The 10 Best UK Employee Benefits To Offer Your Staff

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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 employee benefits, it’s an area that’s ripe for improvement.

There are so many employee benefits to choose from. How do you know which ones are worth the cost and will make a real difference for your business?

This guide provides an overview of the best employee benefits and other perks that staff really value.

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 by helping to retain existing staff
  • 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 such data could end up being costly for organisations.

Stress & Work Performance

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

Left alone, it could lead to bigger problems, such as depression and anxiety. This can have a knock on effect when it comes to an employee’s performance at work. 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 someway in helping your staff work through these issues.

Best Paid Employee Benefits Offered At UK Companies

There are 2 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 workplace pension. Beyond this, there is still a lot you can do to make your group pension a valuable employee benefit. And we would recommend that you do.

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 rule to one of the benefits 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 their 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 even understand their current workplace pension benefit? 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 when it comes to valuing their group pension and what the business contributes.

Besides sourcing 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 January 2023, NHS data revealed that there were 7.2 million people on NHS waiting lists in England awaiting treatment. The NHS has failed to meet its treatment target of 18 weeks since 2016. Many patients are waiting longer than this to get the care they need.

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 to cope, for instance, or not be able to work to their full capacity due to their condition.

It’s here company-paid Private Health Insurance could step in.

What Is Business Health Insurance?

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

Here’s why mobile gaming startup Trailmix chose Health Insurance for their expanding team. Read on for the difference it’s made to every worker.

It’s very popular, being one of the top 5 paid-for benefits employees want their employer to introduce.

Death In Service Cover

Many households would struggle financially if a wage earner passed away. Yet, only a third of adults have an active life insurance policy. This would leave a sizeable 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 which state Life Insurance as a benefit they want to receive.

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 knowing that 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, 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.

Find out why Michelle at Profile Pensions saw employee life insurance as a no brainer. Our employees get comfort from knowing it’s there and we’re proud to provide this cover for our staff.

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 have reported high levels of anxiety due to money worries (Office For National Statistics). This makes financial concerns one of the biggest stressors workers face. In fact, 1 in 5 employees revealed they wouldn’t be able to 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 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 says you must pay.

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 your 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 monthly benefits (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, half of adults born after 1960 will get 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 an additional 20-25 illnesses for an extra premium.

Additional Services

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

  • Employee Assistance Programmes
  • Digital GP service ((read our director’s experience using it
  • )

  • Second medical opinion service / best doctors (offering access to leading global experts if an employee becomes ill and wants a second opinion on their diagnosis or treatment)
  • Mental health support service
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medical helplines staffed by trained nurses.

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

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

Aviva revealed that 75% of employees who used these services support their return to work within 6 months.

Need Help?

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

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

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Best Cheap / Free Benefits And Perks For Your Business

As well as paid insurance policies, you can also introduce an array of low-cost or even free benefits. Despite their low price tag, they can nonetheless still be a core part of your overall proposition and make a real difference to your workers.


Many employers are adopting flexible working, also known as flexi-time, allowing staff to pick 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 4 weeks of annual leave. But many companies are 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 get away from their desks.

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 that 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 serious 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 de-stress.

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 parents find leaving the workforce is actually less costly than paying for childcare.

Employers offering childcare resources can relieve some of the stress associated with this. You might, for example, 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 obviously 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 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% of survey respondents 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 library
  • Sending employees to seminars and events
  • Cross-departmental training
  • One-on-one coaching / mentoring.

Why Offer Training And Education Benefits To Your Workers?

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.

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.

Meanwhile, stress 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. You might offer:

  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Health education
  • Healthy snacks / breakfast
  • 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 small and medium-sized businesses offer is discounted gym memberships.

However, if your business has a small budget, there are alternative benefits that can still 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 pot. 49% also said they would consider increasing their contributions if their employer did too.

As people get further in their career, the threat of being unable to afford retirement begins to loom. It can prove a significant 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 workers can 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 just 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.

Implement An Employee Discount Scheme

Another easy way you can help staff with their living costs is through an employee discount platform.

For a few pounds per month, you can provide access to retail discounts which can save staff thousands of pounds a year.

A retail discount platform offers savings on everyday costs from groceries and clothes to travel, home improvements and technology.

drewberry employee retail discount scheme

With the cost of living crisis, we are seeing an increase in employers looking at ways they can help.

Considering offering a variety of discounts to your staff? Please don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02074425880 or email

The Best Benefits From Top Global Firms…Plus Affordable Alternatives For You

Employee Benefits are just as important for small businesses as they are for big corporations. But few small business owners offer an employee benefits package.

This is often down to a limited budget. Even though not providing any benefits makes it more difficult to gain the competitive edge companies need to attract new talent.

Yet, 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—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 can be a bit of a headache. We do the heavy lifting for businesses of all sizes in the UK so they can focus on what they are best at: delivering their 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.

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