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What Do You Consider To Be An Employee Benefit?

Whether you’re a candidate seeking a new role or an employer looking to recruit your next member of staff, how important do you consider ‘benefits’ to be? And what do you classify as a ‘benefit’?

The CIPD defines this to be ‘a way to attract and retain employees’ so arguably they could be considered on an individual basis as this will mean different things to different people. Regardless, it’s important to understand what is a legal requirement in comparison to a perk of working for a business.

Here’s some examples of what are increasingly being promoted as benefits. Would you agree or disagree with any of them?

Holiday Entitlement:

A lot of job descriptions have ‘28 days’ holiday entitlement’ listed as a benefit but this is in fact a statutory legal requirement so will this really attract candidates? Arguably, we should only really be promoting holiday entitlement as a benefit if it is above this.

Workplace Pension Schemes:

Again, a workplace pension scheme is now a legal requirement for employers to have in place after an employee has exceeded 12 weeks of work. However, many organisations will offer enhanced contributions which can be a massive factor when candidates are seeking new roles.

Free Tea & Coffee:

Although it may seem small, offering free tea and coffee to staff can be a great perk! So many candidates we speak to at Westray cite this as something they consider to be an added benefit.

Free Parking:

Should we all be entitled to free parking at our place of work or is it a luxury? This could be up for debate. There are a lot of companies who are based in city centres who are unable to offer free parking to their staff, yet the amount of money this can save employees can be massive and can therefore be a contributing factor when a candidate is considering a new place of work.

Working from Home and Flexible Working:

More and more companies are enabling their staff to work from home or commit to flexible working contracts. This can be hugely beneficial for employees, whether that be parents, people with external commitments or to simply help promote a healthy balance of office and home life. Trusting employees to work from home can have a huge impact on morale and promote more trusting relationships between employers and employees.

Early Finishes:

Many employees will consider early finishes to be a luxury, especially on a Friday afternoon, I mean who doesn’t love an early finish in time for the weekend?! Whether it’s an hour or half a day, they can be a great incentive to promote smarter working.


Depending on the industry you work in, discounts can be a huge benefit and if they are internal discounts on products or services, then the company will likely see an increased return on investment too. Equally, many larger organisations offer external benefits including on entertainment, dining out and gym schemes. Would anyone actually decline a discount offering?

Subsidised Canteens:

Whether it’s spending time preparing lunches for the week or having to go out and buy food every day, subsidised canteens can be a huge benefit to a range of employees. Aside from saving time and money, they can also provide a central location for workers to come together.

Free / Discounted Gym Memberships:

Gym memberships can be a great way to help boost employee morale and promote a healthy lifestyle. After all, it’s often argued that employees who lead an active lifestyle are more motivated and engaged.

Company Cars:

Although only available to restricted industries or levels within an organisation, company cars are often offered to help employees who need to travel as part of their role. However, this is a big investment for both parties are employees will often consider the impact such a ‘benefit’ can have on the tax they pay. What’s your thoughts on this?

Mobile Phone / Laptop:

Providing work phones and laptops are often listed under the ‘benefits’ section of job advertisements, however, are they actually benefits? Yes, they are a brilliant way of supporting remote working but can this lead to people thinking there is an expectation to be available at all times or put in longer hours? After all, finding the balance between work and personal life is an increasingly hot topic so how should such assets be referred?

Take a look below at the 10 most extreme work perks in 2019! (Credited: Recruitment Grapevine). These companies offer some fantastic benefits for their employees, which is a great way to entice the best talent but how realistic are they?


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