Complete Guide To Corporate Benefits In The UK

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Most successful companies know their employees are their most important asset. So with this in mind, it is no surprise that corporate benefits have become an essential tool for attracting and retaining talented workers.

By offering the right corporate benefits you can not only reduce staff turnover, increase productivity and boost morale. You can also drive your bottom line up. But what are they?

What Are Corporate Benefits?

Corporate benefits are a package of goods or services an employer offers their staff outside of their salary or wages.

These benefits represent a non-monetary compensation which aims to improve an employees’ quality of life within and outside of your organisation.

With some clever planning, any business can offer a good balance of benefits which can help to create a vibrant working culture with engaged and rewarded staff.

This is why great corporate benefits should be a part of any competitive reward strategy.

Why Should An Employer Offer Corporate Benefits?

While some corporate benefits are mandatory, offering other non-mandatory corporate benefits to employees has many advantages.

Not only can it show that a business is invested in the health of its workforce and their future, it can help to:

Increase Employer Appeal

As employers compete to attract the best talent, candidates can be more selective about where they work.

This means that if a business wants to hire the most qualified, skilled, and talented employees, they need to make their business stand out from the rest. But attracting the best talent takes more than just offering a generous salary.

A good package of corporate benefits will help attract high-quality people and could be the key factor in an individual’s decision to join a company.

People are also likely to talk about the perks of their job outside of work, which can help attract new people to the business.

Retain Top Talent

Retaining the best employees is no longer just as easy as offering the highest salary. Nowadays employees typically take into account the value of the entire offering, including what benefits are available.

This means that by offering an a top corporate benefits package could make a big difference in attracting and retaining employees, stopping them from being swayed to move elsewhere.

Such benefits can also become an integral part of your employees’ lives and can become things your team simply doesn’t want to leave behind.

Typically it costs a company more to recruit and onboard a new employee than to keep an existing one.

That’s why, once a business has great employees on board, they should do whatever possible to keep them.

Danielle Hines
Employee Benefits Consultant

Boost Morale, Engagement, And Productivity

Corporate benefits can make a big difference to an employee’s lifestyle choices and leisure activities.

They can help to improve their health and wellbeing as well as boost morale and productivity, whilst also inspiring feelings of loyalty and trust.

Create Savings For Employees And Employers

Certain corporate benefits operate via salary sacrifice. This means that the employee gives up a proportion of their salary in return for a non-cash benefit such as childcare vouchers.

This type of benefit can be beneficial for both employee and employer. For your employee, it can save tax and help to spread the cost of large purchases making them more manageable.

Whereas for an employer it can help you to reduce the National Insurance contributions you are required to pay.

Some employers may assume that the best corporate benefits cost UK businesses a lot to set up and manage. However, the cost of employee benefits really depends on the size of the business and the type of benefits offered.

In most cases, the overall benefits to both employees and employers far outweigh the cost.

Which Corporate Benefits Should Employers Offer In 2024?

The list of available corporate benefit options is extensive, however which ones a business should offer will depend on the needs and priorities of its workforce.

The best corporate benefits are those tailored to the needs of the employees. Older employees may find such things as company medical insurance or death in service benefits an attractive incentive to work for an organisation.

Meanwhile, younger workers may value more recreational benefits such as discounted gym memberships or corporate events. With this in mind it’s important to understand what it is your employees would really benefit from.

Drewberry’s employee benefits survey found the top paid benefits that workers want their employer to offer include:

  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Income Protection Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance.

Corporate benefits don’t just include paid-for benefits, there are a variety of low-cost and even free options available. We have found that the best packages often include a mixture of both.

The most popular free benefits and perks employees wanted to see from their employer were:

  • Flexible hours
  • Work-from-home options
  • Free snacks

Popular Corporate Benefits Explained

It is important to understand what makes a competitive benefits package and the options available to you.

Business Health Insurance

Business health insurance pays for staff to receive medical treatment privately, allowing them to skip potentially long NHS waiting lists and receive their diagnosis and care as quickly as possible.

It also offers a range of other benefits that help to reduce stress and worry for an employee should they become ill. These include:

  • Quicker access to treatment and therapies and less time spent off work
  • Choice over the hospital and professionals providing treatment
  • Access to the latest procedures, therapies and treatments that may not be available on the NHS.

Read why our client Trailmix, a rapidly expanding mobile gaming start-up chose to set up a small business health insurance scheme. In addition to the core cover their employees are really benefiting from the virtual GP service.

Death In Service Insurance

Death in service or group life cover pays out a tax-free cash lump sum – usually a multiple of an employee’s salary – to their loved ones should the worker pass away while employed by the company.

If an employee were to die outside of the workplace they would still qualify for their life insurance benefit providing they have a valid employment contract at the time.

It is usually one of the first corporate benefits a business introduces due to it being relatively cheap and including a number of really useful tangible benefits including Virtual GP service and medical helplines.

Our employees get comfort from knowing it’s there and we’re proud to provide that. Read why Michelle at Profile Pensions saw implementing employee life insurance as a no brainer.

Group Income Protection

Group income protection or employee sickness insurance pays out a monthly benefit to your staff should they become ill and unable to work due to medical reasons.

The benefit amount is a proportion of the employee’s monthly pay before tax and is paid to you, their employer, who then distributes the funds to them, usually by PAYE. Just as they would on their usual salary, employees will pay tax on the benefit.

An employer can set up a policy to pay out for one, two or five years per claim under short-term cover. Meanwhile, long-term cover continues to pay a benefit until the employee reaches the age of retirement.

Group Critical Illness Cover

Group critical illness cover pays out a tax-free lump sum to employees if they become critically ill.

Most policies usually cover around 12 serious illnesses which include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke.

The amount paid out is usually a multiple of the employee’s income, typically one or two times their gross basic salary.

Given the likelihood of a serious illness occurring during an employee’s working life the cost of group critical illness is significantly higher than group life insurance.

Employee Assistance Programmes

Employee assistance programmes can offer a range of support services to employees and their families to help them through difficult times.

These can be arranged separately or as part of the company’s group insurance. These services tend to include:

  • Medical, legal and financial advice
  • Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), available over the phone or face to face
  • Bereavement counselling and support.

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Other Corporate Perks & Freebies

Although private medical insurance and life insurance may top many workers’ wish lists, there are many other benefits that employers should consider incorporating into their corporate benefits package.

These tangible include:

  • Health and wellbeing support
  • Gym membership
  • Charity events
  • Sports events
  • Fresh fruit

Overall the best packages are those that include a variety of different, insured, paid and free benefits. Some of the most valued perks have no direct cost and include:

Flexible Working

Work life balance is more important than ever and as a result of this many employees want to have the flexibility of adjusting their working day outside of the traditional 9-5.

With this in mind its no surprise that employers are choosing to implement:

  • Flexible working hours
  • Remote working

Holiday Leave

We all love our holidays as they provide rest bite from our working lives and ensure we get a chance to recharge our batteries.

Employee physical and mental wellbeing has become a key focus for many employers which is why many businesses now offer the following holiday benefits to staff:

  • Duvet days
  • Holiday trading
  • Birthday off
  • Christmas closure.

Free Food & Treats

Simple gestures can also show your employees that you care and think about their wellbeing. Because of this many employers now offer free food and treats as staple features of their corporate benefits package.

  • Tea and coffee on the house
  • Daily fruit bowls filled for all the staff
  • Free ad-hoc treats including pizzas, paid lunches and snacks.

As a result of offering free drinks and snacks, you also encourage staff to take breaks which can relieve/prevent stress, create a sense of community within the office and increase productivity.

Who Are The UK’s Best Corporate Benefit Providers In 2024?

Depending on the corporate reward strategy you are looking to implement there are a vast range of providers and consultancies who offer products and services to help.

We provide an independent advice service and work with all the leading corporate product providers including:

  • AIG
  • Aviva
  • AXA
  • Bupa
  • Canada Life
  • Legal & General
  • MetLife
  • Vitality
  • Unum

Each benefit provider uses their own underwriting and pricing criteria so it is important to do a full comparison when considering your options.

Which provider is best for your workforce will depend on the demographics of your workforce and your specific policy requirements.

Before providing a quote, most corporate benefits providers will require certain information such as:

  • Size of the group
  • Industry and occupation
  • Geographic location
  • Employees’ dates of birth
  • Employees’ genders
  • Salary details
  • Chosen policy options.

Given our business processes and the relationships we have with the leading providers it is not only a lot easier for us to do your market research but we can also often negotiate more competitive terms.

Making The Most Of The Free Additional Benefits

Many of the leading UK providers now include some really valuable support services which employees get to benefit from every day.

The most popular additional benefits your staff will have access to include:

  • 24/7 Video GP Service
  • Prescription Service
  • Medical Helplines
  • Physiotherapy
  • Nutritional Support
  • Health & Wellbeing Discounts
  • Return to work support

We receive a lot of positive feedback from our client’s employees on just how useful they have found these services.

One of our Directors has personally used the remote GP service from AIG and has written up his experience here.

Compare Corporate Benefit Quotes & Get Expert Advice

If you are looking to set up a new corporate benefits package, you may be daunted by the options available. Don’t worry, that’s where we can help.

We do all the heavy lifting so you can focus your time on running your business. We’re experts at helping businesses set up the right employee benefits programme for their staff.

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.

If you need help setting up a corporate benefits package for your employees, email or call us today on 02074425880 and speak to one of our friendly expert advisers.

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