advancement opportunities to be a top benefit they look for.

These numbers may partially explain why workers increasingly hop from job to job instead of staying put. Without opportunities to learn and progress, staff may turn to a new job to achieve career development.

To combat this, some of the most common and cost-effective options you could offer include:

  • Training in new tools / methods
  • Access to learning resources
  • An in-house resource library
  • Time to attend events and seminars
  • Cross-departmental training
  • 1-on-1 coaching / mentoring.

Why Offer Training And Education Benefits?

Training employees can open doors for them and your business. It can help your company stay up to date with industry trends and give you an advantage over competitors.

Meanwhile, training employees for management roles allows for better internal mobility. Internal hiring tends to boost morale and increase engagement. It’s also generally more cost-effective over hiring externally.

Giving staff the chance to climb the career ladder within your business makes them less likely to leave to find a better role elsewhere.

Healthy Living Benefits

A combination of stress and inactivity are becoming some of the biggest health concerns for UK workers.

Our population is around 20% less active than in the 1960s. What’s more alarming is that physical inactivity is associated with 1 in 6 deaths in the UK.

Another factor is stress, which has caused 46% of employees to adopt unhealthy eating habits. While 29% report increasing their alcohol intake.

To ensure these habits don’t lead to long-term health problems, employers can help support their team’s physical and mental health by providing:

  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Health education
  • Healthy snacks / breakfast in the workplace
  • Showering facilities for employees with an active commute
  • Stipends to spend on sports equipment.

While top global employers can offer onsite gyms or lunchtime yoga classes, this is not the case for all companies. The most popular healthy living benefit SMEs offer is discounted gym memberships.

If your business has a small budget, there are alternatives to help promote a healthy lifestyle, such as:

  • Providing healthy snacks
  • Arranging exercise-based team-building exercises and outings
  • Giving employees regular breaks to get up and walk around.

Increased Pension Contributions

In our 2022 Workplace Pension survey, we found that 29% of employees don’t think their employer contributes enough to their pension. 49% also said they would consider increasing their contributions if their employer did too.

As people progress in their career, the threat of being unable to afford retirement begins to loom. It can prove a great source of stress and worry.

Why Boost Pension Contributions?

Since auto-enrolment, the number of workers saving into a pension via their employer has risen considerably. However, many feel underwhelmed by the minimum contributions employers must make. This is set at 3%.

To counter this, you could match your employees’ pension contributions rather than paying 3%. As well as generating good will among staff, this could help cut your corporation tax bill, as employer pension contributions are classed as a business expense.

Gifts And Rewards

When employees don’t feel valued, they see no reason to stay.

It doesn’t take much to show employees that you care about their contribution to the business. Giving deserving employees a reward or gift when they have worked particularly hard can make times of stress feel worthwhile.

Finding the best perks, gifts, and rewards to give employees offers the opportunity to get creative. For example, you might offer:

  • Event tickets
  • High street vouchers
  • Social outings
  • Charitable donations
  • Additional time off.

Why Reward Your Staff?

Recognising your staff’s effort gives them an incentive to be more engaged with the organisation.

Rewards also motivate workers and help businesses maintain high productivity and employee satisfaction. Happier employees mean better employee retention.

Best UK Employee Benefits To Help Employees Save Money

In a time where the cost of living is high, helping your employees save some money through their benefits can go a long way. There are a number of benefits that help staff save some pennies in one way or another, including:

Employee Discount Schemes

An employee discount scheme provides staff with savings on everyday purchases. From groceries, clothes and homeware to travel and technology, employees can end up saving hundreds of pounds a year.

Many employers are looking for ways they can help their team make their salary go further. And the best part? Introducing a discount scheme only costs a few pounds per month for a company.

The My.Drewberry platform has a retail discount scheme you can set up for your employees. Considering offering discounts to your staff? Get in touch by calling 02074425880 or email

drewberry employee retail discount scheme

Technology Schemes

Techscheme is a UK government programme allowing employees to get a new piece of tech or homeware through their workplace. It can help your employees save money as it’s set up via salary sacrifice.

What this means is your employees exchange part of their gross pay to cover the cost of their new products. By doing this employees can save up to 10% in National Insurance (depending on their tax bracket).

The cost of the item is then spread out over 12 months, making pricey products more affordable. Although the name suggests you can only buy tech, the good news is your staff can actually choose products from Currys or IKEA, this includes things such as laptops and PCs, TVs, and even sofas.

Cycle To Work Schemes

Cycle to work schemes work in the same way as Techscheme. Your employees can get a brand new bike or e-bike and accessories through salary sacrifice. They can save between 23-39% on the purchase and pay nothing upfront.

Not only is this employee benefit cost effective, it can also help to support a company’s eco initiatives. Commuting to work on a bike is more environmentally friendly than driving or taking public transport. It has health benefits, too. Cycling is a great form of exercise, so offering a cycle to work scheme to your team can help them stay fit and healthy.

The setup is easy. All employers need to do is register online, then your employees can apply for the scheme. Or, you can work with an Employee Benefits Consultancy such as Drewberry, who can help you set the scheme up and ensure it works alongside your other benefits.

Nadeem Farid Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Employees will be able to request a certain sum to use for their purchase. It’s then down to you, the employer, to approve their request and cover the costs of their items. You’ll then receive this back over 12 months and save on National Insurance.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Health & Wellbeing Benefits

Bringing All Your Employee Benefits Together With Total Reward

So, you’ve set up the best employee benefits for your company. How can you let your employees know what’s on offer? This is where total reward statements come into play.

Total reward is a term used to describe a company’s entire employee benefits package. And many employers use it as a solution to show staff what is available and the total value of their employment compensation. It can include:

  • Salary
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Pension contributions
  • Insurance policies
  • Wellbeing programmes
  • Career development opportunities.

By creating a total reward statement which encompasses all the benefits you provide, you can highlight to staff the great bundle of benefits and rewards you offer.

The Benefits Of Total Reward

If implemented well, as part of a well-thought out reward strategy, total reward offers a host of benefits, including:

  • Better retention rates
  • Improved employer to employee communications
  • Increased business performance
  • Helping your company to remain competitive in the industry.
Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

When team members understand and value the benefits their employer offers, they are more likely to show higher levels of engagement.

This can lead to a happier and more productive workforce, who are less likely to be tempted away for a small increase in salary elsewhere.

Joseph Toft
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

The Best Benefits From Top Global Firms And Affordable Alternatives

Employee Benefits for small businesses are just as important as they are for big corporations. But few small business owners offer an employee benefits package. This is often due to a limited budget. But not providing any benefits makes it difficult to gain the competitive edge you need over your competitors.

Offering benefits doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some of the best employee benefits offered by major international corporations, as well as more affordable alternatives for your business.

The Best Business Perks For Work-Life Balance

  • Hotjar: Gives new employees €4,000 to build their own office space at home
  • Microsoft: Unlimited holiday allowance
  • Airbnb: $2,000 stipend to travel to any Airbnb location
  • Atom Bank: Permanent four-day working week.

Affordable Alternatives

  • Flexi-time
  • Extra holiday days for length of service or days off for workers’ birthdays
  • Regular time off or reduced work hours (WWF have ‘Panda Fridays’, allowing workers to take every other Friday off)
  • Time off for charity and volunteer work.

Benefits To Improve Employee Engagement

  • An in-office Star Wars themed cinema with regular film screenings for employees
  • JustEat: Weekly wind-down events with free food and drink and a live DJ
  • Google: Free food, cooking classes, and free classes at the gym
  • VisitBritain: Giveaways of West End theatre tickets and trips to top attractions and events across Britain.

Affordable Alternatives

  • Company organised social events and wind-down activities
  • Employee rewards and public displays of appreciation
  • Gifts as a bonus, e.g. cinema / event tickets, high street vouchers, or a bonus payment
  • Education and training opportunities.

Best Benefits To Support Employees’ Families

  • Shopify: All employees entitled to work from home indefinitely
  • Brewdog: Pawternity leave, which is one week paid leave to help new dogs settle in
  • Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Ticketmaster and Ben & Jerry’s, and more: Employees can bring their dogs to work
  • Etsy: All employees, regardless of gender, entitled to 26 weeks of paid parental leave.

Affordable Alternatives

  • Childcare resources (Cisco has an on-site nursery for children aged 3 months to 5 years)
  • Sufficient maternity and paternity leave
  • Flexible hours
  • Opportunities to work from home.

Financial Support For Employees

  • HubSpot: Tuition reimbursement
  • Monzo: £1,000 allowance for books, training courses & conferences
  • Google: Death benefit of 50% of worker’s salary paid out for 10 years.

Affordable Alternatives

Compare Employee Benefits Quotes & Get Expert Advice

Setting up and maintaining a competitive Employee Benefits package requires a decent bit of admin, so it quickly becomes time consuming. We do the heavy lifting for businesses of all sizes in the UK, so you can focus on delivering your own proposition.

If you need help setting up group insurance or reviewing existing cover, give us a call on 02074425880 or email

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.

Compare Top 10 UK Providers

Takes approx. 60 seconds
Verified by Norton Symantec icon
 Or Call Us

Contact Us

Head Office & Pensions and Investments
Senator House
85 Queen Victoria Street
Personal Insurance & Accounts Payable
Telecom House
125-135 Preston Road
Drewberry London Office MapDrewberry Brighton Office Map

If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is

Drewberry Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Companies House No. 06675912

Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

Drewberry Ltd (Financial Conduct Authority No. 505473) is an Appointed Representative of Quilter Wealth Limited and Quilter Mortgage Planning

Limited, which are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Drewberry™ uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website you agree to the use of cookies including for ad personalization.

If you would like to know more about cookies and how to manage them please view our privacy & cookie policy.